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Monday, May 16, 2016

GETTING TO KNOW YOU!


As you enter the grounds of The Hamptons Rehabilitation Center, you can’t help but be overpowered by the expanse of the two storied building. It stretches from one end of your peripheral vision to the other, you need to move your head from a distance to view it all. The building, resembling more a resort than a rehab center was just that once upon a time when the owners couldn’t finish building it since they ran out of money. So there was this magnificent building without a roof! If you enter the place, and you stroll through the corridors you will see things that only a resort would offer, like plug-ins for cell phones or laptop computers. It is a very pleasant interior that is indeed inviting, the perfect setting to rehab from what ails you for a period of extended time.

As you may know, my daughter Ellen does not speak and currently is residing in this rehab facility way out in Southampton, NY. She has been living there since February and has gotten adjusted to life there. She is happy so I am happy, too.

There is a problem, though. She is making too many friends, and I have to deal with this. For instance, when we arrived at the facility that night in February, she knew someone right off the bat! A lovely woman who happened to work at her home in Shoreham as a nurse and now is a nurse in the rehab.

A  coincidence, a happenstance so to speak! But as the days wore on, staff were now getting to know her. She was ‘Ellie’ they would come in and say: “Hi Ellie!” Ellen, of course, would just smile, clap her hands and say: “Mumma?” or “Appy” and clap her hands some more.

Okay, so the staff knows her, so what? Well, she then got to become friends with the residents! Yes, old and young, they started shouting out: “Hi Ellie!” Once again she would say: “Mumma?” or “Appy” and clap her hands.

But now things are getting serious, as I decided to take her from her second floor room down to the lobby area where there are nice comfortable rest areas to sit and relax, people coming off the streets are calling out: “Hi Ellie” or “How’s my girl Ellie Belly?” Once again Ellen would say: “Mumma?” or “Appy” and clap her hands.

But now it is getting critical, all the residents are now, along with the staff, shouting out Mumma and Appy? and clapping their hands!

This is a girl or lady who does not speak! She has no idea who these people are but makes friends in spite of it! Is this a testament to a great rehab place? I think so.


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