Sunday, April 14, 2013

Sunday Stroke Survival~ Therapist- Rah, Rah, Rah!

I've gone through the gambit of therapies before and since my stroke... aquatherapy, aromatherapy, chemotherapy, cognitive therapy, drug therapy, electromagnet therapy, hypnotherapy, psychotherapy, and radiation therapy just to name a few off the top of my head.

I coined the word ogologistitis too many years ago. Too many -ologist in my life (ologist= specialty and itis =infection or swelling) -cardiologist, psychologist, neurologist, dermatologist, oncologist, get the idea. Now I propose a new word therapitis.

 In this case I'm talking about physical, speech and occupational therapists. Things like getting dresses, getting out of bed, walking with a cane were all things I've covered in the past with past injuries so there was not much new to learn. Even most of the stretches and exercises haven't changed much in decades.

There are new therapists and new innovations but muscles work the same way. I'm not knocking the practice. My physical, speech, and occupational terrorists are the best at what they do and are my cheerleaders rooting for me to achieve. It's like the U.S. Army slogan, Be all that you can be" from the 80s. They have a vested interest in me getting better.

Last month, Rebecca Dutton posted about her therapist sometimes break her heart. The key word is sometimes. I can relate. I've have fabulous therapists and some not too great over the years. I tend to request the fabulous ones by name when going back. I'm willing to bet she doesn't put up with slack-offs or ho-hum attitudes anymore than I will. Therapy is hard work. You need a cheerleader for encouragement.

Rebecca, before two devastating strokes, was employed as an occupational therapist. Now, the knowledge is not wasted, it never is. But she has a new empathy for stroke survivors because she is one too. Although not practicing on any patients anymore, other than herself, she has the never say die attitude same as me.

That's part of the reason I follow her blog and email her when I have something weird go on. We've developed quite an on-again/off-again relationship. Not to mention the facts that she can see it from both sides of the streets and has experience borne of years of trials while I'm still a newbie at stroke. Yes, I've been the nurse who saw you through the crisis, but it's people like my physical and occupational therapists who deal with the aftermath.

Where my job was to never a dull moment, their job is mundane day in and day out...repetition, repetition, repetition. Although Forbes magazine lists them as hottest job trends for the coming millennium, I couldn't do it. I'm too much of an action junkie, fast pace, and high stress. Just look at what I've accomplish in over half a century on this planet.

My hat's off to all of them. While I'm constantly out of the box with my thinking and creating my creativity talents to full use, I've got nothing on these dedicated folks. To keep patients motivated and trying to get better is an almost thankless job. You get people moving and doing for themselves, and then they are gone to be followed by a thousand other faces during the year.

But that's the nature of the job. Me, I don't forget who helped me to get here. I send cards and messages back and forth. When I can I'll bake or make them little goodies. Even if I haven't seen them in years! Forgetting where you came from is the quickest way back.

For my old therapists and case workers from Savannah, I made them a Halloween feast. My daughter who lives there helped me and drove me up there to deliver it. Although it wasn't quite Halloween yet, they were shocked. For my PT who just had a baby girl, I gave her a diaper cake before I stopped therapy last year. Now I'm breaking in a new one.  Alright, I didn't make it, but my eldest daughter did. After I talked her through it. Even my Dynasplint rep got one. She had her "Prince Charming" just before Christmas.

Now St. Paddy's day coming up, it's leprechaun hats for all. Little bite sized cakes for whomever wants one. I'll even include the therapists and staff who I've never worked with. I appreciate all of them. Who knows, I may eventually have to.

Yes, I've got the double whammy of ologistitis and therpistitis, but I'm smiling through it all.

Don't say "I can't" and not do. 

Say, "I can't right now, but I'm working on it."


  1. What a lovely valentine to those who share the trenches with all the patients out there. ; )

  2. Keep smilin' Jo. Things will get better and you will be back to almost normal before you know it. :)

    1. From your lips...I doubt I'll ever be 100% back yo Abby Normal, I might even be just normal!


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