Sunday, February 21, 2016

Sunday Stroke Survival: Statements That Make Me Angry

There are few words or statements that make me red faced angry and want to scream at the person saying them. I'm usually a quiet fighter, and a behind the scenes type advocate, but sometimes I get my dandruff raised and it makes me yell from the rooftop at the stupidity of the person voicing the trite, too often said rhetoric that I read as "I can't be bothered to deal with you anymore." I'll become the champion on my white horse and gird my armor for battle. As with this case...

This case came to my attention a few weeks ago. A young woman (37) with two young children (under the age of five) had a stroke. She had a promising career as a teacher before her stroke. After she hit the post stroke prime, six-month window passed, she was told her recovery was as good as it will ever get. In fact, her insurance was now balking at paying for any other treatment pertaining to her stroke because of this one neurologist's charted note. I'm thankful her neurologist wasn't mine, but now she is a patient of my neurologist and is back in therapies (OT, PT, Speech). :o) Now that she has met the right people, me included, she is fighting the system. She's too young to start giving up. She has too much to live for and yet achieve.

My momma always said to be careful about what comes out of your mouth to others, because once it's out there, it's out there. This woman was beside herself, depressed, and broken, before she came to my attention. Her main rehab was to get her up and walking with assistance, being able to speak a few words, and able to go to the toilet by watching the clock. Now mind you, I'm not knocking these achievements, major quality of life issues, but what about the rest of her quality of life, her self perception, long term goals and hopes/dreams? Where was the encouragement to continue progressing forward? Where was any hope given as even a slim option?

The thing about the professionals that surround a stroke survivor is what they say is usually it. They are the professionals after all. They have a sheepskin to prove it. I too have sheepskins that I can paper a wall with too. But if the professionals don't use it responsibly, the diplomas are no better than an old, beaten up 1960s wallpaper. It's the major reason most patients with long term conditions leave the modern medical world behind. The professionals are at fault. These patients, instead of finding a supportive doctor or therapists that believe it ain't over until you are dead and buried,  just drop off the professional medical grid all together. This can be dangerous. Most do not have the knowledge of how to make/improve their lives for the better. They accept these trite judgements as cold, hard facts. I was a medical professional and know this to be true. Professionals, especially, need to engage their brain, before opening their mouths.

Fat lady has sung, not hardly!
The person hearing the fat, lady sing from professionals believe they, the professionals, are right. I'm living proof that THEY ARE WRONG! I've proved the statement "this is the best it's gonna get" wrong more times than proven right in over half a century. I did it from birth (3 month premature, weighing 2lbs) and I ain't about ready to stop now. Yeah, I lucky (sometimes), but I attribute most to God and my fighting spirit. I'm worse than a dog with a big, fatty, meaty bone in "leave me alone I'm working on conquering this" attitude. I also love and thoroughly enjoy proving professional wrong too. (grinning) They don't know everything. They are not God. They only think they are. By making the rhetorical, asinine, and trite statements...they are setting themselves up for a hard crash to Earth by me. Well, truthfully, I love it because they become better practitioners hopefully. No one else will have to listen to their dribble. At least that's usually the case for me.

It will be fun moving to a new town and getting new doctors who don't know my introductory volley of "I was practicing medicine when you were in grade school/ high school/ college/ medical school" when they try the usual pat answers. I expect them to earn their money from me. I mean $250 for fifteen minutes of their time? Not really though, I honestly hate shopping for doctors and practitioners. The wise, wait for me to explain my points. The ones who get fired/brought down hard are the ones who respond with a back with a trite answer. I do my research. Many of them don't have the time. They will either jump on the same page as me, or be several pages ahead of me if they are smart. It isn't pretty to watch a grown person shrink to a couple inches tall, or  see their egos busted like a deflated balloon that they worked so hard for. But, somebody has got to do it for everyone else. I'd rather they do it with me than this teacher who took their words to heart and set in concrete. Who is the captain of this ship? Yeah, you're the captain of your dingy. I'm on a battleship God provided me with, so there.

I've got a tribe behind me of hundreds who can back me up with enough facts and figures to bury them. It could be thousands or millions if I had more time than 24 hours a day. If I don't know, one of them will. I'm only five feet tall, but watch me get ten feet and in your face when riled by pat answers. I've got decades of experience behind me. I take nothing at face value. This is MY life we are talking about. What is done and said is up to me to accept. If you have a problem with that, then move over and out the door.

So back to this young woman. She is fighting back. When she has a bad day, she'll call or Skype one of about ten local people. She now has a tribe behind her for support and answers. A good support group/system is essential. The ultimate support group/system is more worthy than gold or money amount of you can ever visualize. She will continue to improve and recover. Her life is blessed and hope filled now that we've deprogrammed her from the "professional" junk.

For me, it's a continuation/reaffirmation of ...
Nothing is impossible.


  1. This woman's gut wrenching story is why I'm glad I have a wonderful physiatrist. Thank God she has you in her life.

  2. Hmm, I'm 5'6" - so there! But I like your article - stats you get 5 Stars in 5 Stars !!

  3. Hi Jo - so glad she's getting some sensible help - and can be in touch with all helpful and knowledgeable people.

    The brain continues to heal .. it's an amazing organ ... and needs to be stretched ... so pleased for her - good for you too - cheers Hilary

  4. Glad she isn't giving up.
    There's not wanting to raise false hopes and then there is dashing all hope. The latter is not acceptable.


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