Can I Get A Grip?


    I’ve NEVER posted from my phone but I just saw this article on recovery and it is SO  fitting for me now. Yesterday was my last day of physical therapy. With Medicare you are only allowed so much rehabilitation therapy. Currently the caps are something like $1,900 for physical and speech therapy and $1,900 for occupational therapy. This gives a patient roughly 3 months A YEAR for physical therapy, depending on what can be worked out with the therapist. Last year, I received around 16 sessions because the place I went to was slightly more expensive. I think I might go back there next year, actually. I would stay for about 2 hours and I could pick the machines I wanted to use. Plus, a lot of the techs were younger and super good-looking. And yes, both male and female techs. Who doesn’t like being touched by beautiful people they’re not really allowed to touch back?

This place I’ve been going to is only one hour and, oh my god, you have to give 48 hours notice to cancel or get charged $50. I have chronic acute migraines, that’s a terrible combo there. Luckily I had no situation I couldn’t handle happen. The last place I went had no such fee; instead, they had a make up day on Friday. You couldn’t schedule that day unless you missed an appointment that same week. The reason I tried this new place is because I thought I needed more interaction with an actual therapist. I thought working with techs straight out of highschool was hurting me more than helping me. They had no experience, they were parrots that could read a chart and knew how to strap me onto the machines. I only saw my actual therapist during evals and worked primarily with techs that would just talk and talk and talk and then they’d leave you alone because a timer for another patient would go off somewhere so they’d go help.

I really felt like I was often being neglected. Like I was just another person with problems that helped them get paid. So I waited a year, maybe it was two? I mean, I really don’t know, I’m that bad with time. When it was time to go back to therapy I decided not to return to the last place because I wanted that one-on-one experience. I guess I was hoping for something like I experienced with Pearce, my very first Pt because what I got was incredibly disappointing. Guidance is great, it really is but what I want and need is someone to help encourage me, to assist in boosting my confidence, providing support and helping me see that goal in the distance even if they know how limited they are in helping me get there. That was, Pearce.

He was amazing. He taught me how to walk. It took him a few weeks or more but I was able to leave his rehab in my wheelchair knowing I could use my quad cane confidently in places where a wheelchair just felt far too inconvenient. If a wheelchair is anything, it certainly is humbling. Pearce gave me that crap line almost all stroke survivors with severe deficits get. He said hope ended after a year, two if I was lucky. But he did say himself that he had seen people continue with gains beyond that set limit. This last therapist Beanz, he offered nothing of the sort. If a patient is literally in your hands, coming to you for help, you don’t shrug your shoulders when they ask for ideas how to further progress in their recovery.

I realized yesterday while lying on the mat with Beanz stretching my arm through the elbow, that there is no point to going to therapy looking for them to actually help you. There’s only so much they can do, the rest is up to you. It’s that stupid cliché you become the moment you become a patient of any kind. Recovery is up to you and only you can dictate how far you can go. I blame Medicare and their caps or the therapists and their inability to fully empathize and “do their jobs right.” 18 sessions? Well, that’s crap but after stirring in my disappointment through the night and then reading those five steps this morning really helped me form a resolution of sorts. I can’t rely on anyone, not even therapists. I have to stop blaming Kasper for “not supporting me enough” because he supports me more than he should (post for another day).

I know what I need to do and that’s to stop relying and blaming everyone else. I need to go back to what I was doing before but I need to take it more seriously. *sigh* I need to quit smoking pot so I can stay motivated. That’s my biggest hurdle. Staying motivated for more than three months at a time. Sometimes it doesn’t even last that long. I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do this but I’ve got to get better. I don’t want hip replacement before 50, to embarrass my kids, to slow down my family or force my husband to feel like our family is wasting away because of my anxiety or tiredness or pain or inability to keep up. There are things I can’t control but the things I can…I need to actually start controlling them.

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