Valuable quotes

"No person is your friend who demands your silence, or denies your right to grow." ~~

"The minute you start talking about what you're going to do if you lose, you've already lost." ~~

Cree Prophecy - "When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money." ~~

Friday, October 19, 2007

Making others listen to your inner self

As I sit here this morning thinking about the busy day, nay, weeks ahead and having to make yet another big move, I realize my six & a half year anniversary is nearing – the anniversary of my brain pop, my blow-out, my vascular near death experience. I have called it many things, most unprintable – the medical professions terminology is brain aneurysms. But, like the rose, by any other name, it still stinks. You won't find that in any medical journal you can bet.

I think about where I am today and where I was the many weeks after May 29th, 2001
. First, laying unconscious in a hospital, totally paralyzed on my left side and everyone ready to write me off.

I was told I would likely not have the use of my left arm and hand again, or walk without a full leg brace and quad cane, never mind hike, climb or do something like drive a car. But today, I can do all of those things.

I was told that the hole was in my brain was placed immediately where the brain operates eyesight and I would likely lose mine. I don’t even wear glasses. I was told that since my brain was flooded with blood and sustained damage, I shouldn't expect to do any of the things I used to do. The bloody barrage that soaked the right side of my brain was going to render me disabled. Handicapped. Crippled. No longer able to do anything, so I shouldn't waste my time trying. Oh sure, I needed to do my therapy so I could see small gains - do my therapy so that I wouldn’t worsen. But don’t set my goals too high or expect to regain my abilities 100% because I would just be disappointed. It wasn't going to happen.

Thing is, I never approached my life like that before this event, so I certainly wasn’t about to cave and start doing things that way now. Not when there was so much at stake! Were they crazy? I would sit in my hospital bed in rehab and wait for someone to come around and wheel me to therapy, wishing all the while that I could do something…ANYTHING, while waiting for my hour at the gym room. I was so eager to get started and since I worked out everyday before being hospitalized, this was unbearable! I asked them if I could bring the dumb bells back to my room from the therapy room and the answer was no because they were needed in the gym. Besides, they didn’t want me to tire myself…~*sigh*~.
I was tiring alright! Tired of the inactivity I had to endure.

So I embarked on my own path back.

Out of desperation, I had my husband bring my dumbbells in from home and I'd sit in my chair in the corner of my room and work my arm. There was also Debi, an aide/friend/confidante who would bring me the mop from behind the janitors’ door at night and I did lifts with that while sitting on my bed. I got my fingers moving and gripping and then my hand working. Before long, my arm.
My doctors were astounded! My therapists weren’t. They said they knew if anyone was going to be able to come back from something like this, I was, because I didn’t accept no for an answer. I never believed the doctors and I never believed I wasn’t going to get better. That’s not a brag – that’s simply a fact. And it’s also the point of my post.

The medical profession continues to make one large mistake over and over again. They treat patients as case histories or tend to try and fit them into what they believe is how it should go, based on what has gone before. The textbook case. ‘Let’s see…kinda like case 732b and a little like case 81c with a dash of F459 thrown in, so I guess we can’t expect anything different from this person, even though she’s an entirely different human being in entirely different circumstances and with a major kick ass attitude!’

My main doctor, Dr. Howard Yonas, is a very highly respected neurosurgeon [and all round cool guy] not just in the US, but internationally, would kid with me from time to time, saying he was going to have my picture put on the side of buses in Pittsburgh as his poster person for recovery. I'd kid back telling him to throw away all his books and write his own books based on observations of his patients like me and he would have plenty of poster persons.

In the end, the lesson here is we should never limit ourselves, nor should we allow others to limit us - least of all our doctors and physical therapists. I lived all by myself in Vegas for nearly a year and today I still spend a lot of time on my own. I doubt I'd be able to do this had I listened to the naysayers. I was so fortunate to have good, understanding therapists that understood my mindset. Thanks guys and girls, you know who you are. Because of your support, I'm continuing to have an active life, and while maybe not 100%, I do a pretty nasty 95%.

No comments:

For the consideration of family & friends...