What I can't accept (and wasn’t expecting) is that he isn't very hopeful about my prognosis. He tested the strength in my arm, fingers, leg, and foot and was concerned about how weak I am. He handed me a pen and asked me to write my name. I did. It was slow and my hand stiffened up, but I did it. I thought that was pretty awesome. He looked at me and didn’t say anything. He just looked at me as if in deep thought, figuring out what he should say, how he was going to break the news. He said he didn’t want to lie to me. It just isn’t likely I’ll ever be able to type and write like before. I broke down and cried.
While the tears streamed down my face, he asked about my overall mood. It's common for stroke patients to have little control over their emotions. I told him most of the time I’m joking and laughing. I joined a support group and started a blog, all of which have been incredibly therapeutic. He brought up antidepressants, several times, stating that almost all of his stroke patients take them. He said if I’m depressed I may not be motivated to push myself in rehab. So I told him a little more about myself. Obviously, this guy doesn’t know me. I assured him that if I were truly in a dark place I’d be open to pill-popping, but I really don’t think it’s necessary. I know a lot of other stroke survivors who do need this type of help, and they truly do need it. That’s OK for them. Not for me.
I realize that he's never met me before so in all fairness he has nothing to compare me to. He didn't see me when I couldn't walk at all or move any of my fingers. In less than 4 months, I can write my name, walk with a walker on outings, and ditch the walker altogether when I’m at home. I’m sure it was hard for him to visualize without seeing it for himself. A month ago or so I couldn’t type with 2 hands. I made myself try, and it felt weird, really weird. I’m on the computer a lot, so I’ve made myself use 2 hands even if it slows me down. Today I’m typing nearly as fast as I did before my stroke.
I spent all day thinking about that conversation with the doctor and that look on his face while he tried to tell me that I’d never get back 100% and would be lucky if I got close. Then I thought about how the other night I was chatting online with a friend. She pointed out how fast I was typing my responses. I could barely keep up with an online conversation a couple months ago. Now you wouldn’t know the difference. The doctor seemed worried about how I can hardly write. Well it’s time to make myself write everyday too. With all due respect Doctor, you don’t know me. You have no idea who you’re talking to.
|First writing practice session of many more to come.|