I have had an eye opening experience that I’d like to share with you. I read an article a few months ago about a young physician who had a stroke and wrote a book about the whole experience. She shared the experiences she went through on her road to recovery.
Last week my friend and fellow caregiver loaned me the actual book right after a stroke survivor patient hired me to work with her and her elderly mom. I was so impressed with Dr. Jill’s ability to look at herself clinically while her brain was being flooded with blood! She remembers so many details right down to noticing she couldn’t figure out how to use the phone to dial 911! What resonated particularly with me as a caregiver was her annoyance with the common complaint that most practitioners who are charged with helping stroke patients in their recovery just assume how long it will take them to heal.
Worse still for these stroke patients, when they don’t meet the therapist or doctors criteria of what they should be able to do at certain time, it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost! But some care givers can make it seem that way. It took her eight years to come back to her old self. Doctor Jill gave one particularly important piece of advice. She said to only hire people who are positive and helpful, other grumpy negative people are to be avoided!
I was grateful to read this because I am convinced my patient wants to feel better and is willing to put forth the effort to do so; I’m going to match that effort. And when my patient becomes frustrated, I will remind her that everyone heals in their own time. I am going to keep you posted on her results!