Embarrassment

I stumble a lot and bump into walls a lot.  I’m incredibly used to it.  My mom comes over to my apartment a lot.  I’m used to stumbling and bumping into walls in front of her.  When I socialize and hang out with people is when I’m reminded of how utterly embarrassing this is.  Now, I’m probably going to make this seem a whole hell of a lot worse than it actually is.  I do that with absolutely everything.  It’s really bad to me in my head so I make it seem really bad on my blog.  But I guess it’s not.  There’s a reason everyone tells me not to be self-conscious in front of new people and that I look great.  I really hope they’re not just blowing smoke up my ass.  The other night for Halloween my neighbors came over and I made a bunch of hot cider.  Two of these neighbors I’ve never told about the stroke and I didn’t tell Thursday night.  These are the first people who I’ve met in nearly 3 years that I didn’t immediately tell what happened to me and why my speech is a tad bit weird.  I didn’t say anything Thursday night.  I wonder what they think.

My other neighbor who is a good friend and knows about the stroke was over a little bit early.  We were talking about my going back to work and she said “Why couldn’t you be a PT?”  Uhhh.  My answer to her was about walking, that I couldn’t guard someone while teaching them to walk.  But there’s a lot more that I can’t do right now.  Doing what I did anyway.  To be an outpatient orthopedic therapist, even to diagnose something you have to do a lot of hands on stuff.  I can’t do that right now.  But I could be a neuro PT, if someone else could do the guarding while walking, I could do that, hmmmm.

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Categories: Recovery, Rehab, Stroke stuff

Tags: , , , , ,

26 replies

  1. First one to comment on your blog again. I think that’s twice now. Do I win anything? Anyway, I hope your balance gets better. Is it improving at all? My work involves a lot of group meetings, training, luncheons, and every other group get-together you can imagine. Some small groups, some large. Sometimes with people I know, often with a lot of people I don’t. So at least once a week I’m forced to come into a meeting and sit, or leave a meeting, or come to the podium, or get a plate of food or a cup of coffee and return to my place, and on and on. For the first year I was terrified of falling on my face in front of everyone. I could just imagine people running to help me up and the expressions of concern, and what if I broke something and an ambulance was called. It is the stuff of nightmares. It never happened, and as time goes on I worry about it less. It is still a possibility, though, and something like that could happen to anyone, not just us survivors. So get out there and let the chips, and dips, and anything else fall where they may.

  2. You could be an amazing neuro PT. Unlike the self-congratulatory Mr. Graves, those of us who can do, should do. I have renewed my medical registration for the first time in 10 years. I have no idea what I’m going to do with it but I just felt like it was time. Any ideas anyone? Please note that I will not consider selling prescriptions for controlled substances even though it is tempting. The Bioness H200 is very, very expensive. Expressing anger is valid for any group but doing something productive is important too. As for embarrassment, I am constantly embarrassed. By my walking, by my inability to do basic things for myself. I hate restaurants because I can’t cut my own meat. I could go on and on, but none of this is news to any of you. And embarrassment easily turns into self-hatred which I certainly have my share of.

    • I read on some blog, I forget which one, she was talking about dating and said “asking your date to cut your meat is not very attractive.” That made me laugh. Julia what would it take for you to go into neurology? For a PT, I don’t have to do anything. I can just get a job in neuro rehab. I’m assuming for a doctor that’s not the case.

      • For me to go into neurology would require at least six more years of intense training. Not possible even for a healthy 58-year-old, much less an unhealthy one.

        • Oh wow. Shit. Do you have to do more training to be a GP?

          • For radiology, I did one year of internship in internal medicine (what a GP would do) then 4 additional years in general radiology the one more year in abdominal imaging/ultrasound which was my specialty. Much of my practice was ob/gyn ultrasound which I loved. So technically I could be a GP right now as I am licensed to practice medicine and surgery in the state of New York and did a medical internship which is all the training that is strictly required, but no one in their right mind would hire me. I’m not too eager to go back to radiology although I could read cases remotely at home. Too stressful for right now. Also then I’m part of the problem again, not part of the solution. I’m thinking of studying to become a shaman if/when I get well enough. This is not a joke, so chickens beware!

            • Julia How about taking up teaching part time? There is usually a demand for someone to help with practical skills at the med colleges. (I worked as TA and Lab technologist for our faculty of medicine specializing in infectious disease and differential diagnosis with Med students, Grad students and nursing students.. I was a microbiologist )

              • Good suggestion but not for me. I’m not at that point in my recovery as I don’t have enough hand recovery to teach “practical skills” by which I’m assuming you mean lab techniques or clinical procedures like blood drawing, which are not usually taught by MDs anyway. I have zero interest in teaching anyone, and besides, the teaching of medical students is generally done by full-time faculty, not part-time. If I go back into medicine it will be to help patients, which is why I went into medicine in the first place.

                • julia, throughout my previous career teaching cardio techs to use software, I found that words, not hands, do the best teaching. if I used words precisely and carefully, the information was retained. showing someone how to do something was a waste of time. I recently had fluid drained from my knee by an PA-in-training. the orthopedic surgeon talked him through the procedure, and even when the PA made a slight mistake, the doc directed him more clearly, and it worked out well. I doubt it was the PA’s first attempt, but a continuation of his education.

  3. Based on what I have read from you Amy over the last few months, it would be so incredible to you as a PT right now. Your knowledge base and commitment to recovery is priceless. Go for it. There are lots of people out there who need you and would benefit from you as a PT. Take care and God bless. Thanks too for continuing this blog. So helpful. Bob

  4. I constantly stumble around and bump into walls too (especially when I first get up in the morning) and have bruises to prove it. My husband calls it my ‘drunken sailor walk’, lol. Not only that, I bump my head a lot getting into cars.

    You would be an excellent Neuro PT and could command a higher salary from having stroke survivor experience. If patients were given a choice of PTs, (and timing to begin physical therapy weren’t of the essence in recovery) I think you would be in high demand and have a waiting list!

    • Thanks Shelly! I hope I would be in high demand and have a waiting list and that people are willing to pay out-of-pocket to come see me so I don’t have to deal with stupid insurance companies.

  5. Yep you would make an excellent PT and should look into it. You could always play the EOE card- female, disabled plus experienced and more than just book learning.

  6. When I saw you walking you looked perfectly normal. Stop complaining about your voice it sounds just fine. You kind of remind me of myself when I would show off some of the woodworking I used to do and I would point out the flaws I fixed, no one would ever have seen them unless I pointed them out. I know you’re a perfectionist but don’t beat yourself up over it.

  7. Amy I think the embarrassment is just something that is part of the deal and you just have to embrace it. My classmates were giving me funny looks from time to time at first. I am usually pretty articulate but get me exhausted and I can’t talk. Not good to do during classes where you have been talking about strokes,, I scared them. Mainly they are getting used to me and me to them and I am not so embarrassed, Must admit the teacher is a bit of a different matter in my mind. He is the nicest guy but still is the guy that will eventually send me on job placements and write recommendation letters so I don’t want to come across as more likely to need help at a workplace that give help.

    About you going back to PT.. The re- employment services I had to work with were really a big help and I recommend getting some consultation with that kind of service if you can, Really was a big help and I worked through a lot.
    Volunteering let me work up some stamina and a whole lot of confidence so that was a good idea too.

  8. One final note: maybe it’s because I live in Gloucester and love fish, but I can always find something i want on the menu I can eat without cutting w a knife. Even having someone OFFER to cut something for me irritates me. It’s like when Tom insists on zipping up a coat when I’ll be fine with just the snaps done. I stamp my foot and tell him I’m NOT 5 years old – although I’m acting 2.

  9. Is there a job as a therapy director out there? Or does that honor go to the physiatrists? You would be an amazing therapy director! Or…shoot…go back to med school! Zack is studying to finish up his degree right now…he’s still pretty bad off…if he can do the little bit that he is doing, you can, too, I bet!

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