Rehabbing stroke survivors needs to change. Not just stroke survivors, people with any kind of brain issue. Something needs to change. I don’t know what yet but something needs to change. I’m not happy with some of the care that I received and every single person that is part of this online stroke tribe(credit for coining ‘online tribe’: Barb) that we have created is not happy with some aspect of the care that they received post-stroke. This SHOULD NOT be the case. That actually makes me kinda sick. The time that I spent in the hospital I was incredibly vulnerable and miserable and not able to speak for myself and not comprehending everything properly and I wasn’t treated right. And I wasn’t treated right in the absolutely critical 5 months following my month-long stay in the hospital. That’s not ok. I just realized the impact that I could possibly have on neurological therapy. I’m a PT and I had a devastating, horrifying, life-altering, tsunami-like thing happen to my brain. At the age of 30. I write a very popular and influential blog. I have a lot of friends who are extremely intelligent people who are dealing with this. All of these things combined well………
One thing that I know needs to change dramatically is when patients with brain injuries are allowed to sleep. A search term today was “is it good for a stroke patient to do a lot of sleeping?” The answer : YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Right now inpatient therapists are on like a 7am to 5pm schedule and traumatically brain injured people are supposed to conform to this schedule. Yeah no. It doesn’t work. People that have just been traumatized to the brain need to sleep A LOT and WHENEVER they want. You want a better recovery for your patient? Well do you? Then let her sleep. The brain heals when it sleeps. Sleeping should be the #1 priority and therapy should happen when the PATIENT is awake and ready. Sleep comes first, rehab second. I remember when I was in the hospital(for a devastating brain injury) that an OT would come into my room every morning at 7am and wake me up saying “rise and shine!” I never wanted to hurt someone so bad. If I wasn’t nearly locked-in that OT might have been physically harmed. The salaries that are given to therapists are kind of pathetic(at least in Pittsburgh) and it’s most definitely not enough for me to have, prior to this event, work late hours or overnight. So one change that NEEDS to be made is higher salaries for therapists so that they’re willing to work crazy hours to conform to the PATIENT’S sleeping schedule. These patients absolutely SHOULD NOT have to conform to the therapist schedule. It should be the other way around. People that have just had something like this happen CANNOT be expected to be on any kind of schedule.
Oh and all of this needs to happen. Some of this has nothing to do with therapy/rehab but whatever.