I work remotely in the compliance department of my physical therapy company. I perform chart reviews to make sure they are compliant. Fun job. Yesterday, I had a meeting in the corporate office with an external compliance consultant to explain my role in the company and what I do.
I was actually kind of excited to get out of the house and go see some co-workers. It ended up being rather depressing for me. Not because of the meeting with the consultant lady, she was lovely. But because of me.
No one knew who I was at this company that I’ve had over a decade of involvement with because well, I’m never there. During the meeting, I explained that I had a stroke 8 years ago and my life and ability to function as a practicing PT was demolished.
As with every encounter I ever have in my life, I felt awkward. On the outside, it looks as though there is nothing wrong with me. But all through the meeting, I was aware of and could feel my body tremoring internally. This is pretty much a constant in my life, I always feel myself shaking on the inside but just don’t notice it as much when I’m at home sitting on the couch. It wouldn’t be noticed by anyone else. I can’t write so I couldn’t take notes, and I got tripped up on a few words and feel like I came across as rather dumb at times. After, when I got back home I was utterly exhausted and had to lie down for a couple hours.
I really wish there was some kind of virtual reality where someone could experience living in this body for even a few minutes that I live in every second of my life. Then all of the insensitivity, even from people quite close to me, would stop. Probably not, but maybe.