There Do Not Have to Be Plateaus
I recently had the pleasure to meet a fellow stroke survivor, William. A successful well-spoken gentleman with a career as an engineer, he was nice enough to come over to Naples from the East Coast of Florida to meet, and discuss, how we can make a difference. At lunch, he said to me “there is no such thing as reaching a plateau in recovery, but I hear about it all of the time”. And may I compliment William on his remarkable recovery, so he too has credibility in this area.
With that introduction, this is the second post in our efforts to get survivors going in their recoveries after the stringent lock downs we have experienced these past few months. And let me add – this post is not just stroke recovery that I am talking about, it is all recoveries, though my experience has been with stroke, as has William’s.
The number one question is how to manage your therapy so that you do not plateau – that is the magic! And the subject of this critical post. I said to William – “From my experience there are a few little-known bits that survivors and their caregiver partners have to follow to avoid the plateau”.
The Bag of Tricks Theory
I believe that the most important is my “Bag of Tricks Theory” because that goes to your entire recovery structure. It goes like this – every therapist has their own bag of tricks – their own techniques developed from their education, their experience, curiosity, and their patient base. Understand, PT is a Science, but it is also an Art. And how it is practiced is different for each therapist with each patient though there are clearly certain fundamentals which are common.
If you only work with one PT for example, during your recovery, you are likely to plateau because in most cases you will empty that therapist’s bag of tricks, and that is all there is. And that would be your mistake. You may believe you have plateaued, and the Dr. may tell you that you have plateaued, and certainly the insurance company will agree so that they can terminate payments. But that does not mean you really have plateaued – you have just plateaued with that therapist.
Keep Working With New Therapists
To avoid this occurring it is necessary to start working with a second, and a third, and perhaps more therapists to get the benefits of each of their bags of tricks. And you will find if you are working with the right therapists that each will have one or several new ideas to pursue – therefore no plateau.
Now I must admit that this is not easy. And I also must admit that during my many years of going through recovery I did not realize exactly what I was doing. But thinking about my situation as I wrote my book, Stroke Victor, How to Go from Stroke Victim to Stroke Victor (available on Amazon Prime), I saw a way to explain my process and then from there create my theory.
I understand that staying with the same person is easiest, and if the chemistry is good – most comfortable. And at several times during my recovery I too have been guilty of staying too long. But recovery is not about ease and comfort – it is about progress. It takes a combination of your true determination, discipline, and your curiosity. It also takes your ability to self- advocate (or your caregiver’s), your insurance, and perhaps your wallet.
In our next post, we will explore other theories we have developed to beat the dreaded plateau to maximize your recovery. Remember, you have to want to do it because it is not a “walk in the park”.
Stroke Recovery Foundation provides personal coaching to help survivors maximize their recoveries. If you are interested in maximizing your recovery, please contact us at info@StrokeRf.org.
Best of Luck, Stay Safe and Healthy!
Stroke Recovery Foundation Coaching Team