The New Years Ball has dropped on 42d Street in New York and most of the College Bowl games have now passed. Respectfully, now it is time to get back to YOUR stroke improvement business. With the New Year, many of our therapy money tranches have been refreshed so now is the time to reconsider your situation, and possibly how to improve it with additional therapy.
Look in the Mirror
Firstly, before making any phone calls – look in the mirror! Ask yourself, do I seriously want to make some gains or am I satisfied with my situation for the time being? Do not ask your spouse, partner, friends, or your children. For the most part they will all encourage you. But you are the one who must do the work, and in many cases suffer the pain inherent in therapy. Yes, pain, because I have learned from experience that unless I am working hard, and in many cases having pain, the gains are minimal, if at all. I know it sounds sadistic, but it is a fact.
Alternatively, you may be in a time in your life where you are not particularly interested in therapy. Then I suggest not to waste your therapy dollars and reconsider in 3 or 4 months or whenever. If you are not up to it, and I have been in this situation too, put it to the side for reconsideration at another time when you can put your head aggressively into it.
YES, to More Therapy – A Few Suggestions for Success
Now assuming your answer is YES to therapy, then ask yourself – what are your priorities regarding improvements. What is your target and what is a reasonable expectation? Unfulfilled moon shots can lead to disappointment, and possible depression, so I recommend being conservative yet being aggressive. You want to put yourself in a position for success. Our Life Coaching for Stroke Survivors can help in this regard.
Next, assuming you are ready to go – find an appropriate therapist. You will want a therapist with serious neuro experience and training. By that I mean, a therapist with more than a neuro course and a few patients. You want someone who considers neuro one of their specialties. I must caution that they are not always easy to find in some geographies. I also like to look at the schools they attended, friend recommendations, and any online reviews that might be available.
Let me tell you a short story – a few years ago I had injured my arm and I went to an orthopedic surgeon who prescribed occupational therapy to avoid surgery. His assistant came into the examine room where I was sitting, and she gave me a sheet of paper with the names and contact information of about twenty therapists. I looked at it and said, “what am I supposed to do with this? Please ask the surgeon to return to the room to answer a question. He returned a few minutes later and I said, “I see I have your list of therapists – Who would you send your wife to?” Smiling, he said nothing but pointed to 2 therapists on the list. I went to one of them and was pleased with the result.
That said, ou will want to work with one therapist during your time in therapy, not a team. In this approach, the therapist becomes more intimately familiar with you, the patient, your goals, and situation. This facilitates a smoother and constructive set of sessions, and likely more gains in less time. If the therapist has a vacation or workshop planned during the time you are working together, I suggest likewise taking that time off rather than settling for a substitute(s) who does not know you.
In the alternative – the team approach, the therapy office is structured using a team whereby two or three therapists rotate seeing you based on their availability and your therapy schedule. The problem with a team approach is that each therapist cannot know each patient’s situation, particularly the nuances. So, when you come in, they stick you on a machine while they review the patient notes. This process burns valuable therapy time while accomplishing little for the patient.
These are some of the more important considerations to be considered, among others, as you contemplate additional therapy.
Can You Do This Without Help?
Remembering back many years ago after I had my stroke, and when insurance was much more generous with therapy, my therapists who I saw daily, were my coaches. Today, with therapy much more limited, that is not the case which is why we offer Our Life Coaching for Stroke Survivors. I know from my personal experience that I could not have achieved the recovery I did without help – be it morale support or finding the correct resources, or just that jolt to keep me going. We can assist you as you successfully progress on YOUR stroke recovery journey.
Please let me remind you that we are Stroke Survivor Volunteers for Stroke Recovery Foundation, Inc. We are neither physician, doctors, therapists or medical professionals of any kind and we make NO representations of any kind. This post is based on our experiences, and those of our clients. We make no guarantees of any kind that our opinions will work for the individual survivor.
Contact — For more information regarding our Life Coaching for Stroke Survivors please contact us at Bobm@StrokeRF.org
Bob Mandell – Founder