What Will You Do?
What will you do if something happens to you? What if you have a catastrophic stroke? What if it is your parent in ICU barely hanging on? What if your child is born with spastic CP? What if your brother is involved in a terrible accident? There are endless possibilities. What if your life changed forever? Do you ever think about it? I do. My big fear is a stroke and loss of independence. I practice using my left arm in case I lose use of my right one. I know, only a PT would think of that.
No one knows when something will happen. These sorts of tragedies are almost random as they can't be predicted. The elderly don't plan to fall and break a hip. No one schedules a car wreck. Parents don't expect to outlive their children. These things happen. In what can seem like a blink of an eye your life can change forever. I like my lifestyle. I've worked hard to get here. If things changed I would be angry. I don't want to give up my home. I don't want to become the primary caregiver for a family member. Yet it happens all the time. Most of our patients find themselves in this exact predicament.
As therapists we have one advantage. We are familiar with the medical world. We understand the terminology. We've been exposed to the process. I don't know if this really helps. I've never had to deal with it. Sometime in PT school I realized this could happen to me. It's been in the back of my mind ever since. I have thought about what I'll do if I get a phone call telling me someone close to me has been injured. I am amazed how some people can rise to the challenge. Some of the nicest patients I've worked with have been significantly involved. I've seen family members drop everything to step in and care for a loved one. I don't know how they do it.
For me, the worst part will be the loss of control and the suddenness. I tell myself I'll be prepared. I tell myself I'll see forward into the future. I hope I'll be a good patient. Somehow I doubt that. I'll be the one telling the therapist she isn't doing it correctly. I'll be debating the physicians about alternative treatments. Some people would call that a personality disorder. Others would compliment me on how well I'm handling things. I don't know what will happen in the future. I concentrate on today. I just wonder if anyone else thinks the same way.