Thanking someone for something can be in a form of verbal expression, a gift or public acknowledgement. Going out of your way to do something for another person out of the goodness of your heart shouldn’t have the requirement of automatically doing something in return. There shouldn’t be an expectation of receiving something. You do it for that person to help them. It is polite to acknowledge that act but not required. Many people in this world go into fields that are filled with kind-hearted acts of service. Occupations like nursing, therapy, firefighting, police and so on. Many get paid, but yet go out of their way to ensure that the people that they encounter are safe, feel comfort and have kindness spread.
When you have a life altering experience, how do you thank these individuals? The therapists that listened to you day in and day out. Worked with you to make sure that you would have the functional movement for your wedding and to be able to get back to what normal would look like for you at home. The paramedics who let you choose to radio station on your fearful ride to London, the ride that would determine what would be your ultimate diagnosis. The small acts of kindness, that to them, include their job, but to you, laying on the stretcher staring into the abyss of what was an unknown future, this melted your heart and made you feel comforted.
While in therapy the acts of compassion that the team assigned to me displayed were insurmountable. I was overwhelmed and beyond grateful for their outward bounds of warmth. When I initially entered into the days that led to regaining my body back, I was unsure and untrusting of the process that was ahead. I didn’t know what was going to happen and there was a lack of control on my part on what I could bring to the table. I had never encountered this type of situation before, now I am not sure I would have signed up to lose control and function on half of my body either. When introduced to my therapists and my program, I was scared but knew that I needed this to work. It was my only option. Therapy can mean many different things to different people. From my experience therapy can help you with your mental and physical wellbeing. Before May and everything that happened, I had always imagined therapy being an academic research-based field. Something where an individual basically studies you and your feelings around an event that happened, helping you and your mindset. That was mental health portion. Since May, I have been introduced to the physical side of therapy.
I was introduced to the full fledge of services on my second day in the hospital at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance. Eating was hard when your mouth was seized shut and your face was drooping. It was there I met with Speech Language Pathologists. Then came Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy. A few weeks later I was introduced Recreational Therapy. This rounded out the whole body of services to get you back up and running (figuratively speaking). Every therapist was a therapist. They would listen wholeheartedly to everything that I would say, some days just pouring my heart out because I could not control my feelings. Each person had an expertise and would work together to ensure that I would become a whole person again, no matter what.
Physical therapy would be where I would push myself. Every session I would ensure that I would challenge the previous goal met. Every day she would motivate me to beat my last time on the exercise bike or to make it another round on the floor. Social Work. She would come in every day to make sure I was okay. A check in to see what sessions I had, what progress I had made and if I just needed an ear. Meeting her for the first time she cried with me, she laughed with me through the most embarrassing of things. She made me feel human again. My Speech Therapists would talk with me. About the wedding. About my business. About Ace. There was always a lot of talks about Ace. I could eat real food again. They taught me to control my facial droop and breathing techniques. Talking with them made it okay to hear my voice again.
It is true what they say, people come into your life for a reason. They make impressions on your heart. I know that I will never forget everything that my family, friends and therapists have done for me. After recently coming visiting the rehab wing at the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance, it was emotionally overwhelming. Walking up to the hospital I thought that I wouldn’t have the emotional reaction that I did. I thought that I could hold it together. Almost instantly after pushing the button in the elevator and riding up in the silver encased walls the lump in my throat appeared. As soon as the doors cascaded back and the tables with the puzzles appeared the puddles in my eyes did too. We walked to the front desk to see everyone. It was surreal. It felt so nice to see everyone in a semi-normal capacity. I feel that I have been changed forever by what happened. A new perspective. A change for the better. I still have my setbacks but so does everyone.
I could only manage to talk for a few moments before breaking down. Revisiting my old home, as I would call it was something that I needed to do. I had wanted to do it for so long but mustering up the courage to walk in and on that floor took a long time. Each person who goes into that line of work has a special heart. They touch many people, not just the patients that they care for but the families that are involved. I know that I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the team of therapists assigned to my case. I know that I wasn’t the easiest patient at times but they gave me compassion and kindness during one of the most devasting times of my life. From the bottom of my heart, I will be forever grateful.