Care Conference: Making Plans, Taking Names, Giving Myself Gold Stars

Last Thursday, my husband and I gathered with all of the specialists that I’ve been seeing at my neuro day-hospital program to discuss my progress, make a plan for the rest of my time in treatment, and set a tentative discharge date.

Each member of my team had been careful to reassure me in advance that this meeting, officially called a care conference, was “nothing to worry about.” I could bring any family members and friends I wanted present; I wouldn’t be thrown any curveballs, in terms of the information shared; it would be an opportunity to learn and ask questions.

Being me, I was crippled with anxiety until it was over. What if I was told that I wasn’t excelling at rehab? (Apparently collecting gold stars isn’t the point of this process, but still.) What if my health-care providers yelled at me? (I should probably make clear that they never have in the past.) What if they kicked me out of the program because … they just felt like it? (Keep in mind that these are some of the nicest, most professional, most competent people on the planet.)

Welcome to my brain.

In case you couldn’t see this coming, the meeting went really well—in other words, much to my surprise, there were no horrible surprises. In turn, the health-care professionals in attendance summarized what we’ve done together up to now (mostly assessments), made observations about my remaining issues, and gave me healthy doses of one of my favourite things: praise (I’m only human). Taking into account what I need to accomplish, they set my discharge for July 27; however, I was informed that there’s some flexibility around that date, and also that I can return for a second block of therapy when it’s time to go back to work so that they can help me with that transition.* The conference lasted around thirty minutes, and besides the normal anxiety that comes with waiting for something good to turn bad—again, welcome to my brain—it was a pretty positive experience.

While debriefing, my husband and I reflected on how grateful we both are for the level of support that I’m currently receiving. My team at the hospital is caring, observant, collaborative, encouraging, and all the other adjectives that you’d want embodied by medical professionals helping you at a rehab facility. Though I still have a long way to go, I’ve already noticed major differences in myself and in my level of functioning since starting the program, and it’s only been a few weeks.

I can only assume that by July 27, I’ll have been kicked out of rehab for being too good at it or because they’ve run out of gold stars. Or maybe they’ll create a grading system in order to give me an A+++.

A woman can dream.

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I decided to award myself three gold stars for getting through a stressful meeting.

 


*I suspect that this was their way of telling me that I won’t be ready to go back to work at the end of July, when I’m done the first phase of my treatment. I continue to annoyingly ask at almost every rehab appointment when I can return to the working world; the answer is consistently that doing so is a “long-term goal.” Blergh.

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