As of last Thursday, and after two rounds of treatment, I’m officially finished my neuro day-hospital program.
It feels super good. Time to reflect!
Given my tendency to worry that I’ve plateaued or am plateauing in my recovery, I’ve found it important, especially over the past month or so, to keep reminding myself that I’ve made a ton of tangible progress. True, I’m no longer improving as rapidly as I once was, and sure, I had a little hiccup right at the end at this block of treatment, but that doesn’t mean that I won’t continue to get better; it just means that I have to be patient with both myself and “the process” (#necessaryscarequotes).
If I think about where I was when I walked through the doors of the rehabilitation hospital for the first time, I’m able to see how stark the differences are in my physical, cognitive, and emotional states of being now as compared to then. I haven’t achieved all of my goals, but the timelines that I’d arbitrarily set for some of them—like returning to work—weren’t realistic to begin with, and recent conversations with members of my treatment team have let me settle into the idea that I can have a productive and meaningful life without paid employment (for now, anyways). In fact, being OK with this concept has allowed my life to become more productive and meaningful. Until, oh, Christmastime, I was stuck in a “I can’t make any long-term commitments taking place during regular business hours because I’ll probably start working next week/next month/in a few months” mindset, despite my physiatrist encouraging me to consider work a goal for the very long term. As a result, I wasn’t accepting my current limitations, nor was I making an effort to fill my time with endeavours that are personally fulfilling.
Though I’m done at neuro rehab in a sense, I’m also kind of not. Not done at neuro rehab, that is. Next Wednesday, I’ll start a brain-injury group at the rehabilitation hospital, facilitated by the physiotherapist and the social worker that I saw during the program, and I have a telerehab group that will continue (via teleconference) until the summer. Beginning this Friday, an ISW will come to my home weekly for a couple of hours to help me make progress toward achieving a few of my goals. I’m sure that I wouldn’t feel so good about finishing day hospital if “graduating” meant uncertainty in terms of what kind of ongoing assistance I’d have access to since, as I’m more and more willing to admit, I’m not magically “better,” and I likely won’t be anytime soon. What I am, however, is medically well supported, grateful for the excellent care that I received at neuro day hospital, and so proud of the work that I’ve done to get where I am, and what I have is a plan in place to continue to regain my independence.