I have been meaning to write a bit more here about the changes since Mondo began, but I am hesitating in another way. Afraid maybe to admit that dreams can come true? And in truth because a part of it is hard...to wonder if it is okay to admit to the Movement in the dreams. But then, that is the whole reason for taking the class, right?
Okay, so after that long and probably unnecessary premise..here it the thing. Dreams in action are awesome but dreams in action are work. The next thing I want to talk about is the Teaching.
There are a few dreams in there about Teaching, about going back to become a Doctor or maybe disseminating my collection of information. I was not terribly surprised by them showing up, more that I am surprised by my lack of movement in the direction of Teaching.
When I embarked in my profession as a Physical Therapist I immediately knew my calling. I knew that I wanted to take on the area of Neurological Rehab, the grey area of strokes and brain injury and spinal cord severing (no pun intended, believe me). I knew what I wanted but was immediately overwhelmed by the reality. Rather than sink into oblivion, or even worse, inability to help, I sought to find the right way to approach the challenge and found a brilliant mentor (albeit an asshole) that gave me the frame work to approach the treatment and the challenges with clarity and focus and some success. It was magical, the knowledge he helped unlock and the way it transformed my treatment. For many years I practiced in the field, finding great reward and always aware that each individual had a story that was written in their body which would help (or sometimes hinder) their recovery. It was always challenging and emotional work, and I am not one for the whole 'distance yourself from the patient' approach and the work took its toll.
A few years before the boys, I started to scale back my work, went part time, still working in the rehab setting but not as a team leader, rather as a sub. I found myself almost satisfied with the positions I held, but I also knew I could not do that and mother at the same time. It would be too much, I have no switch between work and home and little did I know it would be twins in the cards for us. The week I got pregnant, I resigned from my Rehab position and signed on to a home care service.
And then for two years after I was really really busy. Really busy. I kept my toe in the door with occasional patients and regular inservices but did not really return to work until last March. Since then, I have been immersed in the quagmire that is home health. It is the best and worst job I have yet to hold. I control my schedule, I have no office but the one I make, I have a distant but accessible supervisor, I have 70 pages of paperwork per patient, I have a laptop always at the ready and always at their ready and a roster of patients that usually push 70 or older and have all the concomitant issues that go along with that.
I love my patients, I love their individuality, their stories and history, their desire to stay independent and assertive and home. But, uh, home care ain't rocket science. Not at all. It is rare that my skills come to the fore. Rare that they are needed at all.
Anyway, last week one of my colleagues called with a question. Se had a CVA (stroke) patient that she was finding particularly challenging and she wanted to know if we could meet and brainstorm some treatment ideas. I love this colleague, she was the one that helped me find a place at the company, and I told her 'of course' and we met at Starbucks on a Saturday morning. Within five minutes of talking, taking in her description of the patient, her concern regarding treatment approach, I had a treatment plan formulated and we were off.
It was like slipping into a comfortable pair of scrubs. The instructions flowed easily and she was so open and receptive to the new information. After an hour we took a break and started talking about Teaching. She told me I should and I know she is right. I was surprised by the way the information has just become ingrained in how I think when it comes to patient care, how accessible it was even after years of disuse.
And it reminded me of some of the things I once thought about. Like walking into the PT department of the school quite literally down the street and offering to TA a class in Neuro. Then eventually teach the class, preparing the students for the reality of the Rehab unit, not the theory.
It is a small step, just a little morning meet up and discussion, but a glimmer of the future. A reminder that I still can walk into the school and have some chops, know I can back up the claims.
And then Monday after our meet up I picked up a home patient with a classic CVA, a perfect candidate for rehab. The reason he was not in rehab was because he is also a hospice patient so he was sent home in a bed after his stroke. He cannot do much, but he can do some. And he does not want to die lying down. And that I can help with. And so it all works in very interesting ways. Interesting is not the word but I am not sure what is.
Mondo might be.
Photo by Tim...his orange trees, he loves them