I Had PT This Morning
Today was my weekly visit to my physical therapist. I’m lucky because my PT is amazing and has gone above and beyond for me. He is also full of positive energy and definitely a glass half full kind of guy
Training Myself To Think Positive
Throughout this whole process, I have worked hard on improving myself. Mentally, spiritually, physically. Just trying to be a better person all the way around. Changing thought patterns is a hard thing to do but I’m dedicated to working on it.
What I Can Do Should Be The Focus, Not What I Can’t
I, of course, don’t mean that you should continue to improve your tolerance and work on the next steps in your recovery. Even if they are hard exercises the only way to get better is to push through it until your tolerance improves.
What I Can Do Should Be The Focus
If we think about our recovery as a journey or a race. It is easy to get caught up in the looking forward to the future. Wanting to get better, which can sometimes cause us to sit and count all the things we can’t do.
If we look back at the very beginning, where we started, we see all we can now do. All the progress we have made. Looking back at how far we have come is a healthy way to boost our confidence and keep us mentally ready to puh on.
The Inspiration For This Post
The reason I’m writing about this is that when I was in PT I was talking to my therapist about my visit to the eye doctor. How I was disappointed that all he did was give me more eye exercises. Then when I came home and tried them, they were so hard they made me sick to my stomach.
The PT and all the doctors who see me for the TBI program all agree that my vision improving is going to really help me to move forward with being able to balance and walk on my own. Since I have been hearing this said so much I was so anxious to get into that eye doctor and find out what he could do to help me. I felt like my eyes getting fixed was a piece of the puzzle that is still totally out of place.
Honestly, after all these doctor visits I should have known that there are no magic wands or pretty colored pills I could take that would automatically restore my vision. It had crossed my mind that maybe glasses would help? I just really went in there with a positive attitude that he was going to have good news and something he could do to help.
He commented on how much better I looked than last time he saw me. My vision only improved a tiny bit. That tiny bit is enough to give him hope that my normal vision may still return. The only thing he could tell me to do though was more eye exercises. As I mentioned before they caused my eyes to strain so much and me to see double. I had to stop because it made me throw up ( sorry probably too much information).
I was just so darn disappointed that I went into my PT lesson today telling my therapist about my eye doctor appointment and how disappointed I was. He listened and was obviously also disappointed that there wasn’t more they could do, so I could start progressing more with balance and walking.
Then He Did Exactly What I Should Have Done, But Did Not Do
What’s that? He flipped his attitude around immediately. So what, there are things I need to improve on, yea they are kind of a lot. Yes, it is frustrating trying so hard and not getting the results I want fast enough… but that is just a small part of all of this that I’m going through.
Instead of looking ahead at the end of the race like it is just too far away and there are too many obstacles throughout. I need to look back at where I came from. From the day of the accident until now. All the things that I could not do, but now can comfortably.
In The Beginning, Everything Seemed Impossible
Looking back on my earliest PT exercises. The simplest things I started with that I could not do. My body and brain just didn’t have the tolerance for them. With the encouragement of everyone at PT, family, and friends even when it was tough I never stopped pushing myself.
Recovering from a brain injury is all about gaining tolerance. Tolerance is something that may vary for you on any given day due to your symptoms. That is okay though, you just do the best you can. Maybe do it for a lesser time or take more breaks in between. One day all of these things will also seem like they are miles behind you.
How many times have you been given a new task and said there is no way I can handle this? Then within weeks you surprise yourself and can do it after all. Everything is hard in the beginning, the harder you work the easier it gets.
The first time I went to PT, just a few weeks after my accident, I practically had to be carried through the door. I had to stay in the darkest room because of the light. Not to mention spend most of my session laying down because I was too dizzy to sit up. I didn’t go out of my house except for doctors appointments, I need my mom’s help to shower, I couldn’t think straight enough to keep track of my own medication.
I have come SO far!!! My PT describes healing from brain injury like peeling away the layers of an onion. All the layers are symptoms and problems we have that we gain tolerance for and then pull away for good. It is a slow process that is for sure. Just like if you were messing with an onion, there will probably be tears involved. That’s okay, it’s part of the process. The only thing that is not part of the process is giving up.
I Was Able To Turn My Attitude Around
After he said that to me I was able to turn my attitude completely around(for the better of course). Things like doctor appointments, having a fall or feeling like you can’t get tolerance for certain things will happen. It is all part of the experience. Obviously, it is an experience that all of us could have done without. It is the fact of our lives now though, so we have to work through it.
The best way to do that is most definitely not allowing myself to focus on how far I still have to go to complete this “race” of TBI recovery. The best way to do that is by staying positive. Doing your best to continue to improve and most importantly, don’t obsess over your progress to total rehabilitation way down the road.
Focus on, celebrate and be grateful for how far you have come! I know this time last year I did not think I would have progressed to where I’m today. It really is amazing.
I’m still working hard on my recovery. Positive things are what I’m going to focus on though. Not the things that I still need to get. Focusing on what you can’t do is overwhelming. Focusing on your accomplishments is much healthier, and more encouraging.
My Advice To You
Even if you are not a TBI Patient. This can apply to anyone going through a rough patch in life. Look back at how far you have come, celebrate and be proud. Continue to do your best to move forward. Your personal best is all anyone can do.
So on those days where everything sucks. It seems like nothing is going right and that you are never going to get where you need to be in whatever aspect of your life you are working on.
Stop the race for a moment, take a deep breath and take time to think of how far you have come. It is good to focus on things to help you heal or improve, but you should not focus on them in a negative “I will never be able to do this sort of way”. Anytime you feel discouraged you should be proud of how far you have come.
Stop fixating on what you can’t do. You will get it eventually! I bet you never thought you’d get this far, and you did! So don’t stop believing! Stop staring into the darkness at how far you still have to go.
Stay on the bright side. Be grateful for your progress. Be proud of how far you have come!
Sharing This With You
I needed a reminder today to get my head back on straight. My thoughts need to be flipped around to look on the bright side of things, instead of the disappointing side. Don’t forget to remember how far you have come! It will make all the difference in your attitude and outlook!
I needed that pep talk today. The best way to reinforce it for me would be to pass it on to someone else. I hope that whoever reads this can find a way to apply it in their lives, TBI patient or not.
Life is always better when the glass is half full!