Below is another part of My AVM Story: the recounting of the discovery, removal, rehabilitation, and survival of an arteriovenus malformation. To read from the beginning of the story, click here.
The Ugly Side of Therapy (Physical)
As I’m sure you might guess, therapy is hard work, and it is not always fun or pretty. There were some very frustrating and demeaning times, demeaning in my interpretation of the activity or my inability to finish a task, not as in “the therapists were demeaning.”
****Warning the following might be too much information for some folks. Feel free to skip to the following asterisks.****
Do you want to know what high levels of narcotic pain medication plus coma inducing drugs plus high levels of anti-seizure meds do to you?
They plug. you. up.
They don’t mess around.
I have never been constipated in my life, but my first few days or maybe a week at Mary Free Bed (MFB) were down right miserable because I couldn’t poop. It’s the most terrible feeling in the world. I’m pretty sure it was worse than the brain surgery.
Ask Dan. It was terrible.
I had to leave therapy sessions because I was in so much pain, and I was positive I would go this time…
No such luck…
It was awful, and it took a while for my system to get back to normal.
I did everything to try to make things work smoothly. You name it. I tried it.
- Natural laxatives
- Un-natural laxatives
- Prune juice
- Copious amounts of water
- Orange Juice
- Apple Juice
- Milk of magnesium
All with no effect.
You don’t want to know what finally worked, but let me just say it wasn’t natural. It wasn’t natural at all. A body should never have to go through that. 🙂
Summary: Too many drugs in your system will mess you up!
****End of TMI Story****
The Ugly Side of Therapy (Emotional)
On to other things that were ugly…
Speech therapy was brutal. If I’m being truthful though, it was mostly damaging to my pride. I had an extremely difficult time being told I was not functioning at full capacity, that I was “slow.”
“Slow” has never described me in my life! I am the quick learner! Learning a new skill, system or even an instrument is something I’ve always been able to do quickly. I am not slow!
I was boiling inside each time we’d play a card game, and they’d tell me that my response time was not in the normal range. Excuses abounded as to why I didn’t do too well:
- I’m not a “game player.”
- Game are not my strong suit.
- Simple, I don’t like games.
- This game is not one I know good enough to do well. Etcetera, etcetera…
I didn’t fully believe the therapists or Dan until a month later when I stopped taking the anti-seizure medication. The best way I can describe it is a fog was lifted. Everything was clearer, sharper. I could think like lightning, making decisions at the drop of a hat. I even thought that I could see better.
It’s crazy how much I couldn’t see outside my current circumstances. I just thought the therapists didn’t know me well enough. They just didn’t know how I was when really I was the one who couldn’t see things clearly.
On the flip side, I loved seeing how quickly the facial exercises strengthened my face and returned it to normal. I guess speech therapy was good for something.
Next: My AVM Story – Part 35