Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Proving My Worth

Oops...I haven't blogged in over a month!! I was in the middle of drafting something a couple of weeks ago when I got a call from the girl I tutor asking for help, and then I forgot to come back and finish my thoughts.

But I love you guys, and I think of you often -- my community of people who accept me for who I am, many of whom KNOW what it's like to live with CP...and I wish that could be replicated all the time in the real world.

Sometimes it's a comment by a patient or a colleague -- "Your hips really drop when you walk" or "How can you help people do exercises when you are so inflexible yourself?" or "You need this physical therapy more than I do!" I smile and try to pretend that these words don't hurt, but the moment I arrive back home and can allow myself to feel again, I realize just how much their comments make me feel like I'm less than.

Functionally speaking, I can perform my job just as well as anybody, and it's not as though every moment is challenging. I have made so many friends at the clinic, and having CP has helped me connect with some of my patients...there's something so amazing about being able to say to somebody, "I know what you're going through. I've been there, too" -- to help them see that they aren't alone. I think most people can see that I am capable.

Sometimes it's just exhausting to feel as though I constantly have to prove myself to people, you know? And I know that this job isn't forever...it's just a stepping stone, but I wonder if I will always have to prove my worth in professional settings.

I'll write more later, but before I go, here's something that made me smile, and I thought maybe some of you guys could relate as well:

On the forms that we give patients, there's a "fall risk assessment," and it asks: "Have you fallen in the past year for any reason?" 

My initial (unvoiced!) reaction was: People can go an entire YEAR without falling?? I can hardly even go one WEEK! ;)

Until next time,
K

4 comments:

  1. Gosh, I hate that we have to deal with these types of comments. They are so depleting and insulting and degrading. I wish I could do something to take away the power of these words, but know I'm always here. I've got your back.

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  2. I'm writing something that has a scene based on my experience with comments like this. I think for me it feels like people saying "You don't try hard enough to care for your body". That stings. Just remember you never have to prove yourself to anybody. I just know you have helped many, many people! You will certainly find yourself in places where you feel you need to prove yourself but in my experience there are many more people who will love you for exactly who you are. I also don't think most people making these comments mean any harm. I'm guilty of making comments like this out of concern for others physical safety in the past off the top of my head without realizing it may have hurt their feelings. Remember you are also working in a medical field where people have gone through years of schooling to be able to know the symptoms of a condition so they are more likely to notice things and perhaps be a bit more blunt about the CP gait than an average person. About the end: That was my reaction to seeing that on my able bodied family member's forms LOL like "You people have enough balance to not fall for a whole year...dang!" I recently met another girl who works as a PT aid. May I show this post to her??

    So so so sorry I was out of touch! This time of year is crazy for me but starting this weekend things may slow down a bit so I'll email again very very soon. I promise!

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  3. Wow, your comment at the end of this post really made me laugh too. I had no clue people could go a year without fallng either. I have a mild motor disability (may or may not have been diagnosed as CP, my parents don't remember) as well as other disabilities and I'm often surprised by what non-disabled people can do. Like, I was looking over the GMFCS a while ago and saw that level 1 people, who may still be diagnosed with CP, can climb stairs without holding onto a railing. I thought railings were there for a reason so assumed everyone even without a disablity needs them.

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  4. I get the proving your worth part. My disability is totally different (hearing loss) but there are times where I wonder the same thing you do "will I always have to prove my worth in a professional setting?" I'm a first year elementary education major who wants to get my masters in special Ed. There was a point during presentations in my math for education majors class where my professor questioned my ability in front of the class after I had to ask a peer to repeat a question. I start fieldwork for some classes next semester and I'm nervous about not being thought of highly by those teachers whose classrooms I work in.

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