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Feeling the Speed Bumps...



The first time I really knew my emotions were completely not momentarily fried was the day my OT said "Ok Tracy this is our last day together.". She took me out into the hall where numbers had been taped at different heights and out of order. I had to walk down the hall and name the numbers without moving my head. I also had to go down straight headed and pint to the numbers she asked me to. When we were all finished she proceeded to scold me. "Tracy looks like there was a bit of cheating you were supposed to keep your head straight.". I thought I had done well but apparently not. I went on to PT and tried not to think about OT. My PT coach had by then figured out that dusk and dark give me the hardest time. So we went into an office and she closed the doors and turned off the light. I froze. I was completely blind. I tried to follow her voice but body just was not sure how to navigate. I bumped into a chair and holding on to it I finally found the wall and followed the wall to the corner. Where I felt her trying to give me stability as she perched me atop that evil balance ball. I then had to balance on that in the dark. I was overwhelmed and tears just flowed quietly. I did my best and it took only a couple of seconds before I felt I was going toward some other place that wasn't balanced. Over and over again. We did a full hour in the dark of different types of balance stances. I had cleared my tears and humbly walked myself out and over to speech therapy. My speech therapist had already turned off her lights and had her blinds down and shut (dark but some light could peek through). She closed the door and I completely absolutely lost it. M<y tears were no longer quiet and I stuttered IIIII dont dont dont know know know know why why why why IIIIIII am am am am am cry cry crying so so hard. I was a mess and just couldn't talk anymore she immediately turned on the lights and pulled up her blinds and sat down next to me and just hugged me. "Tracy what happened?". I explained to her that OT said I was done and Barbie was torturing me in the dark and i was losing my mind. I told her I wasn't even sure why I was upset over OT she never really worked with me much anyway. I know I should have spoke up sooner about my darkness issues but I didn't want the feeling of regressing to a toddler who still can't stay upright. It's humiliating. This is a great example of how therapists and doctors talk and say the things that you haven't yet. Bonnie ST decided I had enough pushing for the day and we just did something fun the rest of the hour. The next few times at therapy my PT turned off the lights but kept the door half open so I had some light flowing in and she only did a half hour of this and then we switched to full light strength stuff. The ST also turned off her lights but kept the blinds down but not closed and woud do about 30 mins that way too then would switch to light again. It took several weeks to get back together. I was depressed but I soon made myself endure. We began to push again...


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Tracy that procedure does sound like torture.  I guess it is aimed at making you safe in the dark but I haven't heard of it being done here. Ray would have bellowed angrily rather than cried I think, but I too would have cried.  I would hate that kind of treatment. Some of the things you are told to try to do in rehab do emphasize your weaknesses rather than your strengths and take you to a dark place in your mind and i cannot see that that is a good thing. But you are an overcomer. Good for you.

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It perplexed many of my therapists Sue. That when the sun goes down my deficits are 3 times worse. Because I had a stroke in my cerebellum it didn't work to balance my body. Balance happens in the cerebellum so I learned to compensate by using my eyes...that is one part of balance. So when the sun goes down I see less. In fact if you take me out to the country at night I can see only for so far and then it fades to nothing. It actually took me a long time to help them believe me. It was a new thing for them too. Weird huh? 

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