Don’t Hate the Player

It’s 2:17 AM.  I’ve been up over an hour already.  Today (tomorrow??) is already shaping up to be a not super awesome day, and yesterday (today??) sucked, so that is saying something.  While the traffic gods did not conspire against us in the race to my son’s 7:30 AM occupational therapy appointment, the rest of the universe was surely having a laugh at my expense.  I replaced the battery on our bathroom scale and gained 6 pounds.  When you were a fat kid and young adult, and fight excess weight every single second of adulthood, the LCD readout on that scale matters more than it should.  I’ll allow I probably didn’t actually gain 6 pounds, but I can’t reprogram the scale, so my broken mind feels heavier and less fabulous.  This is how the mind of a formerly fat girl works.  Or maybe it’s just the mind of this formerly fat girl.  I got to work 1-1/2 hours late because of said OT appointment, only to be mauled by the migraine headache monster upon my return to work.  I want to kiss the chemist whose scientific mind created Rizatriptan.  Meds are a hell of a lot better way than pleading in the dark, writhing and howling in blinding pain, to manage one’s head exploding.  Chemistry has decreased a day of insufferable agony down to about two hours of “I can probably stick it out” pain followed by the weirdest kind of hangover.  It is 100% preferable to life before my prescription, but I end up being a complete zombie afterward. Was I whining?

I’ve been a speech-language pathologist for 24 years.  To my knowledge, never once, has a parent hated coming to me for therapy.  My son has had two occupational therapy sessions since his diagnosis day, and I hate OT.  Hate.  OT.  Do you know OT’s purpose?  It’s to assist children with their occupation, their ADLs, or activities of daily living.  A chlid’s occupation should be BEING A KID, that’s how 11-year-olds should bide their time, by being silly, goofy kids who enjoy reading, playing foursquare and farting (just my kids?).  Nope.  No more.  My child’s occupation, how his time is now occupied, is measured in functional goals like using a key or opening a Diet Coke.  Turns out my son is not very good at his occupation.  My eyes stung, STUNG, as I fought to hold back tears observing his session yesterday.  He has to work so, so hard to complete, heck, even to attempt tasks that come so easily to most children.  We knew from an early age that he wasn’t physically gifted or athletic, but MD has taken away the hope that he’ll grow of it.  Now when I see him struggle to open a bottle or play a certain chord on the piano, I think, “well today is the easiest that’s ever going to be.”  My heart swelled with pride as he fought through these stupid exercises.  He counted them down aloud, and they were HARD for him, yet he never admitted frustration or difficulty and kept pushing through.  Your kid could’ve done in 4 minutes what took mine 45, but he pushed, and I saw tenacity in him, maybe for the first time.

I like his therapist, but I hate therapy.  You know, don’t hate the player, hate the game and all that.   I wonder how many parents left a speech therapy session or IEP meeting with me hating that their kid had to play my game.  I was so naive.

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Hate the Player

  1. Hi Wendy. I binged on your blog yesterday afternoon and today– read every post. As a fellow speechie it was your latest post that I can’t seem to get out of my head. Thank you for reminding me that every patient has a loved one who remembers them before and wishes they never knew after. Thank you for sharing your story.

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