Each type of injury has its own recovery path – the type of injury, the severity, the support system and the type and skill of the medical intervention all impact the recovery process. As the injury heals, there come a point in every recovery, especially a long recovery, where the person healing is frustrated with the process. I think back to the many patients and families that I have counseled along the path of their recovery – how many family members I have had in my office crying and worried because their loved one was no longer following medical advice. The person that they are supporting just wants the process done, so they move faster than they should – walking when they shouldn’t, refusing pain meds, not asking for help.
Sooner or later, people just want to take the process over and make it happen faster, better, sooner. In healthcare, many of us call that the critical crossroads – the point in the healing process where people feel pretty good about how things are going, and they want to skip or gloss over the last part of the process. Although we can understand the frustration, the worry is that by doing that, an important part of the recovery process is missed, which can have devastating results.
A recovery process is just that – a process – and trying to force the last few miles of the event only leads to being sidelined with a sprained knee or a complete stopping of the process. Talking with others that are walking through an injury recovery such as ours is interesting and often reassuring. Although no process is the same, there are usually similarities that present themselves, and advice that can be shared.
Even though I am not doing the healing, I do have to sit on the sidelines, cheering Frank along as he runs his race. He has always made great strides through each hurdle, constantly moving forward and never wavering in his determination.
But determination can be a tricky thing – sometimes it can convince you that if you push hard enough, you can cheat the game by taking a shortcut. But as we all know, there are no shortcuts in a recovery process.
And trying to create on will get you in trouble.
Franks new tasks are harder now – attending some classes to hone detail gathering and report skills, and continuing to focus on both the physical, speech and voice part of his recovery. Each one important and essential to his recovery. It is hard sitting on the sidelines for so long – I am finding myself struggling with maintaining my focus for everyone. Tired – yes. Not sure how to make those breaks needed – finding the path for me changing and new.
Hoping that we can make it through this phase as well as we have the others.