When I was in Rehab at the U, my Occupational Therapist (OT) was Rachel. I felt like she just sort of "got" me. I knew she was serious and would really push me but she had a certain softness about her and I felt that she actually cared about me.
I saw Rachel twice a day and our session every morning was working on activities of daily living (ADL's). This meant she was one of the first faces I saw every morning and it was way better than my alarm buzzer. We worked on "bridging" to get my pants on and sitting up to put on my shirt. This was quite funny because I would often just fall over from a sitting position, and just be lying on my bed again. When I finally got the trunk control to be able to sit up, she helped me learn to shower on a chair using the hand held nozzle. I remember the first time I tried this solo, I accidentally turned the nozzle and squirted her. She was dripping wet. As bad as I felt, I still laugh about that, even now.
Once, I was doing the arm bike and it faced a boring old wall. So she sat by me and read me fun/trashy magazines (People and US Weekly) the whole time.
Another time when I just couldn't take another minute of therapy, she wheeled me outside and told me stories about a recent vacation. One story in particular should NEVER be repeated but I still burst right out laughing when something reminds me of it.
She was always with us on out "shopping" trips and she was a bad influence on me! She had cute taste and together we would pick out too much.
She did things like having me scrap book or paint my nails (comical) and other things that didn't seem so much like therapy. At a time when my whole identity was "patient" she seemed to really see ME. I still love her for that.
When I was in the ICU the last time, she was one of the 3 therapists who came to see me and brought with them smiles and happiness to the boring and beepy ICU.
A while after I had left the hospital, she was mistakenly told that I had died. She was upset and crying until the mistake was corrected. It may sound terrible, but this made me feel really good. I never want anyone to be sad! But it illustrates her sweetness and how close we had become.
This post makes her look nearly perfect, and from what I have seen, she is. Short of a tri state killing spree, she can do no wrong in my eyes. She is one of the wonderful people who helped make a sad, scary, and hard time, a little less so.