Six weeks after my stroke at our third appointment you told me, "I haven't seen anything that helps stroke patients. You're pretty much going to have the functionality you have now. You need to learn to adapt."
At the time, my left hand curled into a useless fist. I could not even twitch a finger.
At our next appointment, I told you I was transferring to another occupational therapist. What I didn't tell you was that I had gone home sobbing and spent the next two days in bed, paralyzed from despair. Your words haunted me for months.
Fortunately, a chorus of voices rose around me, saying you were wrong.
Last Sunday I made dinner for 12 people. I held a grater as I skimmed lemons across it to make a zest; I minced garlic with a two-handed Ulu blade; I held tablespoons flat and steady as I filled them with spices and oil; I poured marinade into a bag of chicken pieces and sealed the Ziplock with both hands; I husked corn.
Dear Ana, there is something that helps stroke patients: Hope.
In future, if you can't give it to your patients, please don't take it away.