I looked up into chocolate eyes. Like mine. But much darker. A face soft, smooth, rounded. Shortish hair curled in disarray. She spoke. “Hi. Are you Lyle?”
She said, “My name is Monick. I am assigned as your Occupational Therapist. Do you know what Occupational Therapy entails?”
“The official party line is that Occupational Therapists help disabled people get healthier and lead more productive lives through the therapuetic use of everyday activites. We help you regain the skills you need to live and work using tools, devices, and exercises to help develop and support you. For example, we might design and build a brace for a patient’s wrist so they can write. Do you understand?”
“You’ll start tomorrow at ten. And, you’ll be attending sessions three days a week, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. The porter will bring you down in your wheelchair. And, take you back when you are finished. I look forward to helping you. Please think about your goals for OT. Do you have any questions.”
“No.” She disappeared toward the nursing station.
What did I want out of therapy? I wasn’t sure. I knew I wanted to get out of hospital as soon as possible. I am going to have to really work at this if I am to escape. My rehabilitation treatement plan and schedule looked full and demanding.
Monick was the only one of my rehabilitation team who bothered to seek me out at my unit. The other three therapists waited for me to show up at their ‘office’. I was to come to learn that each therapy, Occupational Therapy (OT), Physiotherapy (PT), Recreation Therapy (RT), and Speech Language Pathology (SLP) attracted a different kind of person. Most of the physios, for example, were male. Whereas most of the Recreation Therapists were female. All of my therapists were smart, dedicated, innovative, and had masters degrees.
Excerpt from CRASH! Memories of a Healing Journey, Lyle T. Lachmuth, All Rights Reserved