First day of Occupational Therapy

Today was my first day of occupational therapy.  It went better than I thought it would.  Since it was the first visit, we mainly sat and talked, well, I talked and she listened or asked questions.  Of course I had to go over my whole back story with her so that she would understand why a 32 yr old woman needed occupational therapy.  I’m sure it looked funny to her.  If not, it looked funny to me because everyone else in the waiting room was over 50.

I am being seen for ADL or Activities of Daily Living.  According to pbs.org, this includes activities such as:

–  Bathing

– Dressing

– Grooming

– Oral Care

– Toileting

– Transferring

– Walking

– Climbing Stairs

– Eating

– Shopping

– Cooking

– Managing Medications

– Using the Phone

– Housework

– Doing Laundry

– Driving

– Managing Finances

Granted, most of these things I can still do quite well.  What I do have problems with are cooking and housework.  It has been a long time since I have cooked a whole meal on my own, and even when I am able, I am hurting so bad by the time I finish that I can not eat.  Housework is a big problem for me.  So much needs to be done, I just can’t find the energy to do it, and when I do, I pay the consequences the next day.

So, after our talk and once she understood the things that I needed help doing, she got my pelvic pain specialist’s name and number to see if he has any restrictions on what I can or cannot do such as amount of weight I can lift, etc.  Then she explained that the best way to tackle something like that is to make a schedule.  First was to pick the time of day that I have the most energy.  Next, I’m supposed to prioritize.  Examples of that is bathing.  Since it is a priority, it needs to be the first thing scheduled and the rest follows after that.  Her goal for me is to do two personal care and two household items each day.  Of course, I won’t start out at two, just at one, but she needs to check with my doctor still to make sure he has no restrictions.  She gave me a paper on Energy Conservation and one on the Principles of Joint Protection.  There are a few things on that sheet that I don’t understand yet such as “Become an expert on body mechanics”.  That’s not something that people just know…they have to be taught.

Lastly, she gave me a catalog of personal care devices that might help.  For example, a shower chair would conserve energy (or “spoons”) by allowing me to shower while seated.  She said to go through the catalog and see if there were any products I thought might make my life easier and then to try to find them cheaper on the internet.  That was a given once I saw the prices in this thing.  They’re OUTRAGEOUS!  They want $200 for a shower chair when I didn’t buy one at the pharmacy because it cost $70.  I think if I look around I can probably find a cheaper one.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to the suggestions that they can offer to make my life easier and help me get to the point where I am able to be completely independent again.  I highly suggest this to any of you who are struggling with Activities of Daily Living.  I will keep you all posted as to how my later sessions go.  I was worried about going at first, but the lady made me feel completely comfortable and was eager to help.  It turned out to be a pretty good day after all.

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7 thoughts on “First day of Occupational Therapy

  1. I’m glad you started that..I think something like that would be a great help to me too…Sunday was the first time I actually cooked a complete meal and got the energy to eat it. I”m 23 though I would feel even weirder to go to a place like that lol. I hope it helps you! 🙂

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    • Me too. I did feel a little weird in the waiting room, but back in the therapy area, the lady made me feel very comfortable, like she understood what I had been through and knew I needed help. She made me feel welcome.

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    • Don’t be sad. This is just my life now. I have to do the best I can with it, that’s why I wanted to see OT. I think they can help me stay out of bed longer and get more done. I have my fingers crossed. I can’t afford a cleaning lady, but that is my only other option, so I have to trust that they will teach me how to manage my time and movements wisely.

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  2. Joy, the shower chair, if your dr. writes out a script for it your insurance will cover it….when I had the wound vac, I couldn’t shower, nor could I afford one so the dr, wrote out a script and if social security disability insurance covers it, regular insurance will probably cover it also. Other place to look is craigs list. We have found so many medical supplies on craigs list and I have also SOLD medical supplies on craigs list, so those are a couple ideas, Hon, when I go to the new pain clinic, I am going to ask for the occupational therapy instead of physical therapy, Do you think there is a big difference, I can barely pick up a gallon of milk, or pull out a trash bag, and I have always failed physical therapy before I ever got out of the pool…I am so happy for you, it sounds like we are both on the right track to a better life, or as better as we can make it, or we will die trying

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    • That’s exactly the frame of mind I’m aiming for. Thank you for the ideas. No, my insurance won’t cover the shower chair, so I’ve got to look other places. I’ll try craigslist. I hadn’t thought about them. If it’s everyday living stuff, it’s occupational therapy. If it’s for pain management/building strength and flexibility (for muscles) then it’s physical therapy. Why not just ask for both and let them work on you from both sides.

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