Total Pageviews

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Dreaded "Plateau"

Bob's Occupational Therapist has told us that he has "plateaued" and she will not see him anymore. I have been warned about this word, this "plateau", that we might hear it again and again. It means he has gone as far as he can, that he is no longer progressing, that he is---what? Toast? Lord, I hate this word, "plateau". It feels like giving up and I refuse to give up. The OT had been working on his right arm, which is still a dead thing, but....

To give up? So soon?

It seems there is a magic ruler out there. That if a stroke survivor doesn't reach Point A by X time, forget it. I really don't understand.... After all, I remember, in the hospital, when I asked the doctors what to expect, I was always told that "every stroke is different" and "every patient responds differently" but now, because Bob hasn't hit the "magic mark", let's just give up.

I am frustrated. Worn out and worried. This coming week, Bob's certification period is up for Home Health Care. I have no clue what to expect.

In the meantime, I will paste the electrodes on his right arm and run the TENS unit. I will massage his right arm with oil and do the exercises. And I will not give up. Plateau--be damned.


Diane said...

I think I fixed the "comment" section problem. Someone told me that they couldn't post a comment without registering, so I changed the settings. Do try again!

Jenn said...

It certainly is waaaay too soon to be categorized as plateau-ing. I'm with you, babe. I firmly believe in my heart and head Bob will continue to make strides, small, large, grand, whatever! I came across a photo you sent me of him raising his right arm after the oxygen chamber - yes, things are a bit different this time, yet also the same.....the time to call it quits is up to Bob not a time line, yes? Yes! P.S. It's also okay to take time for yourself to just breathe. When? How? You know in your heart.

Nicole Chojnacki said...

Keep up with it Aunt Diane! Hey,people used to say stuff about me when I was first diagnosed with Asperger's like that I wouldn't be able to go to college- look at me now, taking care of other kids with the same disorder!

Cheri said...

Hey Diane, Yes, the plateau thing is alarming. But maybe you can talk to a doctor rather than a therapist. Get a second opinion from someone higher up. and maybe you need a new therapist.

what exactly has plateaued? His arm? His language skills? Sounds like you're making a lot of progress with the language and cognitive stuff. Maybe they "think" his arm is toast, but that doesn't mean Bob is toast. and it doesn't mean his brain is toast.

cheri said...

Think peanut butter!! Toast isn't so bad if you put peanut butter on it! When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. Likewise with toast.

Diane, you're Bob's peanut butter. As long as he has you, he has hope. Keep up the good work.

Diane said...

Thanks for your support, everyone!

Cheri, the OT was talking about his right arm plateauing, although she is supposed to handle things like personal hygiene skills, toilet training, etc. and she is giving up on all of it. We are seeing his neurologist tomorrow, so I will ask for his opinion.

Nikki, thanks for reminding me that sometimes the "experts" are wrong!