You might be thinking, I’m not disabled…why should I care about Allie the OT?
Tomorrow your best friend could get in a car accident. Your sister could be diagnosed with cancer. Your dad could have a stroke. You could wake up in the morning with a weird feeling between your shoulder blades, paralyzing you by the time you’re able to get to the emergency room.
Sounds intense. Happens every day. But not to you…right?
Now you might not be in the mood for this, and I get that. No one is in the mood to think about even scheduling a doctor’s appointment, let alone actually being a patient in the hospital or something terrible happening to someone they love. But I really think it’s time to get in the mood, and here’s why.
Our culture has become reactive when it comes to healthcare. When a problem arises, we fix it with medicine, rather than taking daily steps to avoid needing that medicine. Once we’re given a diagnosis, we consult Google until we think we’ve found every possible bit of info about that diagnosis and how to cure it. Why is this how we’re doing it? I’d like to blame Amazon, making us believe we don’t have to be prepared for anything anymore because we can get toilet paper delivered to our door in the time between when we run out and when we have to pee again. This approach isn’t working. This attitude leaves us vulnerable, and we don’t even realize it until we’re in a hospital room.
So let’s do this. Think about the person you care about the most in the world. Got ‘em? Okay. You get that call that no one ever wants, informing you they’ve been rushed to the hospital. Everything else around you ceases to matter. Now, you’re there, and they’re lying in that bed, and all you care about is making sure that person is going to be okay, that they’re going to be well again. But this isn’t your comfort zone. You don’t speak the medical lingo. You don’t fully comprehend what the doctors are saying to you. You’re being asked to make choices, and you don’t know what’s best. You’re emotional. You’re exhausted. This is not the optimal state to be in to try and learn what is going on. You’re feeling helpless and at the mercy of the hospital staff. (Do you feel all of that?)
But what if you had learned before this happened? What if you knew the basics, knew some of the language, knew some of the protocol? What if you felt confident in your ability to advocate for your loved one, and how to help them on their way to back into daily life?
Do you see where I’m going with this? PARADIGM SHIFT. Get in the mood. Start caring, because you have more power over this than you think you do.
Allie the OT was created in order to make that feeling up there nonexistent. Every time you watch, you will learn something worthwhile. It may not be the very next day you come face to face with a situation where you can employ it, but you are gonna learn! And your awareness of healthcare and rehabilitation and those living with disability is going to grow. And then! There will come a moment when the opportunity presents itself to directly use what you watched and you will be thankful you learned #howtohospital.
Follow those travel, food, beauty, lifestyle, entertainment vlogs - they’re great, so fun. But you know the saying that if you have your health, you have it all? Well. The travel and food and beauty and lifestyle and entertainment…irrelevant if your health is MIA. Our lives revolve around our health and the health of our family and friends. So come along with me. Start giving a little of your time to something that is of paramount importance.
We can’t know the day our health will be compromised. We do know that we’re not going to be healthy forever, that we’re not as invincible as we believed we were as kids. I think Kevin Kling puts it best: “Being able-bodied is always only a temporary condition.” Temporary could end tomorrow. Be ready.