To continue on from last week, this weeks post is all about how Emma does what she does. So, how on god Earth did a girl with such difficulties, travel to another country on her own? Well, it’s all about planning she says; knowing what each and every pit stop entails, and planning for it. Planning to have someone help her off the plane, planning to have someone help her down to the taxi, planning to have someone help her into the hotel. Even planning to stay at a hotel with room service was necessary.
Her presentations are based around patient-centered care. The first step that she speaks to other therapists about is about balancing the physical and mental progression. She says that you can’t be resilient without thinking it. I guess if I was to look at my own recovery and imagine attempting all of my physical rehab I’ve endured over the years with a dulled down mental state, it wouldn’t happen or it would be bloody hard. The day that we sat down and had a chat was one of the more crappier days and she said to me that if she sits down and thinks, ‘Geeze, why am I feeling so crap-hole today’, then that won’t fix it. It’s her mindset that she needed to fix.
Using myself as an example, I can say that she’s spot on. When I get an excruciating pain in my arm, it feels like a lighting bolt whacked me from the inside but if I sit there an think hard about why the pain is worse today then normal, then I wouldn’t be able to live a very satisfying life then would I? Instead, I know the pain will come and go. The pain will come again and stick around for a bit but then it’ll go. It will most likely come and go and come and go and come and go and… all day and that’s just how it is so I am essentially ignoring what it has to say.
As well as the pain that Emma puts up with on a moment-to-moment basis, she also struggles with intense emotional fatigue that does in fact have a physical impact. How does Emma handle this? It’s all about planning and awareness. Awareness of the obstacles she will face so she can plan her attack. She knows the difficulties she has with her mobility and fatigue levels so she just plans out her days accordingly.
Although Emma travels the world speaking at events here there and everywhere, she would not be where she is without the incredible support from the people around her. Actually, she wouldn’t even be in the same ballpark without the support she’s had. Her parents, as all parents would, have been there from day dot. As I know very well, this is what was needed to get her back in the game. Initially, the support from her parents was 24/7 but after three years of grinding them down, she needed to find other support networks. This was the beginning of her independent journey to success. She felt that she needed to reassure her parents that if they were not around, she’d be ok. She now has people in her network that do everything her parents once did. Gaining independence was the best thing that she ever did because this means that she can now enjoy her time with her parents rather than calling on them up to come around a pickup Herbert’s poo. Her parents have been on the roller coaster all the way from being friends to being carers to, now, being friends once again.
These are the things that the lucky ones never have to think about, but they have just become a way of life for Emma. It was great to sit with Emma and chat over our skinny decaf latte mochaccino things and find out what goes through her head on a daily basis. It sure made me appreciate what I have.
Before I go, that skinny decaf latte mochaccino she sipped on was actually sipped on through a straw because hey, that’s much easier for her. Wow, a girl that can’t even drink a regular coffee without a straw has done all that she has done and more. Because I’m inside, I took my hat off but I’ll put my hat back on then take my hat back off to her.
As she walked her frame off into the sunset, I asked her just one last question: ‘What would you like people to take from this’?
‘It’s not what happens to you, it’s how you choose to deal with it’.
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