I'm now realizing, I still live like that. I focus on what I like, and try to begrudgingly get through the other stuff. I spent the last 6 years arguing with doctors, therapists, amd case managers, to get what I thought was best, or what I needed. Sometimes, I learned that I didn't know as much as I would've liked, and other times I learned that I needed to create ways to get around problems.
There was one person, that remained a constant, in my life of unknown people, and outcomes. In 2008, I met a woman, Kim Patton, who was going to be the occupational therapist, I worked with, from then on. However, she was field based. In the early days she helped me secure community based volunteer positions, and was committed to ensuring that I stayed active in the community. Naturally, my personality clashed with hers, on a regular basis. She was an incredible mom figure, and if you know me, gracefully accepting assistance, is not something I excel at. The majority of our working relationship, she'd toss out ideas, and I'd immediately disregard them, or just blindly shoot them down. Looking back, she worked tremendously hard, to ensure her clients received the best care.
Last year, it became evident she was battling, a particularly harsh medical condition. We suspected it was likely cancer, but it was like the dead horse in the room, I wasn't about to openly inquire, if she wasn't interested in sharing these details. She was always so,open, with regards to her family life, and she was still working, so, I didn't put much thought into it. She transitioned off my case pretty informally, last summer. I can't even recpllect our last visit.
Today, I met up with a friend/ previous aide from the early days. She called while I was out running, to push our meetup, a bit later. I contined on, came back, changed, ate, and she arrived looking pretty upset. When she asked me to sit, I felt my chest seize in fear. I had no idea what news she had, but I knew it wasn't good. She told me that she'd just heard from Kim's husband, and that she'd passed away, the day before. I felt engulfed by a wave of sorrow, and regret. I certainly wouldn't be where I am today, without her pushing me, and leading me towards a path of acceptance of my new path. For that I will always be thankful. Looking back, I wish I'd shown her more gratitude, when I had the opportunity.
She lived, a driven, caring, and compassionate life, my heart breaks for her family, but I'll remain forever grateful for the progress she helped me reallize. May you rest in peace, Kim.