When I’m swamped with work and feel like I’m never going to get everything done in time, sometimes I question why I’m putting myself through this. I find myself asking if it’s going to be worth it in the end. If I do poorly on a test or don’t understand something I’m learning in class, I question if occupational therapy is the right profession for me.
But after last night, I don’t think those thoughts will ever cross my mind again because I know that deep down, being an OT is exactly what I want to do with my life.
In my Advanced Therapeutic Techniques class, we learn a lot about different neurological conditions such as stroke, spinal cord injuries and traumatic brain injuries. My professor still works as an occupational therapist at John Heinz Rehab here in Scranton.
In our class last night, we had a guest speaker who is the mother of one of my professor’s patients. Her son, Damon, sustained a traumatic brain injury in a motor vehicle accident 2 years ago when he was just 17 years old. She talked to us all about his injuries and the long road to recovery that he has been on and is still on. She told us her her motto “There is no option. Damon will get better.” has helped to get her through each and every day.
She showed us pictures and videos of the miraculous progress that her son has made over the past 2 years. When she showed the video of Damon taking 8 steps across stage to recieve his high school diploma, there wasn’t a dry eye in the room. And then she said something that really hit home for me. She said, “None of this would have been possible without all of the therapy that Damon has gone through.”
It was then that I knew that being an occupational therapist is what I want to do. I want to make a difference for people, like all of Damon’s therapists made a difference for him. I want to someone to tell me, “Because of you, I was able to do something that I wanted to do.”