It's the beginning of the year and so the fitness center I work at has been extra busy with new members lately. Which is great. New members mean new people committing to their health, and it means more available paid hours for me.
I've been a personal trainer for I guess about seven or so years now. I always tell people if you want to train for a marathon I am not your girl. But if you have a bad knee, steel rods in your spine, rehabbing an injury or a chronic condition like MS, than I am the one that can help you.
I am the trainer that takes, and really enjoys working with, clients that other trainers aren't comfortable with. My background in working with seniors and yoga therapy make me very well suited to the "special cases."
But this year, I've had a line of new members trying to recover from having a stroke.
Strokes scare the hell out of me.
Not working with stroke patients. But the fear of having a stroke one day myself.
I worked with a woman today who is 45 years old. So she is younger than me. She had a stroke four years ago and can barely get around with a walker now. Her speech is still very impaired and she has no feeling in her thighs.
I asked what kind of rehab she had, four years ago after her stroke, and she said none. She didn't have insurance four years ago so she wasn't offered any sort of rehab because she obviously couldn't afford it.
Now this just pisses me off.
(Warning... political rant ahead)
Sure Republicans, let's repeal the Affordable Care Act. A law that certainly isn't perfect, but a law that offers health care to people that otherwise couldn't afford it. A law that without people have suffered. A law that without people have died.
My new client (whom I am working with pro bono in case you are wondering how she can afford a personal trainer - she can't) did not have health insurance and therefore she was not offered quality care. Forget quality care, she wasn't even offered half ass rehab to try and keep her a functioning independent member of society.
Oh she has health care coverage now. Because she can not care for herself independently and she now has more medical problems and medical bills from her stroke. And even more health issues because she was never given the opportunity to recover after her stroke. Her health insurance is at the expense of those tax payers who want to repeal the ACA. But from what I've read it seems there is a push to also do away with or severely cut back Medicare and Medicaid.
I don't know her story from four years ago and why she had no health insurance. But it doesn't matter. She could not afford the health care she needed and now she is suffering.
I don't know how much I'll be able to help her. Four years is a long time. The window of opportunity after a stroke is only about one year. Our goal is to get her legs stronger and her stability more secure so she can at least walk a little more at ease on the walker.
She literally sat in my office and cried today because no one else would help her.
And all I did was say I would try.
I look at her, and the other stroke victims I have met lately, and think dear God what if that is me someday. Will I be able to get the health care I need? Will I have access to rehab to try and regain some functionality? Who will take care of me if I can't take care of myself?
Strokes scare the hell out of me.
And politicians just piss me off.