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I don’t talk a lot about what I do on the blog-o-sphere because I would never want to violate the privacy of any one of the beautiful people I work with.  I do feel inspired though to talk about in general, what a blessing it is to work with people who need you as much as you need them.  Our lives are so interconnected and to think that you will never be the one on the receiving end of care giving is a ridiculous thought.

I am an occupational therapist.  I get called various names throughout the day including Miss Chelsea, Mrs. Yoder, What-did-you-say-Che-sey?, young lady, ma’am and sometimes even sir.  I also get called wonderful, beautiful and sweet.  Sometimes even stupid or naive.  But that’s ok, I take the good with the bad.  There are people out there who maybe don’t “deserve” compassionate care after what they have done in their lives but I give it to them anyways. You have to separate the act from the person when you are a caregiver.  And because that’s the way my mother raised me.  She raised me to love my neighbor and treat others how I would like to be treated and that is what I strive to do everyday.  Most days it is a pretty great job.  I have learned so much from their wisdom and from their exuberance for life. Curiosity at any age is to be admired.  Being honest gets you a long way in their estimation and mine too.  Some things are hard to say but they need to be said.  Tying your self worth to their sail is not always the best idea.  Giving compassionate care is something that I am good at but it does not define who I am as a person.  I have to practice it and I have to learn from others sometimes how to best present it.

I can be tough when I need to be.  I can be gentle and sweet.  I can be quiet or talkative.  I can be flexible and I can be stiff.  I can be loving and playful or stoic.  I am what you need me to be.  I pick up on every motion, every smile or tear.  I know what makes you tick and what makes you work harder.  I am what you need me to be when you need me to be it.  I try to give the best, up-to-date care and make sure that I know what I am doing before I do it.  Because I do care and I want what is best for you.  Your well-being is never a “trial run” or a “hail Mary” for me. I give a piece of myself to all of you and in return you give me a strength I didn’t know I possessed.  Sometimes I hold something back because if I care too much I can’t help you the way that I need to.

I love watching you succeed and I endeavor tirelessly towards that goal.  However, I rarely may present options to you where you will fail, for your own safety and for you to grow.  Some of you learn best that way, and it is my job to figure out how you learn.  I want you to learn because I want you to be independent of me and everyone else.  I want you to do what you want to do and go where you want to go.  Your success is my success.  Thank you for sharing that part of you that is vulnerable.  I will take care not to hurt you.  I have made a promise to you.  A promise to help you.

Chelsea Yoder, MS OTR


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