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Why am I a speech language pathologist?

I’ve thought about leaving this career several times over the last 10 years. My cousin has tried to recruit me to be a hearing aid dispenser for him in upstate NY. As much as I LOVE my cousin, and I know how much fun we could have working together. I really just LOVE speech pathology. After 10 years and multiple settings, I find myself opening my own practice, and I can’t help but think how fortunate I am.
So why DO I continue to be a speech language pathologist?

Reason 1– I LOVE people, especially older people! I love their stories! I love to bring them joy. I love being their friend. I love holding their hands and giving them hugs, and making them laugh. I even love it when they cuss me out. Believe me it happens, and most of the time, I encourage it!

Reason 2– I LOVE learning. I feel a huge sense of accomplishment when I learn something new. For the past few years, I’ve told my family, “I don’t have to be right all the time, I just want to learn what I didn’t know, so that I can be right the next time.” For me, it’s not about being right, it’s about learning what I didn’t know.

The longer I have worked with adults, the more I have wanted to learn; to understand what was happening on the inside that I can’t see. I tend to read research articles or take a continuing education class simply because I want to know more. Yet, the more I learn, the more questions I have, so the more classes I take (or articles I read), and wind up with more questions, so I take more classes. This cycle goes on and on. I have been known to stay up most of the night, looking for new treatment strategies or find an underlying cause that may be stopping a client from progressing as quickly as I had expected. I have met my husband at the door with a 3 inch stack of research articles saying, “you will not believe what I just learned!” Of all the knowledge I have accumulated over the last 10 years, the one concept that fascinates me the most is neuroplasticity. It’s the concept that our brains can rewire itself with active awareness and repetition.

Did you read that??!!

Our brains can build new nerve networks around damage (ex. a stroke) so that it can go back to doing/saying/swallowing what it used to. If THAT doesn’t blow your mind, I don’t know what will! It might sound weird, but I really do love it. And I love it because it brings me to…

Reason 3– I get to use my knowledge to help people regain a skill they have lost. The look on their face; that smile and the light that comes from within, that sparkle I see in their eyes when they just did something they haven’t been able to do in a long time…Have you ever been unable to speak for a day because you’ve had laryngitis? Do you remember how hard it was to go without speaking? What a pain it was to write everything down? How nobody could really read your lips? Has your mouth ever felt so dry that you would give a million dollars just to suck on a piece of ice? Ever tried to do something you used to be able to do easily, but can’t anymore?

Have you ever been in a conversation with someone and couldn’t think of the word or name you were trying to, and then woken up in the middle of the night, so happy that you thought of it? You were so happy and relieved, weren’t you? Yeah, as a speech language pathologist, I get to help people feel accomplished, happy, and relieved. That, to me, is worth more than a million dollars. And that is why I continue to choose the field of
speech language pathology. There is no greater joy, professionally, than to stand (or sit) beside a person, guide them through their
recovery process, and see their face as they meet their goal. NO. GREATER. JOY!! And that, brings me to my practice name and logo. I named my practice Resurgence Neuro Rehab because I am helping people take back skills they once had with my specialized knowledge; like a warrior might do with land in a battle. I help people rise above a devastating loss, much like the phoenix, who is reborn and rises from the ashes. I guide your
rehabilitation, using a comprehensive evaluation and the principles of neuroplasticity for improved swallowing, voice, language, and cognition.
So, if you find yourself wishing your voice could be stronger, or that you could swallow without feeling “strangled,” or wishing you didn’t forget the word you wanted to say, or you could remember just a little bit easier, give me a call. I am a speech language pathologist because I absolutely LOVE helping people recover skills they have lost. AND, I want to help YOU!

I look forward to meeting you!