When I was an OT student I signed documents with Jennifer Masterofirony, OTS as my title. Then for a while I had my master's degree but was on a limited permit license and for that time I was Jennifer Masterofirony, MS, OT/LP. Eventually I gained my national certification and was Jennifer Masterofirony, MS, OTR/LP until my licensure went through in about a month. Finally I was what my goal always was, the name I would write sometimes in grad school just to see what it looked like: Jennifer Masterofirony, MS, OTR/L. After a time I started adding my license # to that signature as companies prepared for this to be required but it never was that I knew of.
Tonight I sent in my retirement application. I did this at 3 AM because I can't sleep and the anxiety I'm feeling has a great deal to do with that. Doing it at this time was good because it is over and impulsive because sleep may not come easily. But it is done. And so from now on I am Jennifer Masterofirony, MS, OTR, retired, should I feel the need to use my title.
I admit to some gladness about that. I am an OT. I have years of education and experience as an OT. Nothing takes that away. It showed so much in the hospital after my ankle surgery when I was much more mobile much sooner than most patients. Everyone knew about it and commented when they came in the room and they were even more surprised that I could do hygiene without help. Even the PT came in expecting me to do well and being surprised at how very well I was doing. And that was all just knowing what I was doing.I knew how to use a walker and how to do the hygiene while maintaining my balance. I even did my own sponge bath. I was superpatient but only because I spent years teaching others those skills. So I know I am still an OT. But it's hard to feel like you still are that when people always look like you are a has been when you explain you can't work anymore. I've felt like I wasn't supposed to call myself an OT. I knew that I would lose my L this year (at least I think I do) but I also thought they'd take the R and I worked very hard for those letters, especially the R. So I am glad to know that they do not take away the significance of passing the board exam.
It hurts but it is done. I had until I think next month to drag it out and I'm glad I didn't. I kept thinking it would get easier and it absolutely did not. I am hoping this stops the memories of times I screwed up to stop coming so much and if I must have memories remember the people I really did help. I wasn't always great at my job and sometimes I was pretty bad at aspects (organization, especially when I had too many assistants, was a problem as was time management some years). But I had clinical skills and there are people who are better because I was there. That's what I WANT to remember and maybe now that I did this painful thing I can switch to those memories.
And now I will work on settling down for the night.