Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday 55 & Da Count

Friday 55

Galavanting across India, avoiding runaway chapati carts, dodging cows, filling up on curry, wrapping up in beautiful saris, taking pictures of saucy fabric sellers, wondering why the keyboards in internet cafes are so sticky, dancing on the beach at Goa, walking in the shadow of the Taj Mahal....Susie is away. I'm hosting Friday 55.


DA COUNT

I was discharged from therapy yesterday after 6 1/2 months. It's hard to believe. I shared a little about some of my fellow patients but today I want to count the two therapists who got Janita working again. They encouraged me when I needed encouragement. They kicked my butt when I needed that. They made a tedious process full of hard work as pleasant as it possibly could be, so much so that never once did I dread going there. They celebrated each increment of improvement with me. They taught me all sorts of amazing things about the anatomy of my arm, wrist, and hand and how to coax the best out of it. They advocated for me and helped me do that for myself. They shared themselves with me and we actually laughed a lot, so much so that it wasn't unusual for the PTs out in the main gym area to poke their heads into the OT room and tell us we were having entirely too much fun.

Sal is a guy in his late 20s. He's actually the director of the clinic. His staff likes to harass him about his position because he's younger than most of them but he does create a professional yet relaxed climate for staff and patients. On weekends he fronts a band. He was invaluable as a guitarist and a therapist in helping me get back to my own guitar. He loves Monty Python and a number of the other silly movies I've seen a zillion times so more than once we movie quoted each other to death. He laughed when he told me yesterday I gave him a great patient story in terms of how I injured myself. With my zipline fall in the backyard he was finally able to trump his colleague who had treated a shoulder dislocation from a roller coaster accident. I thought it was hilarious that I contributed to his one-upmanship. He is absolutely OCD about the arrangement of the OT room and his wardrobe. We discussed the importance of folding the linens correctly and I improved his own life quality by instructing him on proper folding technique for fitted sheets. I brought one in and made him fold it in front of me figuring if he could work me hard in therapy, turn about is fair play. His good humor in all ways kept it light yet never interfered with the job that needed to be done. He worked me hard! He's getting married next summer and I've been privvy to the aggravations of house hunting in our area. I wish he and his fiance the very best.

Helen is my stepmother's age. She came to this career later in life but still has a lot of experience that you just don't get until you've done something a long time. When one treatment or exercise yielded poor results she had the knowhow to be able to tweak or change it to make it effective. She also knew how to really fine tune the effective things to maximize their benifit to me. I remember the look on her face when she evaluated me the first time...professionally veiled astonishment. She admitted yesterday that she thought I was a train wreck and almost had a hard time knowing where to start because of the complexity and severity of my injury. She's also a farmgirl from Pennsylvania Dutch country so we had a certain rapport and outlook on many things due to common cultural roots. It gave us an ability to be humorously direct with each other that really aided the process. She's a typical PA Dutchwoman in that she requires work or activity, either mental or physical to keep happy. She's atypical in that she doesn't let other people's expectations define her and she is a real adventurer. She's currently pursuing a master's degree in a related field so she can expand her practice outside traditional therapy. She inspires me in so many ways.

So there's my count for this week, two amazing people I owe so much.



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23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice one Michelle. Mine's up and I did it before I read yours, great minds think alike!

jillie said...

Good luck or should I say great job! I came in late and not "too" sure what happened but happy to hear things are moving along. Thanks for putting your picture of Susie up. I'm sure she's having the time of her life! Have a great wknd!

steve said...

What a wonderful story!! I love it when I work with people who love what they are doing!! Have a fantastic weekend!!

Logophile said...

Congrats on the progress.
Sounds like you had great therapists, YAY.
And Miss India was on last night while my power was out, did you catch her by any chance?

lecram sinun said...

That's a beautiful count, Lime! Even if it is part of their profession... when they give of themselves beyond the expected... it makes all the difference in the world! Cheers!

Anonymous said...

Michelle, you provide therapy to all that you touch..

Breazy said...

Congratulations on completing therapy! I talked to Susie Tuesday night before she left . I am so excited for her and can't wait to hear from her again to see what all she is into over there ! Have a great weekend and stay off the zipline! just kiddin!

Blither said...

Dang.. Flicker's being mean to me. Can't get the last picture to come up. I'll come back later to see.

So cute to do a Susie 55! You Rule Ms Limey!!!

Seamus said...

Yay for Hal and Helen! :)

snavy said...

Great post!

One question ...

Do the therapists always wear like colored clothes?

Anonymous said...

"I brought one in and made him fold it in front of me figuring if he could work me hard in therapy, turn about is fair play."

That's hilarious. He will think of you every time he pulls his sheets out of the dryer!

Gary said...

I have nothing but the highest respect for those who work in physical therapy, even though fortunately I have never needed the services of one.

barefoot_mistress said...

Oh Lime, I just love the 55!! Thank you so much! I love that picture so much, I dont even mind that I look like a total dork! I will never forget that woman tugging and pulling my hair into that pony tail, it was like an instant face lift!

What a wonderful picture of your therapists and you! I know you miss them, but your being out of there is a very good sign.

Hello everybody else from sticky town!

jac said...

Congrats !

Is that you in the picture from India ?


Curiously drifted in from walker, I hope you don't mind ?

RennyBA said...

What a great read - thanks for sharing Lime and a very nice picture! You got such a wonderful smile:-)

Off to Susie to check!

Btw: Wish you a wonderful weekend!

KFarmer said...

When folks go on vacation and ask me if they can bring something back, my answer is standard. I say a picture of you smiling. I know your PT was no vacation, but that picture speaks volumes. Congrats on the graduation and I hope that "J" continues to improve.

Anonymous said...

It's wonderful to hear that Janita is so much better, and that her therapy with Helen and Sal made such a difference. Always cheers me up to hear about people, who take their job seriously, especially in the medical field. It's the worst to feel like a number, when you so much depend on help.

Top cat said...

Thanks for sharing your story about the two therapists who helped you along this difficult journey and the bond you formed.

Love the picture, you look very pretty.:)
tc

AndyT13 said...

Great count! Your posts always lighten my day.

Anonymous said...

A very nice tribute. Therapists provide a great service. I don't think they eer get enough credit.

You took care of that by giving credit and recognition where it is due.

Nice post.

Fred said...

Very nice of you to tell us about them and how they helped you. They sound like such amazing people.

And, thanks for showing us the picture. You guys look great!

Anonymous said...

Isn't it amazing that two people who wat out to torture you to "normal" could turn into such wonderful people. A nice tribute to both...thanks for sharing.

Phain said...

wow - it's been over six months already??? dang..

glad Janita is back up and in working order.