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.
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.