Today’s blog post was supposed to be either about a “care package” which I didn’t quite understand, OR writing in detail about “a memory.”
I have only about ten minutes to write so…. ummm…. a memory. I’m going to write about something that happened today, which triggered a memory for me.
Today in my work as a physical therapist I worked with a woman I’ve been seeing since July. She has a bunch of medical problems which led to her not being able to walk for over a year. When I started with her in July I asked her her goal and she said “to walk again.” She wasn’t really even able to get out of bed without a lot of help. Well, we worked at it. And worked and worked and worked. And there were a ton of setbacks. For a long time it was a major thing to be able to stand for 5 seconds (and I was counting fast). But TODAY – TODAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! she walked with a walker for about 40 steps across her kitchen. We were both elated. And it felt like meeting someone at the end of a 26.2 mile marathon. It reminded me of why I do this work.
My dad was one of those people who, after a spinal cord injury, seemed to not ever be able to walk again. But that was all he wanted. He worked his ASS off, at the age of 81. He was the best physical therapy patient on the planet. I was across the country from him so I never really worked with him in that capacity. But after working like a MULE for months and months and months, he miraculously and amazingly was able to walk with a walker for up to about a hundred feet. It meant so much to him. And to me.
These things humble me and remind me to be grateful. They also show me how determined people can be to do what seems impossible, and which maybe hardly anyone believes can be done.
(I took that picture in my patient’s kitchen today. Another huge accomplishment was that I was able to step away to take it and she could stand there without anybody holding on to her. In physical therapy language we call that “standby assist.” SUCH A BIG DEAL!)
So that made my day. And brought back a memory that meant a lot.