Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Shaking Things Up

I am standing in those Canadian crutches, no easy task

We all have a tendency to allow our lives to fall into an established pattern or routine because  it is familiar and easy. My physical therapy sessions have fallen into that category until Chris, my physical therapist, decided to "shake things up" a bit--a successful attempt to get me more motivated.

Trying to maintain the line between professionalism and frendship between Chris and myself has become somewhat skewed. Because she and I enjoy each other's company so much it was easy for friendship to blossom.

Last week Chris said, "I have to talk to you about something." I said, "Chris you can talk to me about anything." She went on to ask me what I hope to achieve through my therapy and what my ultimate goal was? I replied that I thought we had already eastablished my goal-- to walk unaided.

Chris continued to explain that I had completed forty PT sessions in twenty weeks and although I had made great strides in that period, I had reached a plateau of sorts. I realize that the conversation we had was not easy for her, as she did not want to belittle my achievements thus far, but at the same time we had to move further along, if that is what I wanted to do.

She went on to say she has a responsibility as a physical therapist to report my progress and she felt that in order to get closer to my ultimate goal, we had to become a little more daring, trying bolder and more advanced techniques.She had even mentioned that perhaps I should take a break from therapy so that I could perfect what I had learned by putting it into pracitical everyday use.

The next logical step in my progression is to move from walking with a walker to walking with Canadian crutches. Canadian crutches are the type of crutches that have the bands that wrap around your forearms.

After our conversation something must have struck a chord in me and I walked within the parallel bars, but not touching them, on Canadian crutches. This was the first time I had done that and it was yet another milestone in my progression.

After completing the walk I asked her if I should just finish my already scheduled appointments and then take that break she had mentioned earlier. Chris said, "well not now, not after you have just walked on the crutches for the first time. I think we should keep going."

At today's session I stood up from my wheelchair using one bar and one Canadian crutch and proceded to walk within the parallel bars on three seperate occasions. These recent accomplishments were a result of our conversation from the previous week. I don't think Chris set out to deliberately put pressure on me to perform at a higher level, but she got her point across. Serendipity at it's best!

Progressing in my journey to learn to walk on two above knee prosthetic legs is going to involve some calulated risk. If I want to remain walking on my walker, that of course is my perogative, but anyone who knows me, knows that will never be good enough.

Walking those few times on those crutches has remotivated me to continue down my path to see just how far I can get. Sometimes we all need to have things "shaken up" a bit to get ourselves going again.

Stepping outside our comfort zone is not always easy, it is even harder to "step out" with prosthetic legs, but great strides and achievements are not always easy. (Excuse those puns).

Thank goodness Chris and I had  our little talk, it has helped me tremendously. I hope all of you have someone like Chris in your life to help "shake things up" from time to time, it keeps life interesting.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, Glenn. That put a lot of things into perspective. It took her this long to find out how to motivate you? She should have just said "I dare you to walk with just crutches. I bet u can't do it".


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