“Why” we do what we do, so our patients can Accomplish their “Why”
New Year, New Year’s Resolution.
They seem to go hand in hand. Sometimes they are big goals, but I think the most important ones are the small goals that you achieve every day.
Why do patients come to Physical therapy?
A big part is losing some part of their independence. Therapists are here to help with the “WHY”. The big why, comes with goal setting and answering some “what” questions. What do you want out of your session? What can your therapist help you achieve? What did you once be able to do and can no longer complete? What is something you strive to do, but you don’t have the strength, endurance, or pain is limiting you from completing it?
One of the most rewarding aspects of a Physical Therapist job is seeing our patients achieve their goals. I have been a PT for almost a decade, and I can say it is always amazing to have patients come into their appointment and tell me they can now: walk up the stairs without pain, hold their grandchildren, complete house cleaning tasks, sleep through the night without waking from dizziness…the list goes on and on!
I want to highlight Tyler in this blog and hope his inspirational story will light a fire under all reading this blog. His story shows if you never give up (and have awesome support like his mom) you have more strength inside you; more than you could ever imagine!
Tyler came to Apex when he was 9 years old. He was born with a condition where his body has a lower tone. His mother had started to notice he was having walking issues. He had started to fall a lot and she was worried he would hurt himself. He had an increase in pain with walking longer distances and couldn’t tolerate standing longer than 10 minutes. When he started therapy, his mother’s main goal was for him to walk without falling.
Tyler came to therapy 1-2 times a week and we worked on his balance, his strength, his mobility and walking on a treadmill, and building up his endurance. Not many 9-year-olds would enjoy coming to therapy weekly. Tyler was no different. We tried to make therapy fun, but sometimes you just have to put in the work to get there. It is hard for children (honestly some adults too!) to see the long-term goal and how walking on the treadmill at therapy will carry over into running for activities, being able to go to the grocery store, walking around amusement parks, and climbing the stairs to go down the fastest water slide! We would have rewards and some of my favorites were the days we got out of the clinic and went sledding, swimming, to the park to shoot baskets and teaching him to ride a bike without training wheels. This was when everyone could see how the hard work at Apex was paying off! Tyler even started to do his own sit-ups and push-ups for fun throughout the days!
Our patients become like families as we are blessed to help them through some of the most painful or debilitating times of their lives. Tyler was with me through all my pregnancies, he dressed as Santa and delivered toys to my oldest, and we went to his birthday parties. I am grateful for all the memories and struggles I got to witness and try to help overcome to make his life easier.
Fast forward to 17-year-old Tyler! He long ago met his primary goal of walking without falling. But he didn’t stop there! Although he hasn’t been in therapy for 2 years, I got invited to attend his debut in theater. It is Tyler’s senior year. He has not participated in any school-sanctioned activities. But, this strong-willed boy, decided he wanted to be in a play! He went through tryouts and made it! He was a police officer in Sweeny Todd. I was so proud of him. During his performance, he was able to sing, dance, crawl on the floor, sit to stand quickly in and out of a chair, and keep up with all the other kids. Without years of therapy and the many push up, sit ups, squats, lunges etc…It would have been hard for him to have the endurance, capacity, and drive to be part of a play for 2 hours!
This is WHY we do what we do!!
Although we don’t get to follow up for years with all our patients, I always smile knowing they are out in the world, doing what they love and celebrating everything their wonderful bodies accomplish! We are thankful for every patient that walks in the door, that gives of their time, to better themselves, and allow us to be a small part of their lives and journey. Sometimes it may take years to complete, but don’t give up because the reward is always worth it! As the new year is here and you are making your goals, know you are worth it! You can do it! All the staff at Apex would be fortunate to be apart of your healing journey
We are a private practice outpatient physical therapy clinic offer high quality care with a personal touch. We believe that every patient should receive the quality care needed to help them prevent or rehabilitate their injuries or illnesses.