Therapy is Contagious
By: Jennifer Gordon, MSPT, CLT
Frank was determined to not repeat his earlier mistakes. He had a frustrating experience with Physical Therapy previously, and he wanted to be sure that he was choosing a place where he would both feel comfortable and have a successful outcome. Frank was inquisitive when he came in for a clinic tour. He carefully inspected the office, and asked questions about my background. He questioned what kind of PT he would receive here for his recent total knee replacement.
After our cursory conversation, he agreed to an evaluation. At the evaluation, he spoke of his interest in seeking treatment for his ankle AND his other knee. Together, we developed a plan to address each of these issues, while keeping his recent surgery a priority. After Frank started to see progress, he started to press the issue of returning to his prior functional activities, wistfully sharing that he was very active at home and in the community.
On each visit, he would arrive and wanly offer his challenges in keeping up with his household activities, or social engagements. As he progressed, however, his spirit brightened, and he began sharing his successes with the staff. Frank got comfortable with his routine, and he began engaging other patients in conversation. He gained momentum and Frank was so elated with his success that he frequently encouraged other patients in their recovery! Before long he was singing the praises of Physical Therapy and making plans to return to dancing, gardening, and home repairs.
When it was time to complete his program, Frank was ecstatic with his success, showing off pictures of his garden and his home, and dancing to the music played in the clinic. At the same time, he was genuinely sad to go. In his words, this was a “warm, relatively painless experience” that exceeded his expectations. He promised to come back from time to time and to stay in touch, and since his discharge, he has kept his promise.