This picture was taken 8 years ago in my home town outpatient rehab facility. Wow, time sure does fly by doesn't it? This was my first attempt at walking with these make-shift braces that Jeff (my therapist), came up with. Talk about thinking outside the box! He knew how bound and determined I was to reach my goal of walking and he went above and beyond his duties as a therapist. The braces pictured below are knee immobilizers and some ace bandages to keep my foot from dropping. I wanted so badly to get KAFO braces, but I was getting denied because of being classified as a quadriplegic... So we made our own! This was a game changer, as you can see the look on our faces we were determined to do whatever it took for me to PROVE I could walk with braces! The therapists at Penn Highlands Elk truly pushed me to succeed every day I was there... Even if I came into the session with a "chip" on my shoulder they knew how to make me laugh! The moral of this short passage is that with the right team of therapists and a motivated mindset you are unstoppable and you should never settle for less.
I truly hope that all of you therapists and therapists-to-be had great mentors throughout your schooling, because, take it from me, you need to know how to cheer your patient up and push them to success even on their bad days. Believe me when I say, you guys are the ones that we are leaning on for help to overcome this challenging time in our life whether mentally or physically. You ARE going to get attitude from us because this is a very trying time in our life. I was so lucky to have had the team I did. So, what was special about the therapists at Penn Highlands Elk? These guys & girls worked together and gave their input and wanted to see me succeed so badly. This is what made me work even harder because I knew how much research and work they put in behind the scenes. This is how every facility needs to operate as a TEAM, help others out, and have a very positive atmosphere.
Now for the patients, you have to be willing to put in the work and not just go and lay around. These therapists give it their all to help you- so you better be giving them 110% as well. If you are not leaving therapy mentally and physically exhausted then you did not give it your all and cannot expect to see results... I can honestly say that every single time I left therapy I felt accomplished! WORK HARD GET RESULTS!