Friends of ASCCA: October is National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month. Some people may wonder if therapy does any good so let me tell you about my therapy story.

It starts in 2010 when I had brain surgery at Children’s Hospital in Birmingham to eliminate seizures. You can click here to read my surgery story. The surgery was a success, but when I woke up I could not move the entire left side of my body. Therapy began immediately with three therapists: physical, occupational, and speech. Therapy was intense the first month because I had to relearn how to walk, among other abilities, but I actually had a lot of fun with the therapists. Therapy exercises were turned into games, such as seeking stickers hidden around the room, solving mazes, and playing a modified “Red Light Green Light.” The games were great, and I bet the therapists would be very proud of how much I can do now.

Once back home, I had physical and occupational therapy at Baptist East in Montgomery. They were the ones who helped me to walk without a cane, climb up and downstairs, and put on a shirt and jacket with one arm. In addition to the games we played, I used the stationary bicycle and other machines for my arm and leg. At the end of each session, I remember getting to pick out a small toy when I did well.

I’d also like to give a shout out to my physical therapist in Millbrook. He did a good job helping me out with physical therapy when I needed it again after a few years without therapy. There were fun activities such as stepping over cones and trying not to touch them. I do miss that place, and sometimes I wonder how they are doing. I still do the exercises at home that I did there.

For about a year I went to Birmingham to see an eye specialist for eye therapy. They also had fun activities as well. There was a huge, tall board covered with small lights that would flash individually for a split second, and I would have to touch each light before it went off. I actually broke the record after having only a few sessions! I attribute that skill to playing brain games on for many years. I remember one activity was called “spot the difference,” and another involved me taking a stroll around the building to practice “scanning” to compensate for my lack of peripheral vision.

Over time I made many accomplishments at home because of the start I had with therapists, so if you ever wonder if therapy works, I’m here to say it does. Let’s celebrate our physical and occupational therapists! Psalm 27:14 says that whoever will wait for the Lord will be rewarded by something – such as, for me, better eyesight and more movement on my leg and arm. I am always working hard for my leg and arm, and I am also praying every day for the miracle to come when I don’t have to wear a leg brace and wrist brace.

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