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 Luminosity.com 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.