Monday, November 22, 2021

Gratitude is the Best Medicine

"BOOM!" The sound of the collision between my SUV and the Minivan that crossed over into my lane haunts me to this day. 12 years ago this month, a roll-over car accident changed my life. For the first time in my career, the Physical Therapist became the patient. The same muscle techniques we now use to help YOU move and feel better were successfully employed by MY Physical Therapist to help rehabilitate my neck and shoulder injuries. This experience validated that venturing outside of the traditional physical therapy box was the best decision for me as the patient, and for all of my future patients, and for that I am truly grateful! This experience also helped me appreciate the little things in life that I had once taken for granted. I was lucky and grateful to be alive!! 

My client just came in this morning and said "I'm not doing well today." I assumed she meant because our session last time was too much for her, but instead she said, "I just found out that my friend's husband died as a result of injuries from the Waukesha Christmas parade event yesterday." My heart broke for her and the many people and families affected both physically and emotionally by the horrific incident so close to home for many of us! Life is such a precious gift that can be taken from us at any time without warning. She expressed gratitude that her friend's injuries were less severe and that she has a strong support network to lean on during this difficult time. 

Last week, a client who has been severely sleep-deprived due to the pain of his dislocated shoulder, was grateful that he was starting to improve. Even though it was his non-dominant side, he realized just how much he really needed it to function better to get through life! And sleep deprivation is no joke!! Those of us affected by that because of pain or other issues in our life can surely relate.  His gratitude for even a little better sleep, and a little better function gave him a new perspective and he was starting to feel more hopeful. 

No matter what is going on in our lives, having gratitude always helps. This time of year always brings gratitude to mind, as we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving this week. We all have so much to be grateful for, but sometimes our gratitude can be lost amongst our pain and life's stressors.  

Even though it may feel like a nuisance to change your schedule to get to and from therapy appointments, at least there are answers to your pain problems to be found.  Even though doing your home exercise program takes time away from other daily activities, it may be helping to support those daily activities. It's annoying to have to make changes with how we do things when pain and other limitations don't allow us to do things the normal way, but at least our bodies were designed to compensate so we can still keep going.  Having gratitude that our bodies have a warning signal system in place when we feel pain or that something isn't "right" with our bodies is actually a huge blessing!! It allows us to take notice and find better ways to move, whether on our own or with the help of a professional. Being able to FEEL our body means that we are alive. Sometimes it is hard to find the blessings and have gratitude when we don't like what we feel, but the alternative (not being alive...) is worse! 

I am so grateful to have each of you in my life! It is such a HUGE blessing to enjoy coming to work each day. The opportunity to help each and every one of you move and feel better is so important to me, and I thank you for committing to this process, allowing us to work together to solve your unique issues, even if it takes some time to get to the root of them. I know what it is like to be limited by pain, problems moving how we want to be moving, sleep disturbances, and having to keep working at home exercises to feel better. I'm grateful for every session where we can help your body shine your light on the world a little brighter! Thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of your healing journey! 

Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and that you can focus on all that you are grateful for in your life, no matter what is going on around us. God Bless You!! 

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