First Day of PT

Last Friday was my first day of formal PT (physical therapy). Since I lived too far from the nearest VA facility that offered this service, the VA gave me the option of finding a provider closer to my home.

After extensive research, I kept hearing one name: Sue. She worked at a hospital that was only a few miles from my home and, by coincidence, one where I re-jabbed after having both shoulder and knee replacements over the past several years.

I submitted my request to have Sue oversee my therapy and the VA approved it almost immediately.

My first appointment

I went into my first appointment wondering what would happen and was pleasantly surprised that Sue spent the first hour getting to know me and understanding where I was in the Parkinson’s spectrum. We did some exercises and measurements and determined that my most pressing problems were upper body strength and balance.

The balance tests were interesting. Basically, I stumbled around like an inebriated sailor, especially when I had to move my eyes left and right as I walked. Balancing on one leg with my eyes closed was also a complete disaster; I swayed from side to side like a suspension bridge in a hurricane.

By the end of the session, I was pretty humbled by my poor performance, but Sue reassured me that my performance wasn’t unusually dismal.

Creating a plan

We went over a physical therapy plan that we will start next week to begin addressing my problem areas and she reassured me that I wasn’t a lost cause.

All in all, I found the experience, while somewhat humbling, to be positive and pleasant. I’m looking forward to the coming sessions with such a positive outlook that I’ve decided to hold off selling my beloved motorcycle in hopes that my balance might improve enough that I can ride it again.

Sue was great, positive in her approach but candid about my goals and expectations. She also surprised me when she let on that she had checked the notes from my previous re-habs and was aware of my propensity for over-doing things. She made it clear that my “no pain; no gain” approach wasn’t going to work and she’d be watching me closely.

Needless to say, I am looking forward to Monday’s session with Sue and her team.

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