-presented by the Physical and Occupational Therapy Department of Orange City Area Health System
As physical therapists and occupational therapists, we are privileged to spend ample time with patients as they journey to regain and maximize their abilities after injury or illness. Every patient has an incredible story that we wish you could see, because it would inspire you to move more, which in turn would inspire those around you to move more, which has a great side effect of improved health and wellness.
Here are a few stories our department complied, that will try to capture and convey the inspiration we receive while working with patients:
I was asked to work with a gentleman following a car accident resulting in broken bones that required surgery. He came to his first physical therapy appointment in a wheelchair and with a smile. He looked forward to every session, and he gave great effort in his rehabilitation program. He did his exercises in therapy and at home and eventually reached his goal of returning to work and being able to mow his lawn without needing a break. The inspiration I received through his story is that attitude and persistence helps you progress. His story gives me an inspirational story to share as the next new patient starts their rehabilitation process and inspires me to be consistent in my own exercise program.
A patient came to me with problems of daily, severe headaches. In asking how it influenced her daily life she related that she continued to do her normal things, including working every day, but would like to do them without a headache. A few years later I had my own stretch of time with daily headaches, and I remembered my patient’s story of perseverance in the face of pain, which inspired me to continue doing things that I needed and wanted to do.
I work with multiple pediatric patients who have a hard time engaging in daily tasks without having a meltdown or negative behavior. This affects the child, the parents, home life, school life and engagement in the community. Stress is often present as frustration with not being able to complete a task, fear of being hurt, social anxiety or feeling a loss of control. These pediatric patients inspire me by the way they positively respond to movement and playful engagement, which allows them to experience joy rather than stress, let their guard down, learn to tackle new and hard tasks and build relationships with others. I learn a nugget from every therapy session and carry that forward to share stories of success with others, celebrate gains with families and provide support on the hard days. It inspires me on the days when I don’t feel at my best to apply what I have learned from my families. Movement helps me to feel better so I can engage in the things that seem hard. Creating and organizing lead to a sense of satisfaction and calm to my life to be able to tackle the next hard thing in front of me.
Patients that come in happy and excited to do their therapy, because they know how much it’s helping them, inspire me. It’s inspires me to do my best and make sure I interact with patients who are having a tough day, in a way that supports and builds them up.
An inspirational story I often see is when I work with sick and deconditioned patients in the hospital. Watching them work to regain their strength and independence to be able to return home, inspires me to encourage the next person to meet their goals as well.
So look around you for people you know, that have overcome movement problems and recognize the inspiration in their stories. Be inspired to address your challenge. If you need the help of a physical therapist, occupational therapist, personal trainer, or doctor it is readily available through the Orange City Area Health System. Then be an inspiration for the people around you.