Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at www.PDPlan4Life.com) Copyright 2013-16 Sheryl Jedlinski
It is only one week post-surgery and already I am transitioning from home to outpatient physical therapy (PT), exceeding everyone’s expectations. Now I must decide where to go for therapy. I have two good options, each with their own pros and cons. One is to stay with the facility I have been going to for the past year. It has the latest high-tech equipment, and many young, energetic, professional therapists. Over time, however, I saw multiple therapists who were simultaneously assisting other patients. While I understand there is medical merit behind this practice, it isn’t what works best for me.
My other choice was to find the PT who helped me climb out of an emotional and physical low several years ago after another PT, based only on an initial evaluation, told me my lower back pain was due to “irreversible” structural changes to my spine caused by poor posture related to my ‘progressive, incurable’ disease. Her solution was that I learn to use a cane. Mine was to find a PT who could help me.
That someone was Beata — a cross between an adoring teacher and a drill sergeant. No matter how hard I worked, her response was the same: “higher, harder, higher harder.” After 16 sessions, I experienced a medical miracle: the “irreversible structural changes” to my spine were gone. Lest I allow my posture to lapse after my discharge, she followed me out of the building and warned, “Remember, I am watching you.”
The more I recalled my time with Beata, the more determined I was to find her again, even if my GPS led me to the ends of the earth to do so. As it turns out, she works 10 minutes from my house, though it took 10 phone calls to find her. Friday we begin again. While it is easy to focus on all the things PD robs us of, we must not lose sight of all that it empowers us to do, as well. We hold the keys to chart our own own course to living well with PD for decades to come.