Most of the time, what we do here for our patients at Champion Fitness Physical Therapy works. The plan of care is carried out to fruition, and the patient leaves our clinic ready to “Get Busy Living!” again, going back to the lifestyle he/she once enjoyed. Other times, however, it’s a struggle. For whatever reason, the patient fails to meet the criteria established, and frustration sets in.
Once in awhile, though, we experience a patient like Gail. Gail represents the best and worst of both worlds, the individual who tries to get better, but circumstances beyond her control continue to make everything she does a challenge. However, that doesn’t stop our clinicians from searching to find an answer to give her the best chance to live life to the fullest.
That’s the case in LeRoy.
Gail is a mid-thirties “Special Needs” woman who has been a patient at the LeRoy clinic off and on for over three years as she has tried to battle, what her doctors have called, “Parkinson-like” symptoms, a case somewhat unique for someone this young. For one thing, uncontrollable twitching in the limbs has occurred in both her arms and legs, and the doctors have been unable to identify the source or the reason for the condition. Her shoulders also have also given her trouble to the point where she can no longer lift any semblance of weight to carry out normal functions around home or work.
Despite these obstacles, Gail’s outlook on life continues to inspire the LeRoy therapy staff who has searched for ways to make her therapy beneficial and easily manageable. She has been willing to try virtually everything that PT Tim Highland, PTA Autumn Gillibrand, or AA Denise Noe have placed before her. For example, since she has begun her therapy program at Champion Fitness Physical Therapy, she is now able to carry her own children, something she was unable to do before. The challenge has been to create a program that she could do at home on a daily basis so she could continue to work on her development, and yet keep it simple enough that she could follow it at her own pace. The answer became the “personal video.”
With the help of certified personal trainers Paul Kelly and Alison Key, a DVD was produced detailing a series of exercises designed exclusively for Gail. In it, Tim gives her specific instructions at the beginning, and then Paul and Alison lead her through sets and reps of shoulder exercises at a very easy pace, including some helpful hints along the way that scroll across the screen while she completes the task at hand. Rest periods between sets and longer breaks between exercises are included. At the very end, Tim returns and congratulates her on completing that particular workout and reminds her to repeat the format the next day.
The secret to the success of this experiment is the willingness of Gail to follow the directive and complete her daily routine. With her mother’s help, Autumn’s shadowing, and her own desire, she is now able to pour milk from a gallon jug, one of her goals when she began the program. Already, the exclusively-made individualized instructive video has come a long way in guiding Gail on her road to recovery and her ability to “Get Busy Living!”