Because of pain in my left shoulder, my doctor referred me to physical therapy after X-ray images revealed symptoms of osteoporosis. I have never had physical therapy before, so during registration and orientation at the outpatient rehabilitation center, I found myself reflecting on this new development and the whole concept of therapy.
It was busy at the center, patients coming in for registration (first-timers like me) or reporting for continuing appointments. There was a lot of coming and going, sitting in the waiting area for a few minutes, then being called into therapy, out into the elevator and so on. I wondered what can be learned by keeping track of a patient. Well, I kept track and will continue to monitor my own progress.
We, patients, represented all age groups – adults, I mean: young, middle age and elderly. Some were on walkers and crutches, others, like me, you couldn’t tell what the problem was by just observing movement. I didn’t see any who had a guardian or help; it appeared like – on this day anyway – most must have driven themselves to the center.
I was summoned into what looked like an exercise room where patients were performing all kinds of body movements. I had an assessment done by two young girls and then briefed on what we will be doing. I did the exercises, which I will continue to do everyday at home and twice a week at the center. At the end of the session they gave me diagrams of what I had just done for guidance with my home routine.
As I reflected, I realized that I will have to keep to the routine for as long as it takes in order to get rid of the pain. I could see the same determination in the other patients. And judging from the information I got when setting up the appointment and how busy the place looked with all the coming and going, it appeared to me that everybody takes the physical therapy seriously.
Perhaps you have been, or are, on the physical therapy route. If not, well, keep living. Still you have probably observed people’s determination with physical exercise. I used to go to the gym every morning and in fact the pain in my shoulder – according to one doctor – may have been an injury in the gym more than ten years ago even though I never noticed it. And what about dieting and losing weight, appearance and staying young and so on? Most people on any of those routes pay attention, stay committed (or would like to) and look forward to results.
This brings me to the other therapy – spiritual therapy – which follows next.