Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"I'm just thankful to be alive"

I'm a physical therapist. Not just any physical therapist but a home health physical therapist. I see patients in their homes. They have to be homebound so most of them are elderly but that's ok because wisdom = age + experience and I learn as much from my patients as they learn from me.
Today, however was one of those days where I learned so much about life from one of my patients. We'll call her Sarah, but that is not her real name. Sarah is only 34 years old - long flowing red hair and slim like a runner. Several weeks ago, Sarah had her left leg amputated below the knee, and at the same time in a 13 hour surgery had the toes amputated from her right foot. Both are heavily bandaged and Sarah is temporarily in a wheelchair. Prior to this, Sarah had ALL of her fingers and both thumbs amputated. Those wounds have healed now. As I worked with Sarah during her first home health physical therapy evaluation, I was impressed by her zeal for life. She was supposed to have died from the infection that spread through her body. Not once did she complain about anything today. She glowed. She exuded happiness and worked so hard at all the strengthening exercises that we did. Her husband Tony is a rock, very supportive and strong. Today, as always, I really enjoyed being a physical therapist. I love helping patients regain strength, mobility and range of motion. I enjoy the one on one care. I come home tired but satisfied that I have given my all and no less.
How thankful are you to be alive ?
Do you still have 10 toes, 8 fingers and 2 thumbs ? Then don't ever complain again !

1 comment:

Jill said...

I'm missing 5 toenails, can I complain?? :) Ah, I paint the stubs anyway...being the girl in me an all :). I have great admiration for your profession; you have a compassionate heart and I know you bring joy to many with your infectious smile and big heart!