The woman has been working hard in therapy for months. She’s come a long way since she came to us. At first, walking even a few steps was nearly impossible. With each step, she experienced pain, and her fear and anxiety caused her to feel such trepidation that she would ask to sit down in her chair after only a few steps. But over time, she started taking a step or two more, and then as time went on, a few steps more.
A pattern emerges. She identifies a challenge in therapy, and experiences lots of anxiety about it in the beginning. Then, with persistent effort, and lots of talking-it-through with the therapy team, she begins to progress. Whatever seemed impossible just a few days before becomes doable. At first, when walking with her walker, the sight of other residents also ambulating in the hall would send shivers down her spine. The presence of others creating traffic gave her a great fright. “Oh! I can’t do this! I can’t make it down there!” she would cry. “You can do it,” her therapist would tell her, “Just keep going straight. They’re not in your way.”
More recently, this resident walks herself down to therapy, working up a good sweat on the way in the door. Then she turns around and makes another trip out with her therapist. After returning, she jumps on the bike for a pedaling session, and she keeps on sweating. As she dabs her damp brow with a Kleenex I see a look of pride on her face. She can feel her strength increasing. She knows she is on the mend and making incredible progress.
In the middle of the workout, she pauses with a few other residents to eat their lunch together in the therapy gym, also known as, “The Happy Place.”
Her story is not a unique one at our Health and Wellness Center. This is a portrait of yet another Therapy Hero, a real Champ on a journey from weakness to strength, from illness to health, from brokenness to wholeness. We give thanks everyday as we watch God at work in the lives of those we serve in our Therapy gym.