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The 'Holy Therapy Trinity' That Helped Me Recover After a Stroke

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Whenever I heard the word rehab before my stroke, alcohol or drug rehab was what came to mind. When I heard I had to have therapy, I really didn’t know how it applied to me.

I was a bit nervous to start all my therapies (speech, occupational and physical) at my subacute hospital. I received a little bit of therapy in ICU, but honestly that time period was pretty hazy. Then I believe the Lord saw my fears and to comfort me He sent me three therapy angels: Mary, Linda and Elizabeth. They were my holy therapy trinity: physical, occupational and speech therapists working together to help me recover.

Mary was my physical therapist. She was such an encourager, helping me to improve physically and spiritually. Linda was my occupational therapist. Our time was full of giggles. She helped me forget where I was for a little while each day. Elizabeth, my speech and language therapist, was the more serious of the three. But when she fed me applesauce for the first time, I had the biggest smile on my face. These three women were my biggest blessings in my recovery.

In all therapies, I had come to expect each discipline to work independently from each other, each having separate goals. But these ladies had different ideas. The “gym” was also where all three had their offices, so when I saw one, I usually saw them all. If Mary was working on PT, it wasn’t unusual for one of the others to be helping. I remember one time, one was behind me spotting me with the wheelchair, one had the gait belt, and a third had a sheet around my waist, holding me up.

The best day during my stay at the subacute hospital was the day they put me in a stander and I was finally able to stand for the first time on my own since my stroke. Family, nurses, CNAs, and Mary, Linda and Elizabeth were all in my room. Once I stood, I had the biggest smile on my face. There was clapping, cheering and tears. It really does take a village.

I actually enjoyed going to my therapy sessions in my subacute hospital. I didn’t see it as work. It was a time to laugh and share with my girlfriends. I think because of this, I worked even harder. I truly don’t think I’d be where I am today without my therapy trinity.

It’s been almost seven years and I still keep in touch with Linda, Mary and Elizabeth. We’ve gone to get coffee and exchanged Christmas presents. We are there for each other during the ups and downs of life. They aren’t just my former therapists, they’re lifelong friends.

So when in therapy, open up. Ask your therapist how their day is going. You might just meet a therapy angel. At the very least, they might make you smile.

Getty image by Katarzyna Bialasiewicz.

Originally published: February 25, 2019
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