Client Highlight: Sara Continued...

Author: Justine Cosman, PT, DPT : Doctor of Physical Therapy, Business Owner, Associate Professor, and Blog Contributor. Explores common client questions and helps find solutions for every day functional health concerns, and then some. Loves empowering others, seeking adventure, and learning every day. Learn more about Justine on Google+.

Apart from the story that re-united Sara and I multiple times, Sara has had great wisdom and such a great attitude surrounding her circumstances:

“I get this all the time. People say that I am very unlucky. I feel like I am the luckiest person in the world that I have been able to overcome 3 accidents in less than 3 years. I genuinely feel lucky. I think a big part of that was getting the care and assistance that I needed. It was so random to have you out of everyone in Portland – to be such a great fit.”

I asked Sara what she would recommend to other’s regarding physical therapy that could be helpful with them attaining their own personal goals:

“I’ve done this before and I know that I may have to do it again, but it is totally worth it. It’s hard to not have an excuse. It is hard now, but it will be easier later.”

Then I asked what physical therapists should strive for with their patient care, including ourselves:

“Respect my time, listen to me, and tailor things just to me. Help me listen to my body. It was fun to have up-to-date care and to have an active knowledge of what is happening - I didn't have the time for that to do it myself. Even when we weren’t together you were thinking about my plan of care and our next step. You recognized when stress levels were crazy and you all gave me a little more room, which was really helpful. You all have a holistic approach and genuinely want to make sure that you all were not adding to the stress. If you all weren’t as caring, I wouldn’t have come back for a 3rd time.”

Lastly, Sara has a message for individual’s working with difficult symptoms or chronic pain:

“Pain management with physical therapy gave me a sense of control in a time that didn’t feel quite as controllable. Pain medications don’t always help. Vicodin was not going to help my nerve pain and tingling. At the time, it seemed more like enabling me to be in that state. You all made the connection between stress and pain, and that helped me make the steps to improve that part of my life. It not only helped my pain levels, but also my psyche.

Sure, I will still get some pain and flair ups if I don’t manage myself well. Pain can be a reminder of what I should be doing. I feel very not at fault and it is easy to blame others. If this happened differently, I wouldn’t have had pain in the first place. Blaming people can bring you into a downward spiral. It is better to look at the present and move forward – then you will continue to progress. Can’t change the past – your thoughts and feelings won’t make it different.

Change you, now, and move forward. It is an active progress. You have to move past the instinct to blame. If you can change your process and thoughts about it, it can make the continued benefits during and after PT easier.”

An update on Sara:

She had be training for the Mud Run 5k, which, if you don’t know, has lots of obstacles that really tests your abilities. Sara was progressing with running and doing more extreme full body work outs to prepare. Just before the race, however, she sprained her ankle, but reports that she will be working hard to get back on track and continue working towards fun goals.