Yesterday was my last session of PT for my shoulder. There were a lot of emotions. Nearly eight months of therapy after a failed attempt of treatment from another care provider and fourteen months since the injury.
I am thankful for being able to get a second opinion and to then get the care I really needed and advocated to get in the first place. I am thankful for the doctor who believed my pain and that I should not settle for partial healing and movement of my arm. I am thankful that he referred me to a fantastic PT group who also took my concerns as real and my desire to get better as true. The new doctor and PT group found it reasonable for me to want to be able to put on a coat without pain or hook my bra when getting dressed in the morning or to be able to sleep through the night. They recognized that my injury and healing process were atypical and were not going to give up. They were able to work with my injury so that I could avoid surgery or manipulation under anesthesia.
It took a long time, and with very slow and steady progress. They did not place blame or make me feel badly for it taking so long to recover. They focused on the forward progress no matter how small. They acknowledged my efforts and were my cheerleaders. They listened to all of the little, subtle details of what I observed or noticed along the way to make adjustments or tweaks in their treatment plan. They did not make me feel silly for being frustrated by some of the limitations I had experienced in my range of motion. They were glad that I wanted to be able to throw a baseball again or reach for the cereal on the top shelf or be able to make snow angels. I did not just want to settle for partial results. Sure, I may not get back to exactly how my arm was before the accident. But, I don't have to settle for good enough. They understood that I wanted to get back to as close to my normal, which may be a bit farther than most because of me being hypermobile or naturally more flexible. It was not a crazy expectation or unrealistic. It was just me wanting to be me again.
So, before I left on that last day, I thanked the PT therapists who worked with me. I also thanked other staff for their patience and kindness. Once I stepped out of the hospital, I cried a little bit. Tears of relief, tears of saying good-bye and tears of thankfulness. Hopefully, it is over and my arm can heal that last five percent on its own with my own exercise, regular living and time. I am walking away feeling confident in the medical care I finally received.