Physical Therapy

I can’t sleep so I thought I’d write a blog post.  I fell into the profession of physical therapy back asswards.  Most people have some story like “my mom went to PT” or “my sister went to PT” or “I want become a PT to go to Africa and help all the starving little kids do physical therapy.”  No joke, I heard that (well, close to that, in a group interview for PT school).  Not me, I got nothin’.  I don’t have some story.  I just decided to go to grad school one day and I really liked my anatomy class in college so I decided to go to PT school.  For whatever reason, I got into a school out in Philadelphia and BAM 3 years later I was a physical therapist.  Then BAM 4 years after that I had a massive stroke, almost died, and my life was flipped inside out and upside down.  I miss it.  I miss being a PT.  I liked making people feel better.  It definitely wasn’t a thankless job.  It was pretty thankful.  I hope to do it again someday but I’m a far way from being a practicing PT again.  That sucks cause after what I’ve been through and after what I’ve learned I’d be a f’ing amazing physical therapist.

Categories: Rehab

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13 replies

  1. Amy, You are one amazing person. I bet you were one incredible PT because you still are. Your blog yesterday on Eccentric Control was so helpful. Several weeks ago you explained in a blog why my 31 year old daughter in law (my deceased son’s wife with a two year old) got up and left the hospital 3 days after she had a massive cerebellar stroke with NO symptoms at all (this was just 2 months after my stroke). I asked her young, bright doc to explain: my damage was the size of a grape, her damage the size of a lemon, and yet I had/have a ton of symptoms and she has none. He told me that most young people who have a cerebellar stroke die from it (don’t know if that is true but what he said), so youth was not the answer as I had proposed. So he looks at me and asks if I believe in miracles (which I do) because he said we all just witnessed one. He had no medical explanation. You wrote about PT being a daily thing that we need to do each and every day. Erin, my daughter in law, was a dancer in school so her cerebellum was well developed. You indicated that that probably helped her. All this to say that you are one amazing PT but even more so you are one amazing person. While I do not believe that we are defined by our occupation, but rather how we do it and how we live each moment, I do believe, and would bet anything on it, that you will be an active, practicing PT again, probably much sooner than you think. Thanks again for sharing, and have a really good day today. Bob

  2. Amy,
    With the insight you have now, you’d be an awesome PT! I like the attitude too. You didn’t say if.

  3. I have been thinking about going back to medicine, but not as a radiologist which is what I did before. I’ve been working as a designer since 1996, so it’s been a long time. I’m actually a lot more interested in medical ethics now and end-of-life care. Very strange for an obstetrical sonographer who used to specialize in the beginning of life. Amy you would be an amazing PT if you went back to it. I can see you as the leader for a stroke rehab team. Physiatrists in my opinion are total waste. All they know how to do is write prescriptions and (sometimes) inject botox. You would be much better at coordinating care and knowing what each patient needed.

    • It’s good to hear that from you. I also think physiatrists are useless. It’s like they couldn’t hack it doing a real specialty so they did physiatry. Is there like a geriatric doctor?

      • The people from my medical school class who went into physiatry (and also psychiatry) were all at the bottom of the class. They couldn’t hack the hard science and didn’t have the hands or the confidence for the procedures. Geriatrics is a specialty – internal medicine for old people like pediatrics is internal medicine for young people. This is different from family practice which is supposed to be internal medicine for all people, but it beats me how you can keep up if you’re trying to be everything to everybody.

  4. You would probably be the only PT I wouldn’t be able to roll over. The ones I had knew nothing. My OT was the one I trusted even though she was into NDT.

  5. I loved my PT. She was considerably younger than I, but still tough, smart, and experienced, with a wicked, sarcastic sense of humor. Despite the age difference we were very compatible. She never condescended to me by calling me sweetie, or honey, or the infuriating hon. I didn’t know any better, so I assumed all along that I would return to work, until one day I asked her what was the average time it took her patients to get back to work, and she looked me in the eye and said, “I’ve never had a patient go back to work.” That caused me to reassess my plans and expectations, but fortunately I was able to return to work part-time in four months and full time after six months. I’m very lucky in that architecture is something that has become computer-based, and even luckier that the agency I work for embraces the technology that makes working from home not only possible, but commonplace. I hope that you will be able to use your talent and experience and return to your field in some way in the not-too-distant future.

    • You went back to work full time in 6 months??? Wow!!

      • Yes, I suffered very little cognitive damage from the stroke. Physically, I was fairly severely disabled in the beginning, but recovered rapidly.

        • Going back to work for me has been difficult. I make handmade greeting cards, and the handmade part isn’t possible yet. My family has helped me get orders out but my business (, which took me 10 years to build, is currently on life support. I can still design but I can’t do production. I didn’t have any cognitive damage, but I need both my hands to work and can’t afford to pay anyone right now. I love making things so hopefully someday I will again. I have been able to knit, though, which is both fun and therapeutic. Lots of scarves.

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