1. Can you tell me about the kinds of things you did in physical therapy? Did they try to make anything into a game? Did your physical therapist or assistant ever joke with you about certain things? (I want my character to have had a good relationship with their PT.)
The most of my getting stronger I done on my own. The therapy just stretched me and helped to get my spasticity under control. There was a few times that we would work on things such as balance or weight training. At first the therapist would make games out of it to help with fatigue and to get my mind off of the intense pain I was feeling. My therapist and I was constantly laughing and joking about stuff that has happened in our lives and stuff that would happen with my body during therapy.
2. What frustrated you the most in physical therapy?
Definitely the fact that they wouldn’t work on the types of things I wanted to work on. For example, they usually just stretched me but how does just stretching me help me continue to recovery more independence? It doesn’t. I use to be able to move my legs but because the therapist wouldn’t work them I can no longer move them.
3. How long did your physical therapy last? Are you still going to physical therapy?
I went to physical therapy for 7 years. I no longer go to therapy because of insurance not paying for it.
4. What were/are some of your frustrations and difficulties with your daily routine?
My frustration comes from not being able to do the things that I want such as fixing my hair a certain way or fixing my clothes a certain way. I’m able to do most of my daily care myself besides bathing, dressing, and fixing my hair. A lot of frustration comes from doing everything so slow. It takes me about three times as long as an able bodied person to do things.
5. What are some household additions/accommodations that you have and how do they work?
I have a ramp coming through both doors going outside, a hoyer to get me in and out of bed, and that’s really it as far as accommodations. I’ve learned to use things like a tiny broom with a long handled dustpan to pick up stuff I’ve dropped on the floor. I use a swifter duster to move things within my reach on the counter or knock stuff out if the cabinet I can’t reach. I have a clothes hanger with a rope to pick things up with like clothes or the broom if I dropped it. I’ve learned to adapt household items to help me anyway I can.
6. What are some difficulties that you have when going out in public?
Accessibility is the most difficult thing about going out in public. For example, a lot of stores don’t have ramps or the isle is too close together that my chair won’t fit down the isle.
7. What was your mindset like after everything happened? Thoughts? Fears?
When I woke up from my sedative I just kinda knew that I was paralyzed, no one had to tell me about my injury. I was strong, I held myself together and said that I could move my body it was just too heavy. It’s kinda like a what the crap moment? My biggest fear was will someone still love me? One of my biggest dreams is to be a wife and a mother so that was a big fear of mine. I’m now in a relationship that shows me I’m deserving of love despite the obstacles that come with my injury.