A therapy session with Rachel

Hello, my name is Brad Cooper. I am the primary physical therapist working with Rachel in this outpatient setting. I am not writing because I was asked but because—after getting to know Rachel and reading the blog—I feel compelled to do so.

Yes, I am the physical therapist who suggested that Rachel increase her treatment sessions to three times per week instead of two. Although Rachel made a face and rolled her eyes a little (because she knew she would be giving up a day of swimming), she did not hesitate. Rachel has been very consistent and compliant with her treatment and exercises and has been progressing well because of her hard work.

Working with Rachel is all about her laugh and her smile.

Every time you ask her how she is doing, she will say she is tired and then laugh. Every time you ask her to do an exercise or an activity, she will give you the look and then say, "OK" and laugh. Every time we reach a milestone (such as lifting her leg up against gravity), she will proudly say, despite the exhaustion, “Look what I did” and then laugh.

When Rachel is having a bad day and even some pain, she seems to always let it out and then move on and begin to laugh again.

Laughter is good exercise (it uses a lot of different muscles), but it is not the only exercise or activity Rachel does in physical therapy. 

When we started therapy, we worked in and out of the pool for Rachel’s treatment. Most recently, since Rachel is spending so much time in the pool with her swim team, we mostly work on land. 
Presently, she spends about an hour and half, three days a week, at our clinic. We are working on her strength with exercises, on her balance (she is getting very good at this) and her gait as well as her range of motion. At the same time, we are trying to keep her pain down and have a little bit of fun.

And, of course, there is the smiling and the laughing. But we don't have to work on that. It comes naturally. 

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