Mobility Unleashed: Hey, Come Back Charlie!
HEY! STOP! COME BACK CHARLIE !!!
The sounds of someone on the move.... these words are music to any health care provider's ears when they have been caring for someone who is challenged in their mobility.
I had been working with Charlie for about 3 weeks when he arrived in my back parking lot and apparently had 'gotten away' from his person and was ambling across the field in back... just the week prior, Charlie was completely paralyzed in his back legs and the idea of him 'getting away' was inconceivable.
Like so many dogs who seek out massage and warm water therapy, Charlie had come in for help in regaining mobility. In Charlie's case, this was after a spinal injury and subsequent surgery. Charlie hadn't been able to move his back legs for several weeks and our discussions of late had included carts and other possible mobility aides as we covered some possible solutions for his future.
These were the subjects I had researched in preparation for our appointment that day, research I happily set aside as I watched little Charlie take off on his new found hind legs.
I always tell my students that in our work, we do need to have a plan, but we need to always remain fluid in that plan and change as circumstances change.
As I listened to Charlie's "mom" dash across the parking lot in pursuit of her runaway dachshund, I set aside the wheel chair information that I had gathered and happily pondered all the wonderful gait and strength building possibilities in water and made a new plan for the session.
I have learned in my business that 'healing' can mean different things. Sometimes 'healing' can mean a dog regains mobility like Charlie. But just as often, 'healing' may mean that a dog will not regain mobility but instead will move into the wonderful world of special needs support products and care. No one really knows what is in store. As therapists, the best we can do is be present, create a safe environment and stay fluid in the way we serve...
In Charlie's case, these are some of the steps I took in order to help facilitate this process :
As a therapist, being a part of Charlie's family and health care team is quite an honor. To be witness to mobility being regained is a wonderful progression to be a part of - it is always a miracle to witness the body's desire to heal and can involve profound moments for all involved.
As I serve in this capacity, I strive to remain humble and present in the process and then raise my arms to the heavens in gratitude when those words float through the windows......
WHOA CHARLIE !!!!!!!!!
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