Join with me as I embark on a 31-Day Writing Challenge! Inspired by Lisa-Jo and created by the Nester, this exercise takes writers on a journey to write on one topic for 31 days straight.
Me? I’m attempting to go through our journey and countdown 31 things I used to have to do for Danny, that I don’t have to anymore. This exercise has already taken me down roads I haven’t traveled in my mind in quite some time. It has, and will allow me to be reminded just how far we really have come since August 16, 2005.
2. Physical Therapy
Throughout the last seven years, I have seen God weave people, situations and circumstance in and out of our lives-creating his masterpiece from our mess. I have seen seeds sown many years ago, grow into something bigger than any of us had even thought or imagined.
There were certainly times that were lonely, where it seemed God had abandoned us. Yet, looking back, I can see several altars of remembrance.
Amy and I went to school together as children, younger than our sons are now. Throughout elementary and middle school, we were great friends. Amy transferred to another school for high school and we lost touch, but there was never any love lost.
When Danny and I began dating and going to church together, we’d sometimes see Amy there. She and I would greet, hug and go to grab our seats. Nothing too time consuming, but still old friends.
Her brother soon started working at my dad’s shop, alongside Danny. Stephen loved Danny and they worked very well together. Danny and Stephen learned from each other and would spend time working after hours on the motorcycles. I think Stephen saw Danny as the big brother he never had and I know Stephen respected Danny greatly. His loyalty to us would show in the coming years.
When Danny was injured, their family visited consistently. They brought us dinner, snacks and were there for anything if we asked.
When Danny completed Shepherd Pathways, almost a year after the accident, we had no home physical therapy visits. We became his therapists again.
In addition to the standing frame, I bought so many things for Danny to work with at home; things that he could use on his own-thera-bands, stress balls, hand grip trainers, mini exercise bike, etc. But, like the standing frame, Danny wouldn’t do it. And, he wouldn’t think to do it. It just wouldn’t hit him that it was beneficial. I’m not sure where the disconnect happened, but it did.
I also purchased a membership to the Promotion Gym at Shepherd, where he has Beyond Therapy now. He could go there any time to use their accessible equipment and they even have volunteers to help. But, he wouldn’t go.
I’m not exactly sure how it all came about, but Amy and her husband Joe, both physical therapists, began coming to our house. They volunteered one night a week for almost a year and worked with Danny.
Seeds sown, now harvested.
The three of us-me, Amy and Joe-had to work with Danny. Joe had very ambitious goals for Danny, so we often found ourselves in funny and awkward attempts to get Danny more mobile.
Amy’s step-father built a mat table for Danny to do his workouts on and even put it on wheels so we could move it as necessary.
Amy and Joe were the first ones to stand with Danny. We were the first ones to put him in quadruped (on his hands and knees with an exercise ball underneath) and we also attempted some steps.
Oh, my goodness was it hard. Danny was dead weight, he was heavy and try as he might, it still took all three of us to help him do anything.
But, it was a start.
It was a blessing. They were a blessing. They were literally the hands and feet of Christ.
They didn’t have to give of their time. They didn’t have to work all day and then come and help us. They didn’t have to bring dinner and they didn’t have to give, but they did it anyway. They followed through on it.
And, you know what happened? We were blessed, but so were they; immeasurably.
I believe because they obeyed the Lord and followed through; the Lord blessed them, giving them the desires of their hearts.
But, that is their story to tell fully.
It’s hard to wear the physical therapist hat, when working with Danny. He’s my husband, not my patient or my client. I wear several hats, but the physical therapist hat is a hard one for either one of us to be comfortable with.
When I wanted to learn to ride a motorcycle, Danny sent me to a class. He didn’t want to teach me, knowing it would probably be frustrating for him.
In the same way, it was hard for him to take any direction from me. So, when Amy and Joe came along and they took the lead (a big one), I was able to follow.
And, after seven long months of waiting for an opening in Beyond Therapy, we were so excited to pass the buck, so to speak.
Beyond Therapy has been such a blessing is so, so, so, so, so many ways. But, to be able to leave the physical therapy to actual physical therapists is so refreshing.
One less hat I have to wear.
As for Amy and Joe, their roles in our journey are significant, as I believe we are to theirs. We are tied together forever. I can point to them and say God worked through them for us. They were instruments in our lives and we are forever changed. We are friends; friends without façades, friends without drama and friends without explanations. It’s incredibly freeing.
I don’t wear my physical therapy hat any more, not often at least.
Danny has improved to where he can do many things on his own. His desire to be free from the wheelchair has ignited and he wants therapy. He’s also made many friends there and it’s socially beneficial for him, in addition to the obvious physical improvements.
I glad he is at the point where I don’t have to be everything to him anymore.
I praise the Lord for Amy and Joe, for all the therapists that have come and gone, and those still sowing into our lives. Blessings to you all, for all that you do; not just for us, but for the many others fighting for freedom in their own bodies.