I Owe My Physical Therapist The World

To My Physical Therapist, I Owe You My Life

You reminded me that we all have setbacks, and this was just the challenge I was meant to overcome.

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Two months and two weeks ago, I got surgery to repair a torn ACL. It was an injury I carried for almost a year because I did not want to miss my first year of college. I originally wanted the surgery before my first semester, but that was unrealistic. I then tried to get surgery during Christmas break, but that also was not enough time. The last thing I needed was to go back to North Philadelphia in January, four weeks post surgery, and end up falling and re-tearing my ACL.

Even though this definitely was not my ideal summer, I realized I needed to come back home one last time. I always love coming home to visit my parents, but it was frustrating not having really any friends in the area. My best friend lives all the way in Memphis, and my other friends are relatively close to Philadelphia. I felt like I grew distant from them just because I couldn't just hop in my car and drive. This past summer made me realize my life is not here anymore, and that's okay. My life is really in North Philadelphia.

So to my physical therapist, I really do owe you the world. You encouraged me through every session that I was getting stronger to get out of here. You reminded me that we all have setbacks, and this was just the challenge I was meant to overcome.

The moment you helped get all my bandages off a week after my surgery, I was already bending my knee. You saw my determination to get stronger and kept pushing me to go a harder weight or try something new. You were my biggest advocate in my recovery, besides my mother who basically waited on me hand and foot.

I even was able to lose my brace and crutches about three weeks after surgery, which we were all surprised. Of course, they sometimes ride backseat in my car in case of emergencies, but they are only there in case. I am not bound to them.

There were even a few sessions we just talked about what was frustrating me. Yes, I was too optimistic at times I thought I could run a little on the treadmill. I was frustrated that I felt stuck because I still couldn't do that much physically with how weak my knee can be if I walk a lot. I was even more frustrated I gained so much weight because I had to drop my workout routine after I tore my ACL.

However, you reassured me I would be back to where I was in no time, but I cannot rush the process. I had to trust the process.

You offered I could come in during Thanksgiving and Christmas break, and that was when we would begin running and other agility exercises. For now though, I was only to focus being able to walk around campus in the fall.

As I approach my final session of the summer, I can only say how blessed I am. You listened to when I was struggling and did not downplay the pain I sometimes felt. You encouraged me that greatness really doesn't quit. Also that life does get hard, but it's suppose to be hard.

There were times where the exercises were definitely tough and I walked out of PT feeling more beat up then stronger. However, it is all worth it.

Even though I am not technically done with PT, I know this is only the halfway point of my recovery. I was definitely frustrated with my injury, but it doesn't define me. I am not weak just because I had to get knee surgery. It actually made me stronger.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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An Incurable Disease Doesn't Change The Love I Have For You

Because one day the one you love the most is fine and the next day they're not, it causes devastation you never truly recover from.

nadoty
nadoty
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Loving someone with an incurable disease is the most emotionally straining thing I have ever experienced.

My significant other and I have been together for almost six years. During the summer of 2018, we all noticed the significant changes he was going through. He had lost around fifty pounds and had a lack of appetite. We had figured something was going on, however, we didn't realize it was anything serious.

Fast forward to the Fall semester of 2018. I had visited my boyfriend and we had expressed certain concerns, such as, through the night I would try and get him to stop uncontrollably itching his legs to the point of bleeding, or that he was looking a little yellow and was exhausted all the time. After seeing his sister in November, while I was at school, she pleaded with him to go to urgent care because he did not look good. He was yellow, exhausted, and very sickly looking. We didn't realize that the urgent care visit would be the precedent of the rest of our lives.

After coming home for Thanksgiving and spending a week straight in the hospital with him, it finally set in that something was not right. Between all the vomit, getting moved for testing, the weakness, the constant calling for medications because the pain was so severe, and the almost month-long stay in the hospital, it hit me full force that something was really wrong. Words will never truly describe the emotions I was feeling, or the burden of my thoughts that I felt were too selfish to pass on anyone, so I kept them to myself.

When we finally got the diagnosis, we were surprised. PSC, otherwise known as Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis, is an incurable liver disease that affects the bile ducts which become scarred and inflamed, more likely than not lead to cirrhosis and an inevitable transplant. There was no cure, rather the only solution was a liver transplant, and even then the disease can be recurring.

I was thinking selfishly. I was torn in two. What would our future look like? Could we have children? Could we ever do the things we used to?

Loving someone with an incurable disease is a mix of emotions. There is a constant fear in the back of my mind that he is going to wake up in intense pain and have to be rushed to the hospital. There is a constant fear of every time waiting for the bi-weekly blood test results to come back, in fear that his Bilirubin spiked again or he is undergoing a flare up and needs to be hospitalized. There is a constant anxiety that one day he's going to be fine, and the next day he won't be. Even the simple things, such as laying beside one another, was a constant fear I had, due to the pain he was in every day. What if I hit him in my sleep on accident? What if I accidentally hugged a little too tightly and caused him pain?

Loving someone with an incurable disease can be a fluctuation of emotions, however, he makes it worth it.

nadoty
nadoty

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