Guest post by Jessica Taylor, MS, OTR/L, Owner of NeuroTrain Rehab in East Cobb
Everyone loves a good story, so I’ll start there. In 2006, my little brother’s life changed; and so did mine. He was dominating the Motocross scene in the eastern United States until his professional career ended with a devastating spinal cord injury. In one split second, he went from skilled to critically ill. My family and I went from cheering him on from the sidelines of a dirt track to encouraging him to “stay strong” from the side of a hospital bed.
I am so grateful to be able to say that he did! He pulled through and went on to physical rehabilitation where a new set of challenges presented themselves. Challenges that involved simple daily tasks that many of us have never thought about as particularly difficult. “Can you brush your own teeth?” his occupational therapist asked that very first day as I sat with him eagerly awaiting her arrival. “I can’t move my hands. How am I supposed to brush my own teeth?” he responded. Using a small piece of foam and a velcro strap that went around his hand, he learned to brush his teeth that very day. This became the first of many awe-filled moments I experienced while watching that occupational therapist adapt his everyday items so that he could use them, even though he was still too weak to move his fingers.
Many of my patients ask me why I became an occupational therapist and I tell them my story. I tell them that I know with a few simple modifications, daily activities (we call them “occupations”) that seemed impossible due to illness or injury are very much possible. Occupational therapists are skilled at helping people to participate in the activities that are necessary for everyday living. We help you get stronger, have less pain, move better, and teach you how to modify items so you can use them more independently.
If you or someone you know would like to be more independent with daily activities, we would love to help!
2265 Roswell Rd. STE 304 Marietta, Ga. 30062