The Cleveland Clinic: my crutch

(Wait for it…)

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artistic photo of cat with crutches

I was fitted for my crutches today, and tomorrow is the biggie: the hip brace. However, the reason I’m posting today is because I would like to say a few words about The Cleveland Clinic, specifically the Richard E. Jacobs Health Center in Avon, Ohio. (…there it is! Now the title’s pun makes sense. You’re welcome.)

I have been going to this facility since August for my physical therapy. In that time, I’ve come to know fairly well the PT staff that I have worked with. My experiences with Jen, Madelyn, and Stephen were always, in a word, great.

When I first started physical therapy, I was very depressed. I kept beating myself up for bringing on the injury by over training, and Jen listened to all my crying and worries. I learned that she, too, had torn both her hip labrums (labri? labrali? I have no idea what the plural of “labrum” is.); however, I also learned that she is a new mom, that her husband is a police officer, and that she played volleyball in high school. In short, she became more than a PT – she was a person with whom I had connected. Not only did Jen help make me stronger physically, she helped me get over the self-deprecating to make me stronger emotionally.

Madelyn gets the credit for opening my eyes to the wonderful world of strength training. Not only did she teach me a great deal of exercises to do sans gym, sans equipment, and sans crunch, she helped restore my confidence. Whenever she evaluated me, she had very kind words to say about my progress. As an athlete herself, Madelyn truly understood my frustrations of not being able to do more. She taught me to have patience and to celebrate even the baby steps.

While I didn’t work with Stephen that much, I learned quite a bit from him. At a time when we all thought I was ready to try running again, he was the one helping me chart my course. He put together a realistic, weekly workout schedule that incorporated a variety of cardio and strength training. He made himself easily available to contact directly, and when I did eventually email him a question, he got back to me right away. I admit I was surprised. The fact that he took the time to get back to me so quickly and so thoroughly was not only impressive, it was appreciated.

Walking into the Cleveland Clinic today reminded me about how great this staff is. Though I was working with Jen today getting set up with the crutches, asking questions about the surgery, and just plain catching up, Stephen made a point to say hello and that he saw I was scheduled for surgery. He said he was sorry the physical therapy didn’t work out. On the contrary! I told him I would see him January 2nd for my first post-surgery session and that I looked forward to it.

Say what you will about Cleveland Clinic, but I have been very happy with my experiences thus far. I’m not just speaking niceties when I say that I look forward to my post-surgery physical therapy. I know that the people who will be taking care of me truly care about my well-being, and if that isn’t a motivating factor, I don’t know what is.

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