Monday, April 18, 2016

Just Tell Them, "She Tried."

Before I go any further, I thought it would be appropriate to let everyone know who I am.  Many of you have been so kind to join my Facebook page and read this blog,  You're going to trust me to provide you with valuable information.  So...I thought it would be important to tell you all about me.

Well, I'm originally from Windsor, Connecticut.  Yes, it's cold up there.  Very cold.

I received a Bachelor of Science from Temple University in Community Health Education in 1998.  For a year after college, I taught a health class to at-risk girls at an inner-city middle school in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  I decided to go to Rutgers University for physical therapy school and graduated with a Master in Physical Therapy in  December of 2001.

From there I moved down to Baltimore, Maryland and began working at the University of Maryland Medical Center in their Shock Trauma division.  There I learned from the best physical therapists around and treated some of the most complicated patients you can think of.  BUT....

I knew that I could do more.  I wanted to spread my wings and fly.  So, I started a business.  After a 12 week course in business ownership at the Women's Entreupreuners of Baltimore, I launched Rapha Physical Therapy.  That was in 2003. I started out just contracting with facilities that were short on physical therapists.  And it grew.  I gained a wonderful mentor, Rodger Henning, who really taught me about owning a business.

I ended up moving out to California Thanksgiving weekend of 2005.  I had an uncle in Los Angeles and we had always talked about starting a business together.  He was an occupational therapy assistant and very passionate about his profession.  I was all set to move out here and he ended up passing.  I came anyways.  Somehow, I just thought he would want me to.

To make a long story short, I established Rapha Physical Therapy in Montclair, California in December of 2006 and have been here ever since.  I met my husband on a blind date in 2005 and ended up getting hitched in 2007.  We now have two beautiful children.   My background is in neurology and pediatrics.  I have worked in the pediatric ICU's of Cedar Sinai and Kaiser Permanente and have attended tons of continuing education courses.

Today my practice provides physical, occupational and speech therapy services to both adults and children.  Our mission is to provide outstanding services to the ones we serve and I have to say, my therapists do a GREAT job.  (Seriously...check out our yelp reviews. Type in Rapha Physical Therapy. We're one of the best in our area.)

So that is little old me.  I encourage you to ask questions, share your ideas, vent your frustrations and just be yourself.  Let's walk this journey together.  Although I've been practicing for 15 years now, there's still so much to learn.  When all is said and done, I want people to say this about me: "She tried."

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Saying Goodbye

One of the hardest things about being a pediatric physical therapist is saying goodbye the first and second time.  When treating adults with orthopedic injuries you get to enjoy your patient one to three times a week for approximately six to twelve weeks.  You share some good times, get them better and then they’re out the door.

Not so with the kiddos.

You see the kiddos for longer than six to twelve weeks.  Sometimes for years.  You become intricately involved in their lives.  You know their favorite food.  You get invited to birthday parties.  You witness the huge milestones.  You share recipes and business ideas with the mom.  You hear the daily frustrations.  You make the intermittent hospital visits.  You cheer for every goal met and cry for every set back.

And then one day it’s over.

That wonderful piece of sunshine that occupied the one o’clock slot on your schedule for the past 3 years is gone.  They go off to school, they age out, they move away, they get so good you have to discharge them.  It’s over.  And even though you’re happy they’re moving on to bigger and better things, a piece of you is devastated.  Where did the time go?  Did you do enough?  Did you give them the best?  Did they know that you genuinely loved them and wanted to see them soar?
The other day I was in the grocery store and I happened to see the father of one of my previous patients. I treated his son and it had been two years since he was discharged.  I loved that little boy.  I exchanged pleasantries with the dad and when I turned to look at his cart, there was my sunshine looking curiously at me.  “Well, hello there sweetheart,” I cooed.  “Hello.” He shyly returned.

And then it hit me.  He didn’t remember me. 

My sunshine was polite but appropriately filled with “stranger-danger” fear.  The dad told me he was doing fabulously in school and making great gains.  I was happy for him.  We said a few more words and then I moved on.  I wanted to embrace my sunshine.  I wanted to tell him that I loved him…even after all this time.  That I was proud of him and all of his progress.  I wanted to ask him about his school and that stuffed animal he loved so much.

But he didn’t remember me.

And such is the life of your child’s pediatric physical therapist.   Saying good bye the first time is hard.  The second goodbye is even harder.

Have you ever had to say goodbye to a beloved therapist?  How was it?  What was your experience?