There was a young woman who had been injured during an accident in which she had been a passenger on a motorcycle. I met her soon after she had been discharged from inpatient rehabilitation. As a result of the accident, she had lost the movement in both legs and one arm, and was having trouble visualizing herself resuming her role as a student with goals and aspirations of success. She was afraid that she would not be able to manage in a classroom. However, with a lot of encouragement, she finally decided to try an online class which she felt was safer; and then she got the courage to take a class at school. I was so proud of her when she stopped to see her OTs a few weeks ago and shared that she was just one semester away from graduating from a California State University with a degree in accounting.
I had the opportunity to work with a remarkable woman who had severe shoulder pain as a result of rheumatoid arthritis. She was being evaluated for bilateral shoulder replacements, and during the pre-operative occupational therapy evaluation, I discovered that she loved art and music, and played the cello professionally. This was discussed with the surgeons, who agreed that during surgery for staged total shoulder arthroplasties they would place one of her shoulders with increased external rotation, and the other with increased internal rotation. This allowed her to continue to play her beloved cello after her shoulder replacements. Even after it became difficult to play professionally, she continued to get together and play with a small group of musicians. She also resumed painting which she had not done for years prior to her shoulder surgery, and has a painting hanging on one of the walls at Rancho Los Amigos. Whenever I pass that painting, I have fond memories of her success and the joy she found in her art and music.
By: Honor Galloway, OTR/L