The Monday Memo: 7/21/14

The Monday Memo

July 21, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Jimmy V Award” 

At this past week’s ESPY Awards, ESPN broadcaster Stuart Scott was presented with the annual “Jimmy V Award”, honoring North Carolina State University basketball coach Jim Valvano. The vicarious and passionate Coach Valvano passed away after fighting cancer in 1993, and during that year spoke at the inaugural ESPY Awards. The now historic speech contains seven famous words that continues to resonate today.

“Don’t give up. Don’t ever give up.”

Stuart Scott has been fighting a rare form of cancer since 2007.  His acceptance speech after being presented with the award praised the Jimmy V Foundation for cancer research, which has helped to fund numerous clinical trials. Scott’s most important message is that the fight against cancer is not one person alone. The help from countless benevolent people helps to fuel that battle. Without the support from numerous individuals, Mr. Scott explained, there would be no fight.

The value of help, whether it is a hug from a friend or an IV drug from a nurse, is priceless.  The emotional, physical, and mental support you give to a person, no matter how small, acts as the greatest fuel against seemingly insurmountable odds.

Please, spend 15 minutes watching the acceptance speech. Mr. Scott’s heartfelt and genuine words are moving, touching and inspiring.  Most of all, it shows the unstoppable willpower of the human spirit, and how every ounce of support is priceless.

- Jeremy Harris

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent -  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students - If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
July 20, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 7/14/14

The Monday Memo

July 14, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Live Like Lou” 

On the heels of last week’s memo, I discovered an organization based in Pittsburgh called “Live Like Lou”. Neil and Suzanne Alexander, following Neil’s diagnosis of ALS at age 46, founded the group to both raise awareness and develop support.  Their driving focus is to fund organizations that are fighting ALS and assisting families of ALS victims with financial assistance and care in Western Pennsylvania.  Live Like Lou uses Lou Gehrig’s message of determination and strength in face of adversity to bolster their cause.

What I found most intriguing about the organization was the level of local and global support they have been able to foster. The website features a gallery of photos taken by friends of the organization from around the planet sporting the group’s baseball cap, stitched with Mr. Gehrig’s number 4 in the front.  Their message and intention, though based locally, has such tremendous importance that it reaches far beyond our corner of the state.

Please take a look at Live Like Lou’s website, and consider making a donation to an organization doing a world of good.

http://livelikelou.myupsite.com/

- Jeremy Harris

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent -  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students - If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
July 15, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 7/7/14

The Monday Memo

July 7, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“The Gratitude of Living” 

This July 4th marks both the 238th birthday of the United States of America and the 75th anniversary of “Lou Gehrig Day”.  Gehrig, the famed first-baseman of the New York Yankees during the 1920’s and 1930’s, had been diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS, which brought his career to an unfortunate end.  To celebrate Gehrig and help him bid farewell to the game, the Yankees staged Lou Gehrig Day on July 4, 1939.  The event was capped by a speech from Gehrig himself, now considered one of the greatest speeches in sports history.  It has been compared in resonance, tone, and length to the Gettysburg Address.  Gehrig began with the now famous introduction:

“Fans, for the past two weeks you have been reading about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth.”

Lou

At this point, Gehrig had a 50/50 chance of survival from a disease that was virtually unknown.  His heartbreaking demise evoked such a great fear for what loomed ahead of Gehrig.  However, his historic speech was not a goodbye, not a speech about courage or defiance.  Gehrig’s oration was about gratitude for life, for people, for all the gifts that come along with living.  Gehrig proceeded to list a handful of those things he was so grateful for – his family, his parents, and his chance to play the game he loved so dearly – all of which was summed up by his final statement:

“So I close in saying that I may have had a tough break, but I have an awful lot to live for.”

Rather than speaking on hardship or adversity, Gehrig chose the topic of gratitude.  Appreciating what you have been given is what drives the courage to fight on in such ugly circumstances.  Gehrig’s speech is revered for its simplicity and grace but also for it’s strong and eloquent message: that gratitude for life should never be forgotten, no matter the conditions.

- Jeremy Harris

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent -  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students - If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
July 7, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 6/30/2014

The Monday Memo

June 30, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“All You Have to Do is Ask Why” 

  Last week we started our full time six-week clinical rotation. The inpatient setting was new to me, and I was going to be at the VA working with veterans. After the first day in the hospital I was instantly aware of the overwhelming amount of mutual respect that existed between the veterans and the care staff.  I knew I could never relate to what some of the veterans have been through, but what I could do was thank them and make sure I provided them the best care I could.

This brings me to one patient encounter I wanted to share. My patient was a gentleman in is early 90’s who had suffered a fall back in April.  He was advised to come to the hospital by his primary care physician with the main diagnosis of increasing lower extremity edema. Physical Therapy was being consulted to help determine the next course of action for the gentleman.  Physicians and nurses had already seen the veteran and we were the last to talk to him.  I conducted a brief history with this gentleman, and found that he had stayed seated in a chair for almost 6 weeks after the fall.  I wrapped up my history by asking him one simple question:

“So, tell me, why did you sit in the chair for six weeks after your fall?”

 His response was simple:

I was simply afraid that it would happen again”.

 I asked if he would be willing to try and use a walker and if he may be more inclined to get up and move around to which he replied with enthusiasm

“Well Yea! Can you do that for me?”

  As I ask the veteran to wait one moment while I get a wheeled walker his wife comes around the corner to which he commented looking at her with a big smile, “Now that right there is the only therapy I will ever need”. I asked the gentleman to hold tight one moment and to just sit there as he attempted to stand again indicating, “Absolutely not, I need to give my wife a hug. This is the longest we have been apart in 69 years”. I bring the walker over; he grabs hold of the rails, gets a feel for the grip and then takes a few steps. He proceeds to look at me, and with a laugh and a smile, and says, “This is amazing, this is absolutely amazing, it feels good to stretch my legs and move”.  We complete a lap around the floor and the whole time he is amazed and says he feels good.

After the session I spoke with my CI about the interaction. I was amazed that no one had asked “why”, because up to that point, that was all I really needed to ask.  This man’s motivation was being at home with his wife. He didn’t need a skilled facility or care; he needed his companion and the walker to feel empowered and safe.

This experience taught me a lot about the power of open-ended questions and what it means to truly listen. The simplest of questions was consistently overlooked; by talking to this man as a person with purpose, I was able to determine his barriers to movement.

It is always important for us to remember that our patients are people who have a wide range of backgrounds and experiences.  We must always be conscious of the patient’s concerns, and not to assume function based on a written impairment, diagnosis, or age.

~Andrew Clark

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent -  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students - If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
June 30, 2014 |

The Monday Memo: 6/23/2014

The Monday Memo

June 23, 2014                                                                                       PITT DPT STUDENTS

“Walking With a Purpose”

This week’s example of doing more comes to us from Temperance, MI, which is the home of Hunter Gandee.  Hunter created a 40-mile walk to raise awareness for cerebral palsy and the need for innovation in mobility devices for people with CP.  Gandee completed the walk with his younger brother, who has CP, strapped to his back by a harness system created by his younger brother’s therapist.  The walk drew throngs of supporters, including the University of Michigan wrestling team, who joined them to complete the walk.  Said Hunter, “I can’t even describe to you how special [Braden] is to me … He’s always there for me. I really just wanted to give back to him in some way.”

To support someone can often be the best thing we can do in trying times.  Whether mental or physical, the solace of support goes far beyond a word, a phrase, or a gesture.  With that support comes the knowledge that you are not fighting alone; that no matter how many times you fall, someone will be there to catch you and carry you.  Hunter Gandee’s physical and mental support, along with scores of others, is a fine example of the necessity of support.

You can check out the full story here:

Hunters Story – On ESPN!

~Jeremy Harris

Check the Calendar for Class Schedules and Events

Social Media Updates
  • #DPTstudent -  WEDNESDAYS , 9-10pm EST!   Check out #DPTstudent page for details!
  • Unite Physical Therapy Students - If you haven’t yet, please check out the “Doctor of Physical Therapy Students” Facebook page. More than 9,500 students have already joined!
  • Our own page! Pitt Physical Therapy, thanks to the Social Media Team, has create an official PittPT Facebook page!
  • #SolvePT (meets on Tuesdays Twitter from 9-10pm EST)
June 23, 2014 |