Would that I had immediately taken the advice of Dr. Angela Mayeux-Hebert, MD who told me when I injured my right knee at the end of July, “Since you intend to practice ministry at your age, you need to do a regular regime of exercise.” With the benefit of hindsight, I see the great increase in physical strength, in balance and in stamina that such an exercise regime actually achieved for me.
Also, had I taken hers and the advice of others who advised me to stop wearing sandals, I would not be in the occupational therapy program that I am in now. Alas, it was so difficult pivoting away from my ever-present sandals the likes of which I had worn since 1951. After all is said and done, how could I give up sandals that are such a strong biblical symbol, so central to the Jewish culture and the many narratives of Jesus? Sandals almost seem made sacred through their use by Jesus. To this day, some folks have never seen me in shoes. Now I have discarded my sandals, and Father Lambert has bought me a fine, foot-supporting pair of dress tennis shoes.
On the other hand, I have personally witnessed how sandals can drag one back or trip one up by grabbing rugs or by hanging the sandal sole below the next step of the stairs, forcing one to step artificially high to clear the steps. Really, I need no more convincing. Now is the time to move on to new realities.
Due to their natural resiliency, young people rarely need physical therapy or even pediatric therapy. However, the aging, the aged and the injured find great help in their quest for, in the words of people engaged in the business, “Occupational therapy is the use of assessment and intervention to develop, recover, or maintain the meaningful activities, or occupations, of individuals, groups, or communities.”
I patronized one such fine facility four years ago in northwest Fort Worth, Texas after a bad spill on the frozen tundra. Now several years later, I am at Our Lady of Prompt Succor, working some of those same muscles under the very alert tutelage of well-trained women and men who attend the healing of injured muscles, bones, ligaments and nerves, enabling them to reach their full potential in our body.
Mission statement of Our Lady of Prompt Succor Occupational Therapy Team:
The goal of our rehabilitation team is to enable folks to safely return home and re-engage in activities of daily living as efficiently as possible.
Our interdisciplinary team of physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language therapists are specially trained in working with a senior population and understand the unique needs and challenges the elderly face.
Each individual rehabilitation program is designed to maximize functional independence in the shortest period possible with the goal of returning the patient to his or her prior level of function.
Therapists work together with the patient and the patient’s family to achieve stated goals, and progress is monitored at our weekly therapy meetings.
Our state-of-the-art program uses the latest modalities and equipment designed to decrease inflammation and pain while improving coordination and balance. Some of the modalities and equipment used includes Electrical Stimulation, PENS (Patterned Electrical Neuromuscular Stimulation), Ultrasound, Moist heat, Paraffin wax, Virtual Rehabilitation, Omnicycle Elite.
The therapy staff work for Triton Healthcare. Obviously knowledgeable, experienced, confident and impishly congenial with all that, the Prompt Succor crew is a motley mix of personalities, temperaments and characters as far removed from one another as scholarly Jamie Norton, CCC-SLP (speech therapist and Rehab Director), and bumptious but likeable Stephen Mattox, PTA (PT assistant), the 2007 Junior National Bodybuilding Champion. The others are Jamie Fontenot, PT (physical therapist); Jeanne Saucier, PT (physical therapist on Fridays); Joanne Lecompte, PTA (PT assistant); Mary Beth Broussard, OT (occupational therapist); Lisa Terry, LOTR (OT assistant); Teresa Aucoin, OT (occupational therapist); Sylvia Daniel, CCC-SLP (PRN speech therapist); Jessica Lemoine, CCC_SLP ( PRN Speech therapist); Brittany Mayon – Therapy Tech.
Quick peeps at my fellow injured/aging seeking healing through weights, pulls and stretches showed how much quality of life, dignity and satisfaction were being made possible by reversing the deterioration of muscles, ligaments and bones. As they got back strength, stamina, balance and a feeling of well-being, the obvious big winner was the return of quality of life so precious and indispensable to all of us.
Rev. Jerome LeDoux, SVD
“God is love, and all who abide in love abide in God and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)