Many assorted and fascinating families accrue to one over the span of a lifetime. It is not surprising in a profession like mine that every parish/church/faith community becomes a close-knit family. But there are unexpected and unsuspecting stealth relationships that virtually steal into our lives. One such stealth relationship has stolen its way into my life over the past couple of months.
Alphabetically, the guilty parties are Teresa Aucoin, an exceptionally active Occupational Therapist who moves constantly from the larger section of the facility to the other in a motherly manner, asking clients by name how they are doing and reassuring them that they are quite capable of executing their exercise. Teresa has a soft, warm smile, but she often prefers to give a bystander or bysitter a big wink.
OT Mary Beth Broussard has a subtle way of tending to patients, typifying what all the therapists readily display: a doctor’s great bedside manners and a very calming demeanor. With a snazzy photo of a bird’s nest and egg in a North Carolina Xmas tree that she bought, she watches her clients, yet notices a lull in another’s client’s assignments. In which case, she may give the client an interim activity.
COTA (Certified Occupational Therapy Asst) Namit Chaturvedi joins the therapy crew when he is not occupied elsewhere. One might call Namit Mr. Basic who believes strictly in maintaining the correctness and integrity of our diaphragm. He often strikes a pose, showing good posture to clients, exaggerating the straight correctness while styling deep breathing to go with it. He might amaze you with his grasp of history as well as culinary skills that he hones once, sometimes twice daily.
Physical Therapist Jamie Fontenot parades by many names: Floor Manager to keep all activity flowing in unison, the Boss, Mama J, the Terrorist by those who think she’s tough, Isis by those who think she’s tougher. Jamie F. calls all but the ultimate shots at the clinic. After constant observation and careful appraisal, she also suggests whether a client has made enough progress that going home is a viable option. But her call must pass muster by Director Jamie Norton and a few others.
Occupational Therapist Brooke Lafleur graces the Prompt Succor Physical Therapy facility on very haphazard occasions when she is not treating patients in their rooms at work, as she travels with her job (Occupational Therapist) to their homes or to other physical therapy facilities. A very open and candid soul, Brooke is not afraid to apply the dynamics of her faith as a vital part of holistic healing.
Physical Therapy Assistant Joanne Lecompte, laughs a lot, is engaging, warm, loquacious, smiling and amazingly blunt. Her voice can be heard over all the others as she barks out orders, makes one of her blunt quips or breaks instructions down to clients. “I’m hungry, but I forgot my lunch. So what am I going to do?” she sighed recently. She keeps the whole operation light and bearable for everyone. As all her fellow therapists, she is part of the cheer team that keeps hope alive in the clients.
Physical Therapy Assistant Stephen Mattox picks up the muscular, balancing aspects of healing. The Man of Steel, as Brittany calls him, still keeps himself in top condition that he can employ in tending to the weakened physical points in clients. His constant, seemingly gruff but soothing chatter is very calming to the clients.
Brittany Mayon, a Therapy Technologist, is a free-ranging worker. Anyone who is the least bit tardy for a physical therapy session or who happens to be visible as Brittany prowls the corridors will get a smiling but firm reminder that physical therapy eagerly awaits anyone and everyone. The youngest worker, her contagious smile and pleasant demeanor in the therapy rooms help to lighten the burdens and lift the spirits of everyone, especially of the aged, ailing, weakened and injured.
Speech Therapist/Rehabilitation Director Jamie Norton creates all records of screening, accepting and releasing rehab clients. She likewise does the scheduling of the rehab clinic’s employees, plus takes care of any bookwork relative to the clinic.
Physical Therapist Jeanne Saucier is a Friday-only worker whose enthusiasm, charm and people skills make up for her lack of time working with clients.
Tall, lean, athletic and gifted with the healing touch so needed in her calling, COTA Lisa Terry is talented and dedicated to the art of healing. Her lighthearted, engaging manner and conversation do much to uplift and heal her clients.
It is quite curious how many positive family traits the members of this therapy crew have. Yes, this is a family all right. No doubt about it. And I love all of them and thank God for them. God bless them all and their families.
Rev. Jerome LeDoux, SVD
“God is love, and all who abide in love abide in God and God in them.” (1 John 4:16)