I knew that surgery was imminent. The hips were past the point of recovery and my knees were not that far behind. Add that to bilateral tears in both my rotator cuffs and biceps, well I just was not in great shape. Morbid obese was the word I always hid behind when any exercise was suggested, and it got to the point to where my girth exceeded my age!
I did the smart thing- I started my physical therapy sessions more than two years before the planned surgeries. To be successful in this, I knew that I needed a smart and realistic plan so that I built up muscle in the parts of my body supporting my joints. I needed to improve dexterity and mobility and all of the components of this plan needed to be structured for a man in his 60s, who in all candor allowed his body to significantly deteriorate. I could no longer tie my shoes or cut my toenails. Per doctors’ instructions I was not able to lift anything more than 20 pounds or so.
Impossible task? The reality is that most physical therapists would have turned away from me and referred my needs to a junior therapist who did not know any better. In fact, that is exactly what the big chains do all the time. You know the type- the ones stressing how many states they operate in and due to all the debt they needed to expand, hired less experienced but less expensive PTs. Their goal was to see patients initially for the hello session and then attempted to spend as little time as possible so that they could squeeze more patients into an hour.
Well I found the physical therapist who responded to my challenge. Yes, his business card stated that he had all the needed credentials and maybe one or two more. But to me what was important is that Paul Thomas also had the varied experience to know how to motivate me and come up with a long-term plan. This plan needed to prepare me for my surgeries, get me through the procedures and then for my new life that followed. It was a new life that would allow me to do certain things once again but also live under certain limitations.
The field of physical therapy started with big rubber bands and oversized heavy medicine balls. Way too may of today’s therapists rely entirely on machines and do not understand the body, it’s component parts and how to improve either damaged or failing parts of the body. Paul understood my body and how to improve what I had damaged over the years. He also improved my numerous parts that no longer worked or at a diminished level due to my advancing age.
The plan utilized the facilities of a small, Chicago-based chain called Impact Physical Therapy. It has a half dozen or so locations where recovery of the patient is prioritized and improvements after surgeries are accomplished. Unlike the large chains where specialized coffee drinks and meeting this weekend’s date are more important, Impact and its PTs are serious about helping people like me. It has all the necessary equipment and provides the help its clients need. Such help may also include getting patients ready for a marathon or stabilized younger athletes after a minor surgery.
I have worked with Paul and can state, unequivocally, that he is the best therapist around. So too are the other professionals I have worked with throughout the years that are part of Paul’s team. Plus, I like the back office. They file insurance claims promptly and efficiently and leave me out of that mess so I can work to get better.
Does this endorsement sound like I am an owner of Impact Physical Therapy or Paul Thomas’ Dad? Nope, I am just a client that is so happy with everything Paul and Impact have provided me that I can recommend this company to any type of patient from the teenager to a more experienced person in life and every age in between.
(Not an actor but a real client of Impact Therapy.)