Monday, January 30, 2017
It’s not uncommon to see people milling around on wheelchairs at the VA hospital. It’s also not uncommon to see people with missing limbs. When I first started bringing Maggie to the VA hospital about 2 ½ years ago my head would turn every time someone with a missing limb passed me. Today I don’t even bat an eye. When I first enter the VA hospital Maggie and I visit the physical therapy room. The physical therapy room is well equipped with state of the art work out equipment, weights and mats. By looking at it one would think it is a regular gym at a facility anywhere. A big shout out to the people that work there who give it their all. Tuesday afternoons (the day Maggie and I visit) are always busy. I appreciate their ability to give personal attention to the residents and deal with our interruptions without missing a beat. Many of the residents enjoy our visit and like to engage in long ended conversations. I end up having to pull away with comments like “so sorry but I have to continue with my visit” or “so many people to see.” The best way to end our visit is to ask if anyone wants to give Maggie a treat. This is usually answered with a yes and Maggie ends up very happy. This past week after completing our visit in the physical therapy room, Maggie and I continued down the hall when a gentleman was rolling in a wheelchair towards us. On his lap was a shoe. As he came closer I asked if he wanted to pet Maggie. He said he did. “Where are you going with the shoe?” I asked. “My prosthetic leg is in, “he answered with a smile. “Oh so nice,” I replied. “Just the temporary one but still it will be good to get out of this chair, “he continued. Our conversation went on for a bit while Maggie enjoyed a little attention as well. I knew he was headed to the physical therapy room as that is where he will be fitted with his prosthetic leg. After some adjusting (of the leg) the team in the PT room will come up with a plan for him to do daily exercises to strengthen the muscles that he hasn’t used in quite some time. I know I will see him up and about really soon!