It’s been 6 years, I cannot believe it’s been 6 years!! That I have been using a gait trainer to improve my muscle memory, strengthen my transfers, help with my tone, and given me the ability to take steps (which before 6 years ago it had been over 20 years since I had done that)!!
I am so blessed to be in a program here in Texas that offers financial support for all of the therapies that I get! For the past 18 years I have been seeing an awesome Neuro Physical Therapist named Cindy Alvis. When I 1st said that I wanted a PT they sent out Cindy, and she has never left (thank goodness)! Throughout the years she has asked me to do things and I would be like, “YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT, ARE YOU CRAZY?” But learned not to ask why because even though I don’t see the results right away there is always something good that comes out of it! Over 6 years ago as I had gotten better at my bed exercises, scooting, and standing. She told me that she thought I was ready to try walking?!? That was definitely one of those times when I said, “YOU WANT ME TO DO WHAT, ARE YOU CRAZY?” I had not done that in 20 years. To not make me feel nervous about it she said that we would just try it out before going through the paperwork needed to purchase it! I was okay with that because I knew that more than likely I would prove her wrong that I was ready to do something like that. When it was 1st brought over I did not immediately start walking like nothing, but it did feel good to be standing and I did take some steps with help from PT Cindy. Although I am not walking up a storm now or anything but I can see a lot of the improvements from when I 1st began. All of the things that I mentioned in the above paragraph that is helping me is why she has been asking all of those things that I thought was crazy! She is very knowledgeable and patient about what she does! I am so glad that she is still with me and doing what she does best! Thank you for being you PT Cindy! Many caregivers these past 6 years have also been with me in this journey. They help to guide the gait trainer forward so that I do not play bumper cars with the walls! Thank you for all of your help as well! PT Cindy stays behind me with her ROLLING stool to help with straightening my knee or making sure I kick out the other leg! A lot more often PT Cindy doesn’t have to assist but sometimes I feel like I go one step forward and 2 steps back, ugh! I cannot complain though because I am still doing it after 6 years!
What does a gait trainer (Walker, turkey holder, A Pacer) look like? The thing that looks like a turkey hanging there (GOBBLE GOBBLE, LOL!) is the saddle, and it is used so if I need to take a seat I can do so. There is a belt attached to the saddle to where you can make it have as much or as little slack as needed. PT Cindy decides how much slack is needed on the day that I walk. Getting in the gait trainer is trickey, but again I am blessed to have a power wheelchair that elevates on the seat to raise me up so that I can stand at an easier level. The saddle is placed under my tushy and clipped to the gait trainer! Then it is time to “Walk on!” Here are some pictures of it to show you:
I was going to put a video on here that we took on my phone. However, I cannot do it because I would need to upgrade my plan which would mean they want more money, ugh! My frugal self is not going to pay extra for one video. I will not be showing videos from my phone hardly at all so it would not pay to get it. There is more than one way to skin a cat, and I will post this video on my Facebook/Instagram! So thank you Facebook/Instagram!
So I will end this post the same way that Jerry Lewis ended his MDA telethon on Labor Day every year that he hosted it. He sang the song “Never Walk Alone!” Every time I hear PT Cindy say “Walk on” to me my thought goes to this song! So may everyone roll or walk on with hope in your heart!
Rolling on, Stephanie