http://ccprod.roving.com/roving/images/letters/spacer.gif

Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: Description: SN logo

)

View from a Survivor:

Water Therapy

 

By Marty Arlen

 

 

When my insurance ran out for outpatient therapy in May 2004, I needed to find a place that was affordable, clean, and could extend my recovery. At a friend's suggestion, I joined the YMCA in a town about 15 miles from home. The person in charge of the exercise room was to set up a program for me.

In the mean time, I discovered there were classes in the pool for people with arthritis. I inquired and found out the exercises contained the same motions I needed for my arm and leg. So I was allowed to try it for free for a week. Judy, the instructor, has physical problems also and is deaf. She reads lips and has a great outlook. She took me under wing and carefully guided me through the exercises.

At 62, with all her own problems, she is positive, enthusiastic, and very encouraging. There is an advanced class from 8:45 am until 9:30. I'm in the class that meets from 9:30 to 10:15. I was going to switch classes at one point, but the 14 other people in my class have been extremely nice, helpful, and caring and we are all good friends.

We start by loosening up. This includes arm raises, moving arms through the water, a large box step dance, and hula. Then we go to the wall in the shallow end and walk across the pool while doing various arm movements. This takes about 15 minutes. Then we do wall exercises.

At the wall we do various leg and arm lifts, and stretches for 10 minutes. Then it's time to have some fun with a foam noodle. I've become very proficient in doing the dog paddle across the pool. Finally, we do neck, arm and shoulder exercises.

Judy is always in contact with the arthritis foundation, looking for new exercises to challenge us. The pool is kept at 86 degrees, and it's wonderful. 

Recently, Bill, who had been in the class earlier, returned after suffering a stroke. He loves the water, and as his wife says, it's been the highlight of his recovery. Everybody watches out for Bill.

I write this because I am very passionate about how much water therapy has done for my physical progress and mental well being. If there is a pool nearby, investigate. There are many that can handle a wheelchair. When I went to Florida this winter, I was able to continue to work out at my son's home or at the house we were renting.

I not only kid around on The Stroke Network site, but I'm also allowed to kid around it in the pool. It's my therapy.  


Marty's Username is 007 on the Stroke Network Message Board


Copyright August 2005

The Stroke Network, Inc.

P.O. Box 492 Abingdon, Maryland 21009

All rights reserved.

 

 

http://ccprod.roving.com/roving/images/letters/diag_corner_bl.gif

http://ccprod.roving.com/roving/images/letters/diag_corner_br.gif