What many people don't know about me is that I was 9 years old when I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I was petrified, a nervous wreck, a closed in rose hidden under the thorns that threatened to rip my world a part. There are some memories that I still grapple with till this day. My little life had become a parade of needles, cold medical rooms and endless procedures and medications. The medications had a life of their own; each one had different side effects and some had little benefit. However, within the sterile walls of Mt. Sinai Hospital I was blessed to meet the kindest, warmest, most sincere and intelligent Pediatric Gastroenterologist.
Although it has been over 20 years since I have had the pleasure of seeing him; I still remember the day he threw a toy monkey at me. Yes, he playfully threw a toy monkey at me as I begged and pleaded to skip my blood work...just this once. He touched my life and made me feel safe, secure and most importantly he remembered to treat me as the child that I was. In the years that quickly followed I realized that I was meant to be in the medical field. My life's goal would be to help heal children and touch their lives in the midst of the terrifying storms of Pediatric Medical uncertainty.
The world of Pediatric Physical Therapy is unique and sacred. It is a place where children come to learn to hold their head up high, sit up by themselves and take those magical first steps as the parent and therapist smile in amazement. I love being a Physical Therapist because I have the opportunity to help children and families to reach and overcome hurdles and obstacles one small step at a time. I am lucky enough to say that today at work I raced with my patient to see who could collect the most rings while hip hiking seated on the floor. Who else gets to play games at work?
Today and everyday that I get to be a Physical Therapist I have the chance to help a child to be included with their peers at the playground. Physical Therapy optimizes the "exercise is medicine" concept. It is a natural path to movement and overall health. I get to help families meet their functional goals with a few helpful exercises, tips and a lot of hard work during sessions. Children believing that they can accomplish almost anything despite their initial limitations is priceless. I love being a Physical Therapist because I remember what it was like to be that scared little girl, and now I have the rare chance to help children feel like they are understood and they can get better!