Rehab or Recovery?
We made it!! A new year! 2020 is behind us and we are forging ahead into 2021. The word that comes to my mind in this season is RECOVERY.
Recovery is defined as
· a return to a normal state of health, mind, or strength
· the action or process of regaining possession or control of something stolen or lost.
As we walk tentatively into the early months of 2021, I feel like we are all working toward regaining the things that were lost last year: our health, our schedules and routines, our finances, our sanity!! But compared to last year, we are so much more prepared. Because we know more about this virus and how to deal with it, we can now be proactive instead of reactive. We have a handle on the supplies we need to protect ourselves. We have a vaccine. We have better plans for managing the influx of patients at the hospitals. We are getting accustomed to virtual meetings and schooling. Not that we like it, or we want to stay in this phase, but at least we are better equipped to handle the disruptions and move forward successfully. And we all have a role to play in our world’s recovery. Even me as a physical therapist!
· the action of restoring someone to health or normal life through training and therapy after imprisonment, addiction, or illness.
From a rehab perspective, COVID recovery is about addressing the deconditioning of those who have been healthy but cautiously stayed home for the past 10 months, the weakness and fatigue of those with prolonged ICU and hospital stays, and the long-term cardiopulmonary changes of those with permanent lung damage. From a pelvic rehab perspective, it gets even more specific: COVID affects pelvic floor function, mostly related to respiratory issues, including excessive coughing and shortness of breath. Residual impact may include urinary retention, leakage, constipation, prolapse, and pelvic floor muscle weakness. These issues may not be noticed right away but may linger for months after illness. As a pelvic health therapist, these symptoms will likely be on my radar for months and maybe years to come. This will be my contribution to COVID recovery. What‘s yours?