Day 28 of 30 Days of MD: Rehabilitation Physician

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by Ralph Yaniz |

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Day 28 of #30daysofMD Vovanti Jones – Rehabilitation Physician Every morning I get up, get dress (with a little help) and prepare myself for another trip to the hospital. When I arrive, the white noise created by the nurses and therapist gliding in and out of rooms doesn't distract me from my destination, the gym. In this gym there are no musclebound men hulking out on the weights nor are there people running on treadmills. No, what I see are wheelchairs, and people with one leg or none; people who can only move one side and people who can barely move anything. In this room there are no pity, only looks of determination encouragement and hope. Looking around the room calm settles over me and I realize that I get to share in this experience as a Rehabilitation physician and as a person with LGMD. With my LGMD I understand the feeling of sadness and immense loss that comes with loosing motor function. When I was diagnosed with LGMD 2B before medical school, I was concerned that I wouldn't be able to accomplish my goal to become a doctor. Would I be able to examine my patients properly? Run Codes? Or would the Examine rooms even be large enough to fit my scooter, an examination table and a patient? But what I found out that with the change in my body and development of disability I became a lot closer to my patients. I chose the field of Physical Medicine and Rehab because I wanted to care for people past their initial diagnosis into their everyday lives. I wanted to see how people recovered after devastating problems like a stroke, traumatic brain injuries, and spinal cord injuries and even to see how people with chronic disorders like muscular dystrophy progressed over the years. Through my own experiences with physical therapists I knew that one session of therapy wasn’t going to be enough to correct the weakness that muscles can have. Physical Rehabilitation is a long-term process to everyday I use some of my experiences with LGMD to help me establish a bond with my patients. For some patients despite all the therapist, doctors and nurses around there is a special relationship to be had with someone who may have dealt with the struggles you may have.

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