After experiencing consistent pain and having surgeries performed on both my arms, I eventually lost all feeling in my left arm and shoulder. This impairment affected my ability to perform daily tasks and to feel as though I could lead a normal life. In 33 years as a construction electrician, I had never missed a day of work. Suddenly, I was forced to retire early – my life was turned upside down!
I made an appointment with Jon Strychasz, physical therapist, at the Union Trades Medical Center. Jon stressed the importance of rehabilitation on a daily basis, and helped me improve my patience and work hard. He also helped me establish reasonable expectations by explaining that nerve regeneration can and will take 12 to 24 months.
After each therapy session, I am hopeful that I might regain use of my left arm. I have been working with Jon twice a week for 10 months and he has helped me physically and mentally. Jon is extremely knowledgeable and was instrumental in arranging counseling sessions with Athena Vuylsteke, LPCC, to talk about the recent changes in my life.
I would encourage anyone to seek rehabilitation through a physical therapist. While this experience has been devastating, the benefits of physical therapy, especially with Jon Strychasz, have been rewarding in many ways. I still have a long recovery road ahead of me, but every day I’m doing my best to exercise and keep a positive attitude.