Posts Tagged ‘Judy Cutler’

America at Its Best: Kitch’s Physical Therapy, Part 4

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

America at Its Best: Kitch’s Physical Therapy Begins, Part 4.

Written by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Edited by Kitch Loftus-Mussari
Digital photographs by Tony Mussari, Sr.
Copyright 2014
Mussari-Loftus Associates
The Face of America Project

There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting
people up. John Holmes

First Steps At Home

Physical therapy is an essential part of the recovery process for knee replacement surgery patients. Five words best describe this process: “There is no easy way.”

Kitch began her in-home physical therapy treatments 16 hours after she left Geisinger-CMC in Scranton.

To be honest, the highlight of our first day home from the hospital was a visit from Judy Cutler and Leigh Bales.

Judy Leigh1a_4605

Judy is a manager at CareGivers America in Clarks Summit, PA. Leigh is an experienced physical therapist who had recently become a member of the CareGivers team of professionals who offer quality home health and hospice services.

From the moment our eyes met, the air was filled with positive energy created by the caring, respectful, and thoughtful demeanor of Judy and Leigh. They know exactly how to make the patient and the caregiver feel at ease, and they also have a well thought out strategy for the patient in their care.

Judy explained her role as a supervisor observing a new employee. Leigh explained the goals of this orientation session:

First she would record all of the data required by state and federal regulations.

Judy Leigh1_4605

Then, she would do a site assessment to guarantee the safety of the patient.

The final item on the agenda can best be described as information sharing. She would help us better understand exactly what to expect in the seven sessions that would follow. Essentially she gave us a blueprint of the next two weeks.

Then she went to work carefully entering the answers Kitch gave to her questions on her laptop computer. When she finished the patient history questions, she checked Kitch’s blood pressure and her range of motion. She told Kitch she would check her Coumadin levelsJudy Leigh2_4605 regularly. Coumadin is essential to successful recovery. It helps to prevent the formation of blood clots.

When that was finished, Judy, Leigh and Kitch went on a tour of the rooms Kitch would be using every day. They checked for ease of access and anything that might be an obstacle for a person using a walker.

During the tour, they observed Kitch using the walker. When they returned to the living room, they talked about ways to manage pain. They also explained the proper way to do the mandated exercises.

They encouraged Kitch to eat nutritious meals and drink a lot of water. They assured her that every day the swelling in her knee would go down.

Judy Leigh3a_4605

Everything was done in a supportive and understanding way. They recognized that the first few days of physical therapy might be difficult, but they assured Kitch they would do everything they could to diminish her discomfort and expedite her return to walking without assistance.

As I watched Judy and Leigh work with Kitch, I thought to myself they have a great gift. They know how to connect with both the patient and the caregiver. For them, this was more than a job, and Kitch was more than just another number in a file. While they were in our home, Judy and Leigh made Kitch feel like she was their only patient. They were not rushed, they were considerate. They were not distracted, they were focused. It was all about helping Kitch and giving her the assistance she would need to make tomorrow a better day.

Before they left, I took Judy and Leigh on a short tour of our garden. When we reached one of the focal points in the garden, I askedJudy Leigh3_4605 them to stand in front of the Angels of Freedom for a picture. As I focused the picture, I thought about the irony of this moment. The 40 angels in the background represent the heroic sacrifice these heroes made for their country. The two angels in the foreground are heroes of a different but equally important kind.

The words of Senator Paul Tsongas apply:

America is hope. It is compassion. It is excellence. It is valor.

These 12 words are a perfect description of Judy and Leigh. They personify America at its best because they give people hope with their compassionate care and their excellent knowledge and practice of the techniques of physical therapy. In so doing, they enable their patients to confront the obstacles they encounter on their road to recovery with courage.

Thank you, Judy.

Thank you, Leigh.

Thank you, Caregivers America.

Thank you, Scranton Orthopaedic Specialists.

Please provide feedback to: