Life, Love and Loss

Whew.  The last month and a half has been quite the roller coaster, but such is life I suppose.  On the one hand, I have achieved two of my professional goals and have had the opportunity to travel, celebrate the achievement of a dear friend of mine, and spend cherished time with family and friends.  On the other hand, I have experienced sorrow and grief both directly and indirectly with the loss of a loved one.  Life has so many ups and downs, and the downs can be so hard to cope with sometimes, but looking back, I’m thankful for every moment and for the people that surround me.

Meeting Goals

To start, I am officially a pelvic health physical therapist at Northside Hospital in Atlanta!  My first goal after graduating from PT school was to secure a job that offers quality one-on-one care, post-graduate training opportunities, excellent mentorship for professional growth, and good work-life balance.  Check!  Second, I planned to either incorporate pelvic health into my practice as a physical therapist or obtain a position with a company that offers pelvic health PT.  Well…check that too!  At Northside, I work in an outpatient facility that treats people with orthopedic and pelvic floor conditions, as well as some neurological dysfunction.  In addition, I am receiving mentorship and training with three experienced pelvic PTs and building a relationship with current patients with pelvic dysfunction and building a caseload of my own.  I couldn’t be happier with my entry into the realm of pelvic health and am so excited about this journey in a field for which I have grown to be so impassioned.

Back up…what is pelvic health PT? 

Basically, it’s a specialized area of physical therapy that focuses on the pelvis (for women AND men) and conditions involving pelvic floor muscle dysfunction, pain, pregnancy/postpartum issues, bladder, bowel and sexual function.  There is soooo much more to it, and I promise to write a post about it soon, but for now, here are a couple of really great explanations of what pelvic health physical therapy is all about 🙂

Pelvic Physical Therapy by Jessica Reale, PT, DPT, WCS

What is pelvic physical therapy and why doesn’t everyone know about it? Tracy Sher, MPT, CSCS

Celebration

Griffin and I had the opportunity to fly up to Pittsburgh last weekend to enjoy a few days of beautiful weather (and bridges) and celebrate with our friend Jarrod as he earned his Executive MBA.  His girlfriend, Alaina, warned me of the chilly weather, since down in Georgia we are still having 80 degree days, but I was more than ready for a dip in temperature.  Bring me autumn weather!

We had an incredible time and thoroughly enjoyed gorgeous views of the city, a couple of morning runs along Mt. Washington and downtown,

View of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington
View of Pittsburgh from Mount Washington

parking dilemmas in J-rod’s humongous truck that doesn’t fit in most parking decks, checking out Market Square for lunch and coffee, and visiting, eating and drinking with Jarrod, Alaina, and their sweet families.

All fancy for J-rod's graduation
All fancy for J-rod’s graduation
Ladies only club
Ladies only club

Loss

When we landed back in Atlanta last Sunday, Griffin’s mom, Sherri, had left a voicemail sometime during our flight that his Granny had passed away.  Granny had been in poor health over the last several months, and recently had some major issues with her breathing and difficulty keeping the oxygen levels up in her blood that required her to be on supplemental oxygen constantly.  It’s been difficult watching someone so active and vivacious slow down to the point that she can no longer take care of herself or get out of bed, but as was Granny’s nature, she maintained such a positive attitude and was ever-gracious for all the help, love and support she received from her family and nursing staff.

Granny’s 86th birthday earlier this year – Griffin, Granny, Wynn and Randi

A couple of weeks ago, I took the opportunity to go down and see her and to be with Griffin and Sherri.  She had lots of visitors that weekend, as Griffin’s brother came down with his family too, and Granny’s other children and grandchildren came over with their families.  I will remember always the smile on her face that weekend as she admired all her babies.  She was so happy and content as she was surrounded by laughter, snuggles, hugs, apple juice and ice cream.

Me snuggling with Granny and loving on Wynn

Family visit - four generations

Family visit – four generations

I know all too well the incredible pain that loss can kindle, and I felt that over her this past week, and I feel it for her sisters, children, grand and great-grandchildren.  But I also find joy in knowing that she lived such a full life and loved with her whole heart all those around her and that she savored every single moment and always chose to see things in a positive light.  I have had the absolute pleasure of getting to know this exquisite woman over the last six and a half years, and I am so thankful to have been a small part of her life and to be a part of this family.  No one will ever say to me, “hey there, precious” with that sweet smile quite like Granny, but I’m okay with that because I will treasure that memory of her forever.

Christmas 2013 - Griffin, me, Granny and Sherri
Christmas 2013 – Griffin, me, Granny and Sherri
Griffin and G-Moms, a sweet moment I secretly captured
Griffin and G-Moms, a sweet moment I secretly captured
Joyce Brewer, sweet Granny
Joyce Brewer, sweet Granny

 

 

 

 

 

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