About 5 years ago, a 71 year old woman fell out of a barn loft while moving bales of hay. She injured her low thoracic back primarily and has spent these years going to physicians, chiropractor and physical therapy. A few months ago the pain in her back and down her right leg was severe enough that she took the risk of surgery with the promise that it would be relieved.

It’s been 6 weeks since her surgery. She wears a body brace to keep her spine stable. The pain has not subsided. She is on Oxycodone every four hours. She makes a somewhat off-the-topic mention that her arms also cause her pain and discomfort but she has been so focused on her back that she hasn’t mentioned it before. Performing even the most essential activities of daily living like dressing, showering and personal hygiene is strenuous and she requires the frequent attention and assistance of her husband. She has been unable to prepare meals, do the laundry or work in their beautiful yard and garden. Everything has fallen to her husband, who is preparing a very nice meal for dinner.

The home health occupational therapy plan of care is focused first on relieving the pain. Trigger point release in the neck shoulders reduces the arm pain. Careful, supportive positioning in her bed reduces the strain on her back. The Rhythm of ocean waves and the soothing sound of Pachelbel’s Canon in D supports the calming and pain relieving massage of her hands.

The patient drifts off into a deep and peaceful sleep. Her husband quietly comments, “I’ve not seen such a relaxed and peaceful expression on her face in many years. Will you show me how to do that?”

In Redwood Valley, California, a woman is comforted and her life will be restored because of the dedicated work and support of the TRS family in Tontitown, Arkansas. Your lives matter very much to this patient and her husband, though they never met you and don’t even know your names.

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