Dickson came back to Aim2Walk for a second round of learning and playful abuse. He is our loveable, hard-working, super-intelligent Co-op student. The fall of 2011, now known as the Fall of Dickson, was a great one at Aim2Walk, and we owe much of that to Dickson (a lot of the credit also goes to Jesse for recommending we have Dickson sleep under the Lokomat at night so he could spend even more time at the clinic). Please enjoy Dickson’s seconds blog entry following his most recent stay with us and our patients.
After I got past all the dirty loin cloths and sumo wrestlers, I’m back for a second round at Aim2walk. I’ve gotten bigger, badder and more responsibilities at the clinic than ever before.
After receiving a warm “welcome back” from the guys and gals at the clinic, I was pleasantly surprised at how much everything has changed. Patients and therapists have come and gone over my 4 months of absence, while some have stayed for the ride, and I was pleasantly surprised to find our 3 (sometimes 4) man pack has now become 4 (sometimes 5) man squad of hardened veterans, ready to battle the empty stomachs and increasing patient load together. To my further surprise I learned that we might be getting another member soon, fresh out of school and raring to go. This might just mean that our stomachs would no longer have to stay empty, and working long hours in the cave with the Lokomat might be more enjoyable with more people to poke fun at. The 5 of us (sometimes 6) were able to get along almost immediately, adding to that warm, fuzzy feeling that you get when you walk into a house of loving family and friends, provided that they have the heater turned on.
It was soon after that, that I would take my first step up the ladder of life. I was granted the key to unlock a new path in life; it was a small shining silver key and a passcode that unlocked the front door of the clinic. I was jumping for joy for the next few seconds after I took hold of the key, until I started to feel the actual weight of that tiny key. It was the weight of responsibility. It wasn’t the same responsibility you feel that makes you walk the dog every day; it was much, much heavier. That night I checked my bag four times to make sure I had the key in the pocket and zipped up, and that I didn’t forget the code. I didn’t. One small step for me.
I couldn’t let a small key like that push me around, not after all the time I spent trying to improve myself; there were new patients that I had to take care of. Trust is important, especially when dealing with patient’s as they will be following my instructions for the next four months. So for the first few weeks I spent working with all the new faces, I became JP’s replacement, (the man that took over for me last spring) just as he had done for me when I left, and I quickly set about to reassure all the patients that I wasn’t just a random person off the streets, and that they were in good hands (can’t do without a bit of confidence). By the end, the patients felt like family to me, and I was comfortable working with them, and they with me. It made it much more enjoyable.
In the blink of my tiny little eyes, 4 months had passed. Even though I worked longer and harder than I did for the first 4 months, the time went by even faster than it did before. Even so it was time well spent, I spent every moment I could to try and learn new things, (to the dismay of my co-workers having to deal with someone spying on them from behind) and I did. I learned new theories to base my work on, new techniques to follow through with, and I was able to sharpen the skills that I already had. It was a fast and fun four months and I enjoyed them immensely. It is surprising, though, at what you can do if you take one small step at a time.