Like everyone else, I’ve been trying to come to grips with just what this new normal is, exactly.
I’ll admit for the last two weeks, I’ve been nearly paralyzed by the changes that have occurred to both my home and work life.
Our family-owned outpatient physical therapy company that has been in business for more than 30 years made the difficult decision last week to temporarily close our doors to on-site patient care.
As information poured in on an hourly basis, we struggled to digest it and figure out the best path forward.
Our leadership team would meet on a Tuesday and formulate a plan, and by Thursday it was thrown out the window because circumstances had changed. In the end, we had to answer one question with two parts: what’s the right thing to do and what’s the safe thing to do for our patients and employees?
We could not, in good conscience, give people a reason to leave their house. We did not feel we could adequately protect our patients and staff, and we felt obligated to do our part to reduce the potential strain on our local health care system.
When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave the order to close all non-essential businesses on March 23, we knew we made the right call a week prior.
As health care providers and as a business, there are still many unknowns: How long will this last? How bad will it get? Will the government step in to help workers and businesses? What can we do now to make sure that we can open again when things start to return to normal?
When we regrouped this week, we decided to focus on what had power over instead of worrying about all of the unknowns.
• We can help patients manage their conditions via telehealth.
• We can empower people to use the resources they have to improve their health and well-being.
• We can help physicians manage their patients with aches and pains in a way that reduces strain on their offices.
• And finally, we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 by not encouraging patients to leave their home to come see us.
If you’re someone who is working on an issue with your balance, strength, mobility, or pain, there are still things you can do to make progress during this strange and difficult time. Here are a few ideas if:
Your physical therapy center is closed
Reach out to them. We live in an age when connecting with people has never been easier. We’re still able to provide patients with guidance on their conditions via phone, video calls and email.
Your gym is closed
Get creative. You don’t need an expensive home gym to get a good workout. There are numerous resources available online for workouts that are based on not having access to weights, dumbbells, or machines. Heck, over the weekend I grabbed a landscaping rock from my front yard to add a little difficulty to the squats I was doing in my garage.
You can’t get in to see your doctor right away for a nagging issue
Call or email your physical therapist. At Northern Michigan Sports Medicine Center our website is newly redesigned to put you in touch with one of our therapists.
We’re able to consult with patients who have musculoskeletal issues and provide guidance to them on steps to take towards resolving their problem.
Hopefully, when things return to normal, the problem will be resolved and you can move on with your life.
So, I’d encourage you to focus on what you can control over the coming weeks and months. Stay home, stay safe, and help flatten the curve. Seeing the way our Northern Michigan community has come together to help each other makes me confident that we’ll get through this and come out stronger on the other side.