Hello to all our friends! 

I find it hard to believe that I am writing this letter during this challenging pandemic. As I think back on the past letters I have written, it seems that my themes have usually involved memories with messages learned from family, friends, and patients. Most of the time, I am the one learning something profound from someone. The process of writing these has helped me realize how much family, friends, and the people around us matter. During these past few months of isolation for so many and fear for most of us, I have reflected a great deal about my life and trying to stay positive. 

 As in the past, I would like to share a story that has taught me a great deal and has had an impact on my life. The story begins with an argument between a mom and her 21-year-old son. The son had been contributing his summer salaries for many years to help his family pay their bills. At 21, he thought this practice should be changed. He thought the change would be no big deal, heading into his senior year of college. He spoke to his mother, but she told him that the family still had many needs. He was angry. His response to her was hurtful. He said that she didn’t know what it was like to work outside the home. She was only a stay-at-home mom, and with that he left, angrily slamming the door. He knew he was right about his request for the money and accused her of being close-minded and selfish. He went back to college for his last year at ND, and they were still at odds. Months into his senior year, his mother called very upset. She wanted to speak with him regarding a family matter that would change the life of their family forever. It was hard for her to tell him but she shared that his dad, his role model, had left home. With 6 of 10 children still at home, he was in disbelief about what he had heard. For a moment, his world seemed shattered, but then he felt, once again, that he had the answer to this problem. He would talk to his dad, reason with him, and all would be well. In his mind at 21, the answers to life’s problems seemed simple. Looking back, the answers weren’t that simple. He was very limited in his perspective and experience. Life became more challenging for the 21-year-old and his family in the years that followed.

When a crisis happens, (like this pandemic) one can choose to learn and grow from it, learn and stay in the same place or become bitter, fearful, insecure, and cynical. Learning and growing was the path this mother pursued. The parents divorced, and the mom held the family together. She started working in the sterilization unit of a hospital. When her last two children headed off to college, she herself, began taking some college courses. She continued to work full-time while studying and graduated with a double major in Social Work and Theology. After graduating, this mother took a job in New York City as a social worker in a nursing home. Her commute was 90 minutes each way. She left the house at 5:45 every day, took a train, took a bus, and returned at home after 9:00 p.m. most nights. She rarely, if ever, complained. She loved learning. She enjoyed her colleagues and her “family” at the nursing home. She later became the social work director and continued her graduate work. At 73 years young, and I do mean young, this great lady did something unthinkable. She received her Ph.D. in Social Work from Fordham University. Her 10 children were there applauding her in Lincoln Center, New York City. She retired from work at age 76 and celebrated her 93’rd birthday in July. This “stay at home” mom who didn’t know what it was like to work outside the home, is my mother. The impatient 21-year-old son, obviously, was me. She presently spends her time continuing to be an amazing mom, grandmother, and great-grandmother to all of her children and grandchildren. She has taught me many things, and her example has guided my life.

When I think of the many challenges our clinic has faced during this pandemic, to stay fiscally responsible and continue to help as many people as possible during this very difficult time, I can’t help but think of my mom. During the last few months, whenever I thought the challenges of running a small business were daunting, my mom came to mind. It was during these times that her example gave me the strength to move on and work even harder to succeed. She demonstrated that hard work, faith, hope, love and commitment to family can help lead one from sadness and sorrow to happiness and success.

 I have been blessed to have lived long enough to have learned (most of the time) from my blindness and impatience. As we age, we learn through experience that it is important to be open, humble, and caring to others. I have also learned that it feels great when we make a positive difference in the lives of others. There is no question that my mom has done this for me. I have also learned a great deal from my patients (i.e. whether it is as simple as getting the advice that kitty litter would absorb the 4 quarts of motor oil I spilled or as complex as lessons I learned from listening to a young 34-year-old dad who needed more intensive physical therapy after a severe stroke.) I only hope that the work we are doing in our clinic, during this pandemic has made a difference in your lives, and I thank you for trusting us with your physical therapy needs.

We hope you are all healthy,
Fran McDonald, PT, DPT, OCS
Avoid Chronic Disease With Regular Physical Activity

Most Americans don’t move enough despite proven benefits, such as reduced risk of cancer and chronic diseases, and improved bone health, cognitive function, weight control, and overall quality of life.

The second edition of the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, reports that approximately 80% of US adults and adolescents are insufficiently active. As a result, many Americans currently have or are likely to experience chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetesobesity, and depression.

The good news is that regular physical activity can prevent and improve many chronic conditions. America, it's time to get moving!

How Much Physical Activity Should I Do?
According to the guidelines, the following is recommended:
  1. Preschool-aged children (ages 3 through 5 years) should be physically active at least for 3 hours, if not more. Adult caregivers should encourage active play that includes a variety of activity types and limits sitting-around time, such as screen time.
  2. Children and adolescents (ages 6 through 17 years) need at least 60 minutes or more of activity a day. This includes activities to strengthen bones, build muscles, and get the heart beating faster.
  3. Adults should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity a week, and at least 2 days for muscle-strengthening activities. Adding more time provides further benefits.
  4. Older adults (ages 65 and older) should do at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity a week and include muscle-strengthening activities 2 days a week. You should also add components, such as balance training as well. If you have limitations due to preexisting conditions, consult with a health care provider and be as physically active as your abilities allow.
  5. Pregnant and postpartum women who were physically active before pregnancy can continue these activities during pregnancy and in the postpartum period, but they should consult their health care provider about any necessary adjustments.
  6. Adults with chronic health conditions and disabilities, who are able, should do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity activity a week. You should consult with a health care provider about the types and amounts that are appropriate for you.

How a Physical Therapist Can Help
Physical therapists are movement experts who improve quality of life through prescribed exercise, hands-on care, and patient education.

After making a diagnosis, physical therapists create personalized treatment plans that help their patients improve mobility, manage pain and other chronic conditions, recover from injury, and prevent future injury and chronic disease.

Physical therapists empower people to be active participants in their own treatment, and they work collaboratively with other health professionals to ensure patients receive comprehensive care.

**article from choosept.com

MPT Happenings

2020 South Bend Tribune Readers' Choice Awards

Thanks to our loyal patients, family, and friends,
MPT has been chosen "Best Local Physical Therapy"
for 10 years in a row!

We are excited to announce we have been nominated for 4 categories this year: Orthopedic Group, Physical Therapist, Weight Loss Center, and Fitness center/gym.

Voting begins August 23rd

McDonald Physical Therapy
(574) 233-5754