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Over Coffee With Ellen

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HEARTFELT THANKS – The past few months my aging knees have decided not to work as I would like them to. I know there are so many of you in the same situation and many who are far worse than I have been. It is frustrating to attempt a familiar task, though, and find without working knees that task cannot be completed – or at least in the same manner it once was.

So many dear friends advised me on what I should or could be doing to help with my problematic knees, but I hated to bother my PA (Physician’s Assistant) Cosette. Plus, I honestly thought there was nothing that could be done – I had seen others with bad knees – in fact both my parents had a difficult time with knees so for me this was to be my state in life. The other person living in our Bombay home has working knees and he worked to accomplish all of the tasks that I was no longer able to accomplish – with the exception of my Sunday morning role.

Then a few weeks ago there was a scheduled appointment with PA Cosette – she knew exactly what needed to be done – she always does. Yes, my friends were right – I should have called weeks earlier. There was a prescription ordered that helped tremendously and there was a prescription written for therapy.

Others have talked about the advantages of therapy and I had seen firsthand how helpful therapy was with a friend at one of the nursing homes here in Massena. My father also loved his therapy and knew everything would be wonderful after a visit to the therapist’s office.

It was now about four weeks ago that I made my first visit to the Therapy Room at Massena Memorial Hospital. I love to watch sporting events and am in great admiration of each one on an athletic team I am cheering on – my sporting activity, though, is only done from the sidelines. And so the equipment in the therapy room was most intimidating. I silently wondered how biking or using a stepper would help knees that were having difficulty in merely walking from the parking lot to the first floor therapy room.

Therapist Matt Hayes met me at the window - I signed the needed papers and he asked me to walk through the door into the large therapy room. He first discussed my concerns and he assessed my knee problems. He then said I would work on the stepper – he told me quietly what I would do, but with a kindness and with such encouragement that I sat and completed the task. And then I worked on an interesting bicycle, one pedaled horizontally – and there were even weights (much to the surprise of family members, mom pushed weights with her aging knees). And there were exercises for completion at home – which I could actually complete as well.

There are truly no adequate words to express the extraordinary work of Therapist Matt – how kind he was – and with his program and guidance there were results. I left the therapy room after the first session, wanting to shout as I walked through the hall “It’s a miracle – I can walk.” With Matt’s skilled guidance and direction after merely one session I was able to walk to my car in an upright position, pain free.

There are miracle workers in Massena – I found at least one (there were others in the room, but Matt Hayes was the amazing gentleman who assisted me with my treatment) in the therapy room at Massena Memorial. And for that I am most grateful.

My heartfelt thanks this week is extended to Matt Hayes for his skilled guidance, for his encouraging words and his kindness in lending support and encouragement so I would continue in the program he had planned. What a terrific gentleman – and what a marvelous therapist. I am so grateful always for the amazing care of PA Cosette Witty-Lewis and today for the therapy of Matt Hayes. Isn’t the north country a marvelous place to live and Massena a wonderful place where kind, knowledgeable medical personnel make life much better for their care? I certainly think so!

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SPRING’S ARRIVAL – Spring’s arrival certainly must be here at last. There have been numerous sightings of robins in our yard this past week – even though some of the sightings were accompanied by swirling snow flurries! And the red winged blackbirds are now at the bird feeder with the cardinals and chickadees. I even heard about robin sightings at the First Niagara drive-through. The gardener in our Bombay home actually found a pussy willow this week which had soft, gray buds announcing spring is not far away. And did I notice the thermometer was over 50 degrees as an outside temperature on Monday? Certainly a harbinger of things to come – warmer, coatless days.

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GIFT OF JOY – This evening as I type I am looking at a most wonderful gift I received this week. Last Wednesday I was handed a bag with the simple words, “I saw this – and thought of you!”

How touched I was when I opened the bag – it is a three dimensional work of art with three simple letters standing proudly announcing its message to the world. The message spells out “joy.” My heartfelt thanks to the giver of this amazing gift – what joy it certainly brought this week. The other most extraordinary aspect of this gift – it is created from recycled paper – it is absolutely beautiful and a wonderful reminder of friendships and the joy shared. Yes, Massena is a marvelous place to meet friends and share over lunch.

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WITH THANKS – My thanks this week to Sandy at Guy’s Restaurant. Sandy made my Sunday morning a very good day as she completed my order. And, of course, it is always a terrific day when you hear Jill and Linda wish you a “Good Morning!” I treasure coffee with friends – and waitresses, too!

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THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK – If you don’t climb the mountain, you can’t see the view. (Taken from a sign behind the counter at Seasons as I visited with Marcia)

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