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  • Dipping My Toe Into Pool Therapy – Not So Fast

    Posted by deann-r on June 29, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    After attending the virtual Cure SMA conference I got a bright idea. Inspired by one of the seminars I decided to check into pool therapy. After all the physical therapist doing my assessments suggested it too. Not to mention several of you are big aqua therapy fans as well. Although I haven’t been in the water for years I remember the freedom it gave me to move. It was the only time I’ve stood on my own two feet independently.

    When I mentioned my bright idea to Mom, I can tell there’s hesitation. She knows all too well, as I do, the effort involved.
    If I really want to do it I know she’ll go along with it. Despite her lack of interest I decided to scope out my options. Two places in town have heated pools and offer therapy. I’ve heard more positive things about one than the other so I contacted them first. Of course no one answers the phone these days, so I left a message explaining my situation and asking about the pool accessibility features. A few days later I get a call back saying they have a pool chair and ramp into the pool. Subsequently I asked if they have a lift to transfer me from my chair to the pool chair. This must be a foreign concept because she’d have to check and get back to me. That was almost two weeks ago.

    In the meantime I’m scouring Amazon to find a suit that will conform to my misshapen SMA body. So far I’ve struck out there too. I found a cute t-back tankini that I figured might work, but upon arrival I realized if my caregiver can’t figure out which way it goes out of the package they’ll never figure it out on me. Despite that I did try it on. Needless to say it’s going back.

    Meanwhile I learned that the first place doesn’t have a lift. My second option does have a lift for transferring, however they don’t have a sling. Plus I believe their pool doesn’t have a ramp but a chair lift. I’m skeptical of those especially in a town where gets minimal use so who knows how well it’s maintained. There are workarounds for both places, but at this point I’m tired and haven’t even dipped my toe in the water.

    How do you guys do it? Is it worth the effort? I’m at a crossroad. Do I continue the struggle and keep suit shopping or do I call it and save my energy for a different fight? If you don’t hear about my pool adventures in upcoming posts you’ll know which I chose.

    deann-r replied 3 years ago 3 Members · 4 Replies
  • 4 Replies
  • chantell-venter

    June 29, 2021 at 2:15 pm

    I wear 3/4 leggings and a spaghetti strap top for aqua therapy.

    If the therapist knows what they are doing the pool chair shouldn’t be a problem. Maybe request that they add extra time to your session to figure out the transfer for the 1st few times.

    Have fun.

    • deann-r

      June 30, 2021 at 8:32 am

      Thanks for the tip, I like the legging idea.

  • mike-huddleston

    June 29, 2021 at 8:18 pm

    Hey DeAnn –

    I’m one of the aqua therapy advocates, having started it regularly in the fall of 2016.  The pool I go to has a chairlift, which works rather well.  But it is likely used a decent amount and thus maintained. I am also fortunate that I am able to transfer between my wheelchair and the chair lift with a slide board.

    To me, the hour or so each week I spend in the pool allows for my progress in a safer manner than land therapy, which I also do weekly.  Short of drowning, it’s hard to get hurt in the water.  🙂   That hour, even though I am exercising the entire time, is heaven.

    If the pool has a lift for transfers and lacks a sling, those can be had at Amazon for about $50 or less.  Not trying to spend your money for you, but if it’s something you decide to pursue more than a couple of times, it’s a worthwhile investment.

    Definitely hoping to hear more about this, meaning we’ll know which side of the ledger you came out on. I hope it works out for you.

    • deann-r

      June 30, 2021 at 8:36 am

      Thanks for the encouragement. I figured I could use one of my slings. I’ll just have to go see what kind of lift they actually have.

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