Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thankful For Therapy

April 13, 2017 by  
Filed under Daily Manna, Monthly Articles

Did you ever know you had to do something, like dieting, but passionately protested? After you did it, you were amazed with the results! Recently, my co-workers challenged me to go two weeks without caffeine. I like Mountain Dew and had a VERY difficult time. But, my grumbling soon turned into thankfulness, because now I can control when I drink it.

Regardless of our disabilities, many things in life are painful and present plenty of opportunities to complain. The Apostle Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:18 to give thanks in everything. Most of us, me included, are in the process of learning this!

Just like avoiding vegetables isn’t healthy, neglecting therapy will have very serious consequences for my health. Occupational, physical, and speech therapy enable me to physically live life to the fullest.

Occupational therapy is treatment through active engagement in purposeful work. For instance, OT has given me creative ways to overcome tasks requiring fine motor coordination, such as dressing, which allows me to live independently.

Physical therapy is treatment by therapeutic exercise intended to facilitate normal functions. Due to brain damage, my muscles are often spastic or contracted. While my Baclofen Pump has reduced this tightness, I need to do regular stretching with the help of a friend. This allows me to maintain my mobility.

Speech therapy is treatment through oral exercises that develop new speech habits. Through therapy, I learn strategies to use when people have difficulties understanding me. As a result, I can talk to my friends on the phone.

Since therapy is challenging and requires much of my time in an already packed schedule, I struggle with consistency. However, Mike, a Physical Therapist at UW-Whittewater, says, “Every year, several students with disabilities return to PT after skipping a semester. They tell me that they always feel much better when they’re going to therapy regularly – more flexible, stronger and having a lot of energy.”

Like eating veggies, I’m learning to be thankful for them, because their benefits drastically outweigh the negatives. Perhaps, the thing you’re avoiding is the very thing God wants to use as a blessing.

 

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Bradley Mattrisch
Special Touch National Coordinator of Support Ministries

As a result of a delay in breathing for 26 minutes at birth, he has Cerebral Palsy. Brad has been involved with the Special Touch Summer Get Away Program since the summer of 1982. At the first Get Away, he sensed God calling him to help people understand the Bible.

Brad later earned a Bachelors of Business Administration degree in Management Computer Systems as well as a Bachelors of Arts degree Bible & Theology. After graduation, he participated in several ministry activities with his church and Special Touch. Brad was given the opportunity to learned about church planting as well as speak and teach. After working for several years in Information Technology with a large consulting company, he decided to make his ministry hobby his full-time calling.

Despite Brad’s disability, he is an U.S. Missionary Associate as well as an ordained minister with the Assemblies of God. Brad now oversees the ministry’s Pastoral Care department that includes a fair amount of writing and speaking. He wants to develop friendships with others that need encouragement and Biblical counsel. Brad also coordinates the ministry’s Information Technology needs. He lives with his cats, Penny and Oreo, as well as his dog, Daisy, in Appleton, Wisconsin. Brad currently attends Radiant Fellowship in Waupaca, WI.

Brad has a message to share with the church, especially to those who face challenges. Brad’s sermons are often accompanied with laughter, tears, and lives touched by God. He writes a manuscript and transfers it to a PowerPoint presentation which is projected, so the congregation can follow along as he speaks.

Contact Information:
715-258-2713 (office)
bmattrisch@specialtouch.org (email)

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