Taking Ownership of Her Recovery

Candy Moreau won’t let anything slow her down. Not the Coronavirus and certainly not her two rotator cuff injuries! During her Telehealth experience, her spunk and love for life helped her to stay positive, even through an uncertain and confusing time.

Why She Entered PT

As a Pre-K teacher, Candy was excited for Christmas break. As she opened the door for a parent, she caught her toe on a piece of asphalt and after almost catching herself, she fell on both knees and forearms. As the shock wore off and she decided to go home, she realized she could not extend her arm to start the car.

Upon visiting Ortho Express at Ortho Rhode Island, Candy saw two doctors and was told that she had a massive tear in her right rotator cuff. At this point, she knew surgery would be her next step in recovery. However, two weeks came and went with no date for surgery. During this time, her other shoulder started showing symptoms of the same injury, like pain and limited arm movement. Once the MRI was approved for her left side, she found out that she sustained the same injury on both sides of her body.

The Telehealth Experience

Candy was no stranger to physical therapy. She had spent a lot of time in physical therapy with her daughter who was diagnosed with spinabifa, so Candy felt comfortable with the process. “I never really forgot that PT works,” she recalled.

Three weeks after her surgery, Candy started Telehealth physical therapy. She admits that she was skeptical at first, especially with being older and not feeling as comfortable with technology. However, she kept an open mind and decided that since there was no other choice, she was going to try it. She saw Erin Botelho MSPT, OCS and as her treatment progressed, she was surprised and excited with her results.

Telehealth forced Erin to think outside the box with Candy’s exercises and treatment plan. She recalls, “I’ve helped Candy reach her goals and recovery from such a big surgery, but she has also helped me as a therapist. I felt like I was able to grow as a therapist as the one-on-one appointments allowed me to spend more time listening to her concerns and giving her emotional support.”

Keeping Her Perspective

“It’s encouraging to know that my PT is there when I need her or when I have questions with exercises, and she will be available. She can also demonstrate the exercises for me, which is more concrete and helpful,” Candy says. Throughout her treatment, she was so thankful for Erin's emotional support and reassurance. “Erin gave me the gift of reassurance that we were going to get through it and I was going to get better.”

The emotional support that she was given by her physical therapist helped to relieve the initial anxiety she felt and allowed her to feel confident that she will get to where she wants to be.

Candy’s Advice to Patients

Throughout her treatment process, Candy knew that she wasn’t going to recover if she didn’t put in the work. Whether it was her independence or her refusal to give up the life she loves, she was determined to make her recovery her new job. She advises other patients, “When the doctor says their job is done, now recovery is your job. Be brave to be able to push yourself when it hurts and follow it to the end.”

From Telehealth to In-Clinic

With the clinics reopening, Candy is now able to resume in-clinic treatment but is choosing to also use Telehealth for a hybrid treatment plan. Now that Telehealth has become an option, she’s excited for how she’s going to use it to supplement her in-clinic visits when she enters treatment for her left arm.

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