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PT and the Greater Good

The PT and his Motor(ing) Skills

Published January 19, 2011 10:31 AM by Dean Metz

It is that time of year when I go back to the States for the visit to mom, check in at the university where I'm getting my online degree and try to warm up a bit in Florida.

The visit to Nova Southeastern in Fort Lauderdale went well, and I got a lot out of some brief in-person sessions with my excellent professors. The visit with mom was survived by both of us (actually we had a good time), and unfortunately it appears that I packed the weather from northeast England as it was really cold in Florida! This was last week when Atlanta got a lot of snow! So much for the beach.

All in all, it was not bad. I had been looking forward to driving in the States again. Before I left I was bemoaning driving here in the UK. This whole wrong side of the road thing, wrong side of the car, and that clutch pedal still seemed so foreign and definitely not fun when I left. All the while I was back in the US, I reached for a clutch that didn't exist, got in on the passenger side of the car (when I was supposed to drive), and once (just once) found myself on the wrong side of the road. I had no problem if there was traffic on the road for reference, but on a deserted road I automatically turned a wide right into the oncoming lane. I thought "Hmmm, something's not right about this." It hit me (the thought, not another car) right away and I moved into the correct lane.

It amazes me how we learn things and incorporate them into our psyche and routines. I've often heard the term "muscle memory," which means that our bodies remember how to do things even while our minds are making laundry lists, or talking with someone else in the car. My relearning of the driving process has really been completed, so that driving in the US feels more foreign than driving in the UK. I never thought that would happen. This process has really helped me to appreciate what neuro patients must go through while working in rehab. Just like a fellow blogger has written about her crutch-walking experience, we don't know what it is like until we go through it ourselves.

I was happy to turn in that rental car (a huge Corolla). When I got back into my little Hyundai here in the UK today, for the first time I felt like I was home.

1 comments

Over the past year and a half, you've written about moments of missing "home".  I'm happy for you that you now have two homes to miss.  That's a comforting feeling.

Janey Goude January 20, 2011 12:47 AM

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About this Blog


    Dean Metz
    Occupation: Staff Development Specialist
    Setting: New York, NY – Newcastle Upon Tyne, Great Britain
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