“Every day is a brand new day for Paola, she is proof that #PhysioHelpsLives.”
My name is Paola Sophia Palermo. I love books and stories and expressing myself through my paintings. My husband likes to say that I am an artist not only on canvas but in the kitchen too. He will tell anyone who listens how much he loves my tiramisu!
My experience with stroke began last summer. I was at a friend’s house for our book club meeting when my vision went funny and my body felt weak. Next thing I knew I woke up in the hospital. My husband was holding my hand and trying hard not to look worried. The team at the hospital were wonderful. They explained what had changed after the stroke and what would be involved in recovery.
From the very beginning, physiotherapy has helped me get back the strength and movement that I lost, which is giving me back my independence and my hopes for the future. My physiotherapist explained all the small movements that go into big ones like walking or climbing stairs. By focusing on the little movements, and practicing each one over and over, I learned how to do the big movements, to stand and walk again. He showed us how to make the house safer for me while I was learning how to move again and taught me how to use a cane so that I could do more things on my own. My physiotherapist also showed my husband how to help me practice so that in this, like in all the other parts of our life, we are a team. I have to work hard every day but step by step, with physiotherapy and my family helping, what in the beginning seemed impossible is becoming possible again.
My husband and I have started taking evening walks to the park again, every day a little further. And I am working on a painting of his shop to surprise him for his birthday. I am still working hard, practicing, and getting better. Some days there are challenges, but he reminds to be patient and remember how far I’ve come. “Every day is a brand new day” he says.
Watch Paola’s story and learn more about how #PhysioHelpsLives at www.discoverphysiotherapy.ca.
Help us raise awareness about stroke and many ways that physiotherapy can help in rehabilitation.