It’s Not Just Leno I Will Be Missing
As many of you know, my husband passed away 3 ½ years ago from lung cancer. His death has virtually nothing to do with this article, except for the following: He was confined to a wheel chair his last few months, and even though he had lost a great deal of weight from chemo, he was still a big man. He was just about 6 feet tall, and weighed about 170 pounds. In lifting him in and out of the wheel chair, I managed to tear both rotator cuffs, and that, in turn, was instrumental in creating a painful condition called “trigger fingers.”
In addition to that, for some unknown reason – at least my physicians cannot tell me what happened – I developed lymphedema in the arm that I had lymph nodes removed 18 years ago when I had breast cancer. I did not have any problem with swelling in that arm before. My HMO provided me with physical therapy for 18 weeks, and although I ended up having surgery for the trigger fingers on one hand, no amount of therapy helped with the lymphedema.
I will eventually have surgery on the other hand for trigger fingers also. So that is the background for this article.
Enter Eddy Ayub, physical therapist. I didn’t meet Eddy and his crew by going to his physical therapy office. Rather, I met Eddy and his wife Mary through their dogs – Boomer and Bella. They live around the corner from me and every day when I walk Buddy, his dogs come to the fence to greet us.
It finally came to the point when Buddy automatically turned into their gate and patiently waited for them to come out and greet him. Eventually, Eddy and Mary came out to say a few words, and before you knew it Eddy had a treat – or two – for Buddy. Although Buddy couldn’t pay them back, I would bring a new jar of jam I had just made as a “neighborly” gesture.
One day when Mary and I were talking she noticed that I was wearing a splint on my arm and asked questions about it. The next day she told me that Eddy wanted to talk to me about the swelling. To make a long story a little shorter, he had an idea that he thought might have helped reduce the lymphedema and I talked to my PCP about the possibility. My HMO clinic did not have the compression sleeve that Eddy had, and they arranged an “out of area” therapy for 20 weeks so we could try Eddy’s idea. Unfortunately, the insurance only covered the compression sleeve and not the continuing pain of the rotator cuffs and/or trigger fingers.
So twenty weeks ago I began one of the most enjoyable experiences I have ever had that consisted of pain, early morning rising – my appointments were at 7:30 am, Monday, Wednesday and Friday – fun and laughter. It was like going to the comedy store because of the interactions between the staff and patients.
Yet, at the same time, the staff was professional and efficient, truly concerned about their patients and performed miraculous feats. Patients would come into the office barely able to walk, or move their arms about their heart line and leave the office more relaxed, laughing and looking forward to coming back for more stretching, pulling, weight lifting, etc. And all the while the staff –and patients too – kept the atmosphere charged with laughter that sometimes bordered on hysteria.
But let me tell you about my results. Eddy felt that he could not just treat the swelling of my arm without also treating the rotator cuff and trigger fingers. His idea was that there were no lymph nodes to circulate the fluid so that my arms, shoulders and biceps would have to move better to help move the fluid. So not only did I use the compression sleeve, I pumped iron – well, not a lot of it – moved pulleys, stretched, and gradually I could lift my arms over my head with no pain holding on to a 5 pound weight.
Sometimes it was more of a challenge than other days, but today, my last day, after a long weekend of out-of-town guests, making 50 jars of strawberry/rhubarb jam, I was still able to do agile movements I could not do 20 weeks ago. My trigger fingers are much better on the surgically operated hand – the scar tissue that was building up has all but disappeared and I have a much better range of motion than I would have thought possible. Alas, the swelling is still there, but Ed and I both noticed that it was not as bad today as it has been and I will continue the exercises at home.
So why an article about Eddy Ayub?
Several reasons – first, he lives in OUR area; second, he has not always been a physical therapist.
In 1987, Ed was chosen to be the head trainer for the United States Eagles Rugby Team. He accompanied them to two World Cups and traveled to over 20 countries. Within that same year Ed also became the head trainer of the Old Mission Beach Athletic Club formerly known as OMBAC. Ed has put a tremendous amount of work into his career of keeping people healthy. He has much support by his incredible staff that works alongside him every day to help him carry out his mission of providing the best physical therapy.
And I have to say something about Ed’s staff:
Without the help from Fernando I could not have done the exercises that Ed wanted me to do. He walked me through each and every one of them, each and every day as if it was the first time I had done them. Frank, a newby to San Diego, was delightful with a wonderful sense of humor, and he made suggestions that made things easier for me, Megan, who has left to work in a hospital setting added to the “team” concept, and Sammy, who has taken Megan’s place is very new to the practice but has great potential. And although not kosher, I have to thank Steve, a patient, and James, another patient, that were the source of laughter bordering on loud guffaws though out the early morning hours. They helped make the return visits something to look forward to.
Ed’s office staff was delightful. Fully knowledgeable about what was going on in the therapy room as well as at the front desk, I was always met with a smile, and always left with another one.
I know that Ed lost money on me. The insurance only paid for the compression sleeve and he did much, much more than that. This man is truly a compassionate, caring individual and I am pleased to say that 92107 is his home.