Just a Ordinary PT

My name is Matt McCreary and I am a physical therapist. First off, let me say Thanks, Thank you for your service and sacrifice. My wife and I have four kids, ages 6, 4, 3, 1. I wake up at 5:30 each morning and have a two hour round trip commute to work (I listen to a lot of audio books and podcasts) and I get home at or after 6:00 at night, some nights or weekends I do PRN therapy at the nursing home or home health, my wife stays home but has also returned to school and started a custom t-shirt business (which we are up until midnight designing and pressing shirts most days), we don’t have any family around to help, all this said we haven’t slept in 7 years. I tell you all of this not for sympathy but maybe by me sharing one of my never quit stories it would help someone who is going through the same time in their life.

About a year ago my wife suggested I listen to audio books on my long drive. Lone Survivor was my first book I listened to in the car and I was and still am blown away by the book. I started listening to more and more autobiographies about the special operations community. About 3 months ago, I stumbled upon the Team Never Quit podcast and I can’t get enough of it (I am almost caught up on previous episodes).

As a physical therapist, I get to see and be a part of so many patient’s never quit story and stories. I have the privilege to teach people to walk again, return to sports, regain their balance to prevent falls, or simply roll over to get out of bed some days.The most simple task can be the igniter for a never quit story. As a therapist, I know the end result of recovery after a spinal, knee, hip, shoulder or any other surgery and I kick start patients on their never quit journey when they first show up to me after surgery. (Rabbit hole- I would have loved to work with you Marcus after your many surgeries). I have three people I would like to tell you about (I have changed their names due to HIPAA) that I have had the honor and privilege to be apart of their never quit moments/story. One has really impacted me and you will see why later on.

Mark is a 71 year old male who has the unfortunate diagnosis of body myositis (it’s called the Alzheimer’s of muscles, pretty much every muscle in the body wastes away by proteinsbreaking down). As a former collegiate football player and strength and conditioning coach, Mark is determined to not let this disease have the best of him. He has come to see us at the clinic off and on for the past year. He continues to be diligent and dedicated to him overcoming the obstacles that this disease presents. His body is wasting away and before too long he will be wheelchair bound, but that doesn’t stop him from trying. He just takes one more step or one more exercise to better himselfeach day. Somedays he just grunts out loud to even stand up, but he does it. Some things he does in therapy might not be pretty but he does it.

Evelyn is a 68 year old female who underwent a double lung transplant. Hearing Justin Legg’s episode was so spot on because she was coming at the time I listened to that episode. Evelyn just wouldn’t quit. After so many hospitalizations and infections, she would just keep coming to therapy to stay strong during the fight and she never once said or acted like “poor me”. She is such an inspiration to me and all of us here at the clinic. I know she has bad days but she always came to therapy with a smile and a warrior mentality to push through the exercises to better herself.

Joni is a 66 year old female who I saw for shoulder and hip pain. While Joni was coming to therapy, she was undergoing radiation therapy for her breast cancer. She had to drive an hour each way to San Antonio for a 3-4 hour treatment 5 days a week for 8 weeks!! 5 days a week she had radiation, 5 days and 2 of those days she would come to therapy. She exemplified the never quit model every day. She told me that she couldn’t take a day off because her cancer didn’t take a day off. I am so humbled by her drive to conquer her giant. She really impacted me with her never quit spirit.

The reason I save Joni for the last was because about a year ago I was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that presents itself with tumors that secrete catecholamines. These tumors either hide themselves at the adrenals or carotid bifurcation (that’s a big word…but so is mayonnaise). They dump catecholamines into your system, which mainly messes with your HR and BP- causing a “fight or flight” response for no reason. Although I don’t have any tumors right now, I have a 70-90% chance of developing them within the next 3-8 years. Before listening to you guys I was a little scared about the impact of this diagnosis and how it can really change my life. After listening to your and your guests stories, I realized that I am living out one of my never quit stories and I love it. It is hard to get up every morning and leave my wife and kids for 12-13 hours but through the inspiration of your podcast, my patients, my faith in God, and most importantly my wife and 4 kids I have the never quit mindset. I also have it when dealing with these future potential health issues that even before this attacks me I have conquered it. I look at the future now and think I am ready for my next never quit story. Thanks again for your military service and the service your podcasts provides now. Take care guys.

Author: Matt