Rehabilitation Counseling

Hello Attorney, I’m Here to Help Your Client With Shoulder Injury!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

At the beginning of the year 2017, my left rotator cuff was injured during a combination of physical activity, but I’m not sure how it happened.  Being the type of person who always wants to, no, needs to have answers!, I just had to go with the fact that I hurt!

It took a long time for my shoulder to heal and during that time, my physical and mental capacity were diminished. So in that way, I can empathize with what a person with a shoulder injury experiences. 

The first six months are critical to any injured body part that wants to heal. Proper care, nutrition, stretching, exercise and relaxation are essential components of rehabilitation.  A “don’t give up attitude” is too. I can relate to the limited movement, the pain, and the frustration from my rotator cuff injury!

Nice Biceps!

What’s good is that my shoulder (arms and entire core for that matter!) are much stronger than before because, well simply put, I care about my shoulders and exercise with purpose so they can work hard for me! 

I was offline for maintenance, but I came back stronger than ever!

Remind your clients of the fact that they’re your only shoulders, and if there’s injury, encourage them to do everything possible allowing the healing process to do the work.  If you want a vocational rehabilitation consultant on your side, contact me! If you have a lawsuit that needs to draw attention to the costs of the injury, contact me!

Practicing yoga, or focused stretching and faithfully paying attention to what your body is saying is incredibly valuable during any healing process. If an injury becomes chronic and a decision to perform surgery is made, physical rehabilitation is paramount. 

Rehabilitation also includes body and mind. Speaking of mind, I am grateful to hear of the change in the Iowa workers’ compensation law to provide workers who have a serious shoulder injury and can no longer return to their existing job with vocational rehabilitation benefits.

After July 1, 2017, if in the workers’ compensation system for a shoulder injury, the individual may receive career vocational training at a local community college…and we have good ones here in Iowa!  The employer or the employer’s insurer is required to pay financial support for participation in the program up to $15,000 for tuition, fees, and required supplies. I have plenty of experience helping Veterans return to school and commence with a new career when I had a contract with the VA to provide vocational rehabilitation services.

Also in January 2017,  I worked with a vocational rehabilitation client, Gerald. He had a serious rotator cuff injury with multiple shoulder surgeries and wasn’t expected to be able to return to his job as a roofer. I met with him and performed a vocational evaluation. He expressed interest in work as a heavy machine operator, so upon research and contact with local resources, I prepared an in-depth report to support our findings to help him move into a new career. Please let me know if you have a need on a case involving a shoulder injury as this information is fresh!

Gerald the Cat…Studious, Quick, Very Orange & Very Cool!

In 2018, I was assigned two interesting shoulder injury cases (one involved a dentist, the other a truck trailer unloader/consolidator) and I learned a lot about  surgical options, costs of care and vocational outcomes. I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned if it’d benefit your client!

Please let me know if you have a need for a vocational expert like me to help you help your client.  Just FYI: a few years back, my sister Julie experienced a bad elbow injury when she tripped and fell at work, which required elbow replacement surgery. I learned about elbow procedures and rehabilitation while helping her!

Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon! BTW, I enjoy using cool cats to support my work!  Contact me at 515-778-0634 to discuss your case, or email me at and let me know the best time to contact you!


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

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Be Honest, Save A Purse! Keeping Track is a Necessary Skill in My Work

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Recently, I freaked out…the adrenalin spiked quickly the moment I fully realized it was gone. This was a wild mind body stressful experience!  You know what I mean (I hope, if not, and you don’t carry a purse, well, read no further..!) Ever lost your wallet? Anything realllly important?

You look everywhere, and then your brain remembers. I made a call. Yes! Gateway Market Café found a black purse. Four hours earlier, we had been out and the bitter cold…and stopped to get some soup, sat down to wait, but then decided to change the food order to go. Guess who left something important behind?

Good Thing It's Not a Coach!
Good Thing It’s Not a Coach!

Good Thing It’s Not a Coach!

Bottom line for this blog besides keeping track of your things is that I truly believe people want to be honest. A pleasant employee of Gateway Market (I love the place!) answered the phone after only a couple rings, and after confirming and racing back, the nice guy with the long pony was quick to return it to me. Silly me [bonk self on side of head, harder….] But Whewwwwwww.

I did the same thing a few days earlier at the Botanical Gardens…left my purse at the top of the steps overlooking the beauty of the conservatory. There’s a better reason for my forgetfulness that time and it has to do with the excitement during this picture.

2014-12-27 14
2014-12-27 14

Part of My Fam! Randy, me, ArinJune, Nick, Taylor, and Derek! 

I ran right back up the steps to retrieve it…..and it was gone! OMG.  I ran back down the stairs (thank goodness I do step aerobics!) and searched for my family, who had gone on to view more beautiful plants.

There she was, the woman with the two little girls who had taken the pictures from my phone. Ahh, there’s the fam too, and one of my lovely children had my phone. Phone and purse saved! Geez, don’t mess with a 51 year old!

Saving what you found and returning it to its rightful owners is right. Be Honest. It’s also a good idea to play more Lumosity brain training games!?!

During a vocational evaluation to help with the placement process, I assess the individual on his or her take of honesty at work. Stay tuned for a sharing success story about job placement!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce


Whistle While You Work…or Grunt and Groan!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

It really does help to make noise while you’re working. I often work in complete silence. But when I whistle or listen to music, it does seem as though the work goes more smoothly. I have no idea why. I guess the Dwarfs did.

Maybe the sound helps distract the mind from trying too hard and prevents mental overload.

As I’ve written about in the past, mom and dad raised 5 kids. Us children are all only 13-15 months apart. Think about how much hard work Ann & Dick had in order to get us all out of the nest!

Here’s a great little YouTube Video of what it may have been like from the 5 babies viewpoint! The momma bird is hard at work and the song Whistle While Your Work is playing to help her!

Thanks for feeding us! 

 I completed my second week of boot camp (six more weeks to go …) and will say Linda Ross, our trainer is an excellent coach and instructor. She encourages us to do our best and to MAKE A LOT of NOISE when we exercise.

 It helps when you grunt and groan while you work out!

As I continue my journey in life, I find how important it is to work hard at whatever is at hand. Life isn’t easy. Whether it is mentally or physically, there is always more to learn and to improve upon. So, make noise! Be alive! Whistle, grunt and groan at work!

Don’t wish it were easier. Wish you were better.”
― Jim Rohn


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce.

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My World of Work is Like a Huge Exploration Project!

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Initially Published:  Published on: Apr 29, 2013

My world of work requires tremendous mental and physical energy because the tasks and challenges involved in consulting are similar to a huge exploration project. I’m often called upon to locate hidden resources or unseen facts.

So, after a full week, once Friday afternoon arrived on April 26, 2013, it was time to put whatever would make us happy into our world! The reality is work can be play and play can be work to earn a livelihood.

Randy and I drove to meet mom and dad (Julie, Nick and Nick’s friend Andy too!) at Prairie Meadows Racetrack & Casino at post time to celebrate dad’s 80th birthday! We gifted dad $80 worth of gas cards to use to fill up his motor home (that’ll give ’em just a little gas!)  Dad enjoyed his tasty ginger snaps and a couple kiwi fruit, and he’ll use an American Lung Association golf privilege book (to share with mom of course) to hit the links

We had a great time with the birthday boy! At the track, I watched the ponies go round and round, and then took some time to watch the people in the casino sit on their butts with minimal movement.  Interesting, as I view the ponies’ exciting work as exerting much more mental and physical energy to get the fast-paced job done. And the ponies’ work is rewarding (for those who bet the ponies!) 

Here’s a link to a post where I brag about how gifted and talented my dad Dick is! During the 8th race, I was super excited (although I had no money down) about a gifted and talented horse named Canticle, at the time a 3 year old filly who’s speed and agility made her  a winner!  I did a little surfing and found a clip, here’s a link to the race replay.

Image result for horse race cartoonOn Saturday, we made a road trip to Nevada, Iowa and following a morning meeting on life care planning, hung out in town. We met many nice, genuine citizens who clearly care about their small town and each other. I love it when people smile and greet strangers!

Then we drove on to Ames and hung out (again!) on campus at Iowa State University. Memories always flood back. Randy graduated ISU with his masters in 2000; I with my bachelors in 1995.

2013-04-27 14.47.41

The History of Dairying by Christian Petersen is located in the courtyard of the Food Sciences building (Can you tell I was thinking about cows?)

Then we continued on the road to The Ledges where we had a little picnic near the water within the incredible canyons and bluffs. Back home, Randy made stuffed bell peppers for a treat and we watched a  NASCAR race. I’d been in first place in the pool over the last couple of weeks, but my chosen racer came in 13th, so I’ll be pushed down a notch. Regardless, what  a beautiful Saturday!

On Sunday, we went to church, after back home, I juiced, blogged this post, surfed for research for a new case, and cleaned the house. We listened to da Cubs, went on a bike ride on the High Trestle Trail, did some grocery shopping for dinner, and after took the dog for a long walk. That’s a fulfilled weekend!

I love this quote written by Mark Twain: ‘Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions.’ And I love this concept about me: All hard work and no easy play makes Amy a dull girl!

If I can do anything to help you identify your client’s world of work, please let me know. There’s no betting on the fact that I’ll work my hardest to help you help your client win.


 My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.

Author Specials

Benefits of Water Aerobics, and Splashing About!

Reading Time: 2 minutes

(Original Post Date: 10/22/2012)  I started a water aerobics class three weeks ago and am really enjoying it. This is a first time I’ve done water aerobics!  There’s about 12 women and 2 men in the class, held at a local high school indoor pool where all different shapes, sizes and personalities splash about!

We all aren’t shaped like this!

It is a fun but serious workout, where we learn water-related exercises to a variety of musical accompaniment. We stretch to improve flexibility and work out to strengthen our cardiovascular system. The teacher, Robbie, is a kill! She is an excellent teacher, and I gauge this on how I caught on to the routine(s) fairly quickly!

Another exercise love! 

There are many benefits to water exercise:

  1. Non-weight bearing exercise
  2. Improves muscular endurance
  3. Improves core strength and endurance
  4. Great exercise for pregnant women
  5. Improves flexibility
  6. Improves cardiovascular conditioning
  7. Burns enormous amount of calories
  8. Keeps the body cool during exercise
  9. Fun and enjoyable exercise
  10. Great way to modify or spice up normal routine

Keep in mind the ability to swim is not required for water aerobics. All you really need is a decent swim suit, motivation (the water in the pool at East High is between 78-80 degrees, so there’s no balking when the time comes to jump in!), and dedication to caring about your body.

It’s Fun to Splash About!

Research proves that as you improve physically, so do you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I think if I interviewed the people in my swim aerobics class, they would agree with the research.  In fact, I’ve talked to a few of my classmates while splashing about. One told me she has lost 47 pounds since starting the class. Another one tells me how much better she sleeps at night. And another, he just likes to joke around and laugh!

Engaging in continuous exercise and being physically fit is incredibly important during any rehabilitation. If you are recovering from an injury, be sure to exercise everyday. I’m happy to help motivate others to exercise!

Stay tuned for more about the benefits of exercise and physical fitness…yoga yogi is coming in the future!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people participate in the world around them, particularly in their own world of work.


How My Past Brought Me to the Present!

How the Past Has Brought Me to The Present! Part 13

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Here’s an example of how I helped others to learn using a visual… on please!

To prepare for a presentation titled Weight Management Techniques for my Personal & Consumer Health course at ISU in November of 1993, I visited my local Fareway grocery store meat man down the street.  He happily turned over five pounds of meat fat free of charge, chuckling at my request and my reason for it.

My presentation focused on how to maintain a healthy body composition and to help avoid disease through a combination of moderate exercise and a low-fat diet.  I stressed the importance of understanding your own physical make-up and inner motivations before starting a weight reduction program.  I offered a number of techniques that can be used to meet your weight loss objectives.  At the end of the presentation, as a grand finale, I passed around the blob of fat to serve as a visual.

This is 1 pound of body fat.  It was passed around to every student in class…gross…..but effective!

To get to know your own physical make-up, one method is to estimate your body fat percentage.  The Body Mass Index (BMI)  is based upon simple weight and height measures.

The BMI calculation is an indirect measurement, and has been found to be a fairly reliable indicator of body fat measurements in most people. It is a number representing your weight distribution and, for most, is a good quantifier to determine if you are overweight.

If you have a lot of muscle mass, you’ll likely have higher limits. Here’s a BMI calculator from the Mayo Clinic for your reference.   A value between 18.5 and 25 is considered a normal weight.

Another method, now a days, it to look at your “Lean Body Mass”, and know how to calculate it.  What is Lean Body Mass (aka LBM)? Simply put, lean body mass is comprised of everything in your body besides body fat.  Your lean body mass includes:

 …and anything else in our bodies that has mass and is not fat.  As an aside, for the average adult male about 42% of body weight is skeletal muscle and it’s about 35% for females.

Lean Body Mass Formula: Lean Body Mass = Body Weight – (Body Weight x Body Fat %)

This equation is taking your body weight in pounds and subtracting it from the amount of fat you have in your body in terms of pounds.  Simple.  If you don’t know how to measure your body fat, here are are Ways  to Measure Body Fat.

Here’s another web page that will help you calculate your Body Mass Index (BMI), Waist-to-Height ratio, percent body fat, and lean body mass.  Diet Calculator, Body Fat Calculator


Ideal Body Weight and Percent Body Fat

The ideal weight and fat-lean ratio varies considerably for men and women and by age, but the minimum percent of body fat considered safe for good health is 5 percent for males and 12% for females. The average adult body fat is closer to 15 to 18% for men and 22 to 25% for women.

I hope the information in this post is helpful to you.  I am in progress of changing my body composition (aka:  losing body fat, lowering my weight, trying to ditch the gut, firming up, whatever!!!…) through exercising and watching what I eat, especially tracking daily carb and sugar intake.

I’ve been into yoga for well over a year, and I recently started a step aerobics class.  If there is something you feel you need to do to get fit, start now.  Try something! Do it for yourself.

Dennis has the best words of wisdom:

Thank you for reading!  On to more next week!  Post 14 I believe! Any comments are welcome!


My professional rehabilitation counseling practice is focused on helping people find a place in the workforce