Help save Milford pool

To the Editor:

I’m sure you have been contacted on this matter. It may seem very small a news article to most people, however it is a huge source of loss to those who have used that pool to stay afloat, from MS and paralyzed patients to 90-plus-year-olds that use it to maintain freedom of mobility.

Sure there are other pools in Milford, and surrounding areas, however it is the only pool that is heated, non-chlorinated, has lift chair access, availability of numerous hours, and winter-friendly.

Using Soughegan rides, The Blue Bus, is not as easy as it appears. I had physical therapy at CPTE in Nashua on Amherst Street for a one hour appointment in the winter and I had to endure a grueling four hour bus ride. I got a great tour of the countryside, but it was cold and long. And my p.t. there was unsuccessful. They never put me in their pool, one reason being was the bus ride home being so cold, that it would undo my work for the day. It simply was not an option to take five hours of the day to travel to a medical appointment that was to ease my muscle contractions.

The point is, it’s easy for non-patients to say “go to Nashua” or get in a cold pool when 60 is cold most days.

There are a small number of us vocally fighting for this pool. But a large number that want and need it.

If they eliminated the art in the new building, and kept the pool where it is, destroying the rest of the building and roofing that area, they may lose eight parking spots, leaving a walkway from the new building.

Last I heard, the developer wanted the pool!

I’ve made inquiries that could remove the pool to be relocated locally, voluntarily. Stored until funds are found. Patients have pool experience, certified people would volunteer upkeep time and maintenance. My daughter, AGM of Hampton Inn who is pool certified, volunteered to oversee testing and maintenance. My other daughter, a student at Keene state, has talked to friends in engineering to calculate costs of keeping it there and putting a new roof around the area where it’s located after demolition of the rest of the structure. They agree its likely less than the artwork proposed for the new building.

These are just quick inquiries and thoughts, suggestions. Some of the older patients have put a lot into trying to stop the loss of this pool. But keep getting stonewalled.

This is a plea to have this examined. Please. Write an article for the paper. More minds will find a way to preserve this service.

I can’t say the therapists give a rat’s ass about it. Nor the patients once they walk, or roll, out of their office. They are too busy with their bottom line, taking on as many as six patients an hour, quadruple billing for time, so the pool is their best way to walk away from supervising some patients. But they don’t seem to care one way or another about the benefit it does provide.

We would like to get it independently, for medical patients to use it with supervised times and open pool times. For St. Joe’s to take this away and not include it in their plans is selfish and uncaring. Especially when insurance is paying more than enough for “aquatic therapy” for up to 6 patients an hour. And none of us mind sharing it at the open time. Just being able to get in it and move with more than land mobility.

I can’t say my time this last round was efficient, except for that pool. My insurance likely paid enough in four months to maintain it for a year! It kept me from falling further into a chronic flare up as my therapist left me in there to work on not only her patients, but a few other therapists’ patients while he attended a meeting. While all seven of us were billed an hour’s time that wasn’t supervised (double billing).

That pool saved me this winter, and keeps many older patients mobile and independent. And there was no consideration in the new plans, and the new plans were too far in before any patients were made aware the pool wasn’t part of the plan. And for chronic pain patients like myself where our options are dwindling down to scary medications and procedures, keeping muscles in shape and strong is of most importance.

So this is a last ditch effort to try to do something, Anything to preserve it.

Thank you for reading this out. We all would appreciate whatever you could print. And plea for.

Corrinne Garfield

FMS/CMPS/Chronic Regional Pain, ACM patient