Exercise equipment, modify house

Tammy and her husband, Mark, did some hiking on their dream vacation in October 2016.  They had gotten a puppy for Christmas to hike along with them and their other rescue dog.  Fast forward to May 2017, Tammy is having chest pains and is admitted to the hospital with a low heart rate.  A normal heart rate is 60 beats per minute; Tammy's was 44 with drops down to 36.  She is also having blood pressure issues which seem to tire her quickly.  After 5 days of testing and visits by numerous doctors, from different fields, the doctors diagnosed Tammy with autonomic dysfunction and neuropathy.  Sounds fairly harmless, but it isn't.  Tammy walked into the hospital on May 24th and left with a walker on the 29th. 

Autonomic dysfunction is described by Mayo as: “occurring when the nerves that control involuntary bodily functions are damaged. This may affect blood pressure, temperature control, digestion, bladder function and even sexual function.  The nerve damage interferes with the messages sent between the brain and other organs and areas of the autonomic nervous system, such as the heart, blood vessels and sweat glands.”

Tammy can't walk without aid (cane, walker, handrail, etc.), she can't drive, she is unable to work, and she falls numerous times daily.  She will probably never walk again without aid, she probably will never drive again, and she will probably never work again.  She is constantly dizzy which slows down her mobility.  Mark is the only driver in the house and he still works. She is confined in the house unless she can find someone to give her a ride to and from her destination.  We are very appreciative of all the people that are currently helping, but we have to look at how easy this will get in the future years.

She was an avid hiker with the dogs, she rode in RAGBRAI a few years ago and purchased a new bike about 3 years ago, and she just bought new golf clubs and hasn't used them yet.  All of the things we take for granted, she can't do because of her dizziness.

She has been accepted into the Cleveland Clinic autonomic program, but her appointment isn't until January of 2018.  That is a long time for her to try to cope with some of the issues.

She is 56 years old and had planned on working another 10 years before retirement.  She was looking forward to retirement, but not on these terms.  She is on short term disability and will be moved to long term disability.  Disability pays 2/3 of her pay until retirement.  She worked for over 35 years at Rockwell, and it is hard to see her work history summed up with 2/3 pay.  They don’t know what the future brings for her medical issues or if other modifications will be needed for her.

They just traded in their vehicle to get a new one that is easier for Tammy to get in.   She has daily treatments in Iowa City, so a comfortable car ride makes the trips easier.  They are looking for help to change the house to make her balance issues easier, such as ramps, shower reconstruction, and handicap grab bars.  They are also looking to purchase some exercise equipment, since she doesn’t leave the house very often.  They would like buy a recumbent bike to get her back outside and a recumbent exercise bike for inside the house.  One of their greatest fears besides the falling is muscle atrophy.  If she can exercise while she is at home, this will help both her mental state and her physical well-being. 

They appreciate any help you can give and the funds will be put to use to make Tammy's life a little easier.


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Mark Mowrer 
Robins, IA
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