1994 - Contracted pawassan disease while living and working on Martha's Vineyard. Inpatient rehabilitation 4 months. Physical therapy to regain balance, and begin to walk on a walker, speech therapy to regain speech, psychological therapy to learn to accept my condition, occupational therapy to learn to use bathroom, to open doors, etc. on walker, and to learn to pick up small items such as marbles, pegs, etc.
Outpatient therapy for 12 years - to keep the muscles that work strong and to try to increase the use of muscles that do not work.
2003 - Moved to Ocala Fla and accepted that a power chair was the best way to live life on life's terms. Aqua therapy three times per week and gym exercises 5 times per week.
2010 - Reduced therapy due to weakness of shoulders and arms. Massage once per week to stimulate arms, legs and butt muscles. Operation on back to remove benign tumor on lower spine. More rehabilitation to regain strength.
2016 - Massive heart attack. Inpatient therapy for 5 weeks. Came home in a weakened state but was able to continue with limited physical therapy and occupational therapy. I was able to continue to live alone. I use a medical alert button to call for immediate rescue which has increased during 2016. Most calls to medical alert were due to falls which did not require going to the hospital.
2017 - Left shoulder very weak which caused right shoulder to weaken due to over compensation.
Doctors had different views whether to perform a shoulder replacement.
Shoulder weakness became overwhelming yet it was suggested not to take addictive medication for pain. Began to lose use of left arm and limited use of right arm. Pain became unbearable.
March, 2017 - called medical alert due to fall. EMT's found my blood pressure to be extremely low and strongly suggested I go to hospital. I was tested for heart problems, stress, and weakness. It was decided that I could return home but with the assumption I would hire an assistant who would help with bathing, grocery shopping, meal preparation, transportation to doctors, and any other tasks needed.
While in the hospital it was strongly suggested that I set up an appointment with a specialist to see if a shoulder replacement would be a solution to the amount of pain in both shoulders; but especially my right shoulder. I am willing to have this operation even though it may be risky. I will be setting up an appointment with my doctor to get a referral to a specialist who will perform the operation.
Until then, I have hired an aid to come in on a daily basis to assist me.
Kathy needs our help!
- Marilyn Gruber
- Brooke Baumann
- Hunter Smith
- Christina Konstantis
- Ann-Marie Trotta
Organizer and beneficiary
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