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Rehabilitation Archive

July 2nd, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Cardiac Rehabilitation Helps Ardis Kyker Improve Her Health, Lose Weight and Avoid Surgery

By Hoyt Finnamore

Ardis Kyker with her rehabilitation therapist, Whitney Quast. Back in 2014, Ardis Kyker was at home going about her daily routine when she experienced tightening in her chest. The pain went away as soon as she sat down to rest, so she proceeded with her day.

Later, while pushing a cart at a grocery store, the pain returned with more intensity. So Ardis checked in at the Emergency Department at Mayo Clinic Health System in Red Wing, Minnesota. While test results ruled out a heart attack, the team in the Emergency Department scheduled her for a stress test because of the pain she was feeling on exertion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Cardiac Rehabilitation, Coronary Artery Disease, Mayo Clinic Health System, Red Wing


June 24th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

West Nile Put Gloria Johnson on a Ventilator. Rehab Brings Her Back

By Hoyt Finnamore

Gloria Johnson recovered her respiratory function with the help of the Mayo team. Gloria Johnson’s life changed in the blink of an eye.

Gloria and her husband, Floyd, were camping in South Dakota in August 2013, when her body’s temperature skyrocketed to 104.6 degrees, and her body went limp. She went from enjoying her time at a campground to being paralyzed from the neck down.

She was diagnosed with West Nile virus, which is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Most people infected with West Nile virus experience a slight fever or a mild headache. Gloria was in the minority – less than one percent – of people affected neurologically by the virus. She ended up being admitted to an intensive care unit at Mayo Clinic's Rochester campus. Because of her paralysis, Gloria needed a ventilator to breathe.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Lake City, Mayo Clinic Health System, Respiratory Therapy, Ventilator Program, West Nile Virus


June 12th, 2015 · Leave a Comment

Spina Bifida Won’t Slow Down Ty Wiberg

By Hoyt Finnamore

Ty Wiberg received his black belt in karate this past spring, despite mobility challenges caused by spina bifida. If everyone else can do it, why can’t I?

If Ty Wiberg, a 13-year-old from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, has one guiding principle in life, that might be the one.

The Chippewa Falls Middle School student has undergone 16 surgeries, walks with braces and uses a wheelchair for distance. Ty was born with spina bifida, a spinal cord malformation. He also suffers from hydrocephalus, a buildup of fluid in the brain for which a tube-like shunt drains excess fluid. And he has limited sensation from the knees down, among other issues.

Not that any of that is slowing him down.

Ty mono-skis, distance races with his wheelchair, scuba dives, plays wheelchair basketball, swims and does karate. This past winter, he spent a week at a downhill ski camp in Colorado for kids with disabilities and injured veterans. This spring, he recently received his black belt in karate.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Dr Jane Byrd, Dr Sherilyn Driscoll, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Spina Bifida, Spina Bifida Clinic


December 10th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

An Answer to Chronic Pain Through Community

By Hoyt Finnamore

Read time: 7 minutes

Kylee Swendsrud found help in dealing with chronic pain through Mayo's Pain Rehabilitation Program.Kylee Swensrud doesn’t want to talk about the bad stuff. About how the chronic back pain she’s been living with for the past few years caused emotional distress and drove a wedge between her parents, or the weight it placed on her older sister over concern for her. And she especially doesn’t want to talk about how it rendered a vibrant, outgoing teenager essentially lifeless.

“I don’t want to focus on how negative all of this was,” Kylee, now 19, says. “But I do want people to understand that I literally had no life. It truly was like a living hell. It was just this giant, rolling ball of ick.”

The culprit came suddenly and without warning when Kylee’s lower back gave out one day during ballet. “They thought it was just an injury,” she says. “Nothing was noticeable as a trigger point, so they just told me to rest and do some physical therapy.”

But after that rest and physical therapy, Kylee’s back pain was still there. Local doctors then put her on a pain medications and muscle relaxers that she says did nothing more than require more pills.

After those medications failed to help, Kylee says she then turned to heat and ice treatments. “But I ended up icing so much that I burst my skin and got these huge welts, because I’d just become so dependent on the ice,” she says. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: back pain, Chronic Pain, Pain Rehabilitation Center


November 21st, 2014 · 1 Comment

Learning a New Way to Live, With Pain

By Hoyt Finnamore

Carl White enjoys time with his family now that he's learned to manage his chronic pain. Look at Carl White today and you see a busy, content family man. A husband and father of two, Carl recently completed his bachelor's degree and now is pursuing a master's in social work. When he's not in school or studying, you'll likely find him either at his job as a health unit coordinator at Mayo Clinic Hopsital, Saint Marys Campus, in Rochester, Minnesota, or spending time with his family.

At first glance, Carl may seem like any typical, hardworking dad. Rewind a few years, though, and you'll understand just how far Carl has come and the enormous struggles he has had to overcome.

Back in 2009, Carl was consumed with chronic pain — the result of two serious accidents. He attempted to cope by taking steady doses of strong pain medication, along with a significant amount of alcohol. But it provided little relief.

"I was in constant pain. I couldn't think. I couldn't function. My family was falling apart. I didn't know what to do," Carl says. "Time seemed to go so slowly while waiting for a magic bullet, a new medical breakthrough that would take all the pain away. I believed that all I needed was to have the right surgery or find the right pill, and I would be cured."


 "I was in constant pain. I couldn't think. I couldn't function. My family was falling apart. I didn't know what to do."


Unfortunately, that didn't happen. Angry and discouraged after several years of dealing with the pain, he was not receptive when a doctor at Mayo Clinic referred him to Mayo's Pain Rehabilitation CenterRead the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Chronic Pain, Pain Rehabilitation Center


June 4th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Untangling a complex medical challenge

By Hoyt Finnamore

Amy Supergan with family members in Sienna, Italy.Amy Supergan has battled a host of difficult and painful disorders. Now she's found a way back to enjoying her life and her family.

In the summer of 2013, Amy Supergan took a trip to Italy. That may not sound extraordinary, but there was a time when being able to travel and enjoy a vacation with her family seemed like an impossible goal.

Amy faces a range of challenging medical problems, but at the top of that list is pain so debilitating she was forced to quit her career and give up an active lifestyle. But through the care she has received at Mayo Clinic and her participation in an innovative clinical research trial, Amy has found a renewed ability to manage her pain, and enjoy friends and family when she is able.

"Although I may never ski again or be back at work, with the help of all of my doctors at Mayo, I am now able to live independently with some assistance," she says. "I have found happiness in being more relaxed and appreciating some of the smaller things in life. I don’t feel like I’m missing out on life as I did before." Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Chronic Pain, clinical trials, Dr Daniel LaChance, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Patient Stories, Trigeminal Neuralgia, Dr Kendall Lee


May 16th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

#StrokeMonth: From Victim to Therapist

By Cynthia (Cindy) Weiss

Stroke survivor Sean Bretz (center) with Lisa Lazaraton (far left), a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, his mother and aunt (right).

Stroke survivor Sean Bretz with Lisa Lazaraton (left), a physical therapist at Mayo Clinic in Florida, his mother (center) and aunt.

It’s been almost three years since Sean Bretz collapsed. Unbeknownst to the then 23-year-old U.S. Coast Guardsman, a giant aneurysm had burst in his brain, causing a massive stroke.

“His prognosis was grim,” neurosurgeon Rabih Tawk, M.D., recalls. “We used every technology available to help him.”

Despite complications and issues, which required him to be induced into a medical coma, Bretz made an almost full recovery.

“I realize I was lucky and recovered pretty well. A lot of other people who have this type of stroke do not,” says Bretz, who attributes his success to the large team at Mayo Clinic’s Comprehensive Stroke Center.

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Tags: Aneurysm, bretz, Dr Rabih Tawk, rehabilitation, Sean Bretz, stroke, Stroke Center, therapy


February 14th, 2014 · Leave a Comment

Transitional Care Team Helps Sandy Dyson Get Back on the Dance Floor

By SMHNadmin

If Proud Mary is playing, Sandy Dyson wants to be dancing. But last spring, it looked like Dyson’s dancing days might be behind her. After knee replacement surgery, the 71-year-old Kennebec, S.D., resident was in so much pain that just walking seemed like punishment.

Sandy and Dick Dyson

Sandy and Dick Dyson are back on the dance floor after rehab helped Sandy regain mobility after knee replacement.

Thanks to a “wickedly good team” of rehabilitation specialists in the Mayo Transitional Care program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Waseca, however, she was back on the dance floor by winter.

The Transitional Care program provides a step between hospital and home for patients, who are supervised by physicians and receive daily care from nurses and therapists. A multidisciplinary team of providers sets up an individualized plan of care for each patient designed to get them back home as quickly as possible.

“Without their help I wouldn’t be where I am today,” says Dyson.

When she arrived in Waseca three days after having surgery at Mayo Clinic, Dyson was in “excruciating” pain.

She understood that the pain she was experiencing wasn’t unusual immediately after knee replacement surgery, but Dyson was not happy about it. And not shy about letting people know it. But that didn’t scare staff away. Dyson says someone checked on her every 30 minutes the first week she arrived, always meeting her tears and frustration with kindness and encouragement. Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: Josh Berndt, Knee Replacement, Patient Stories, rehabilitation, Sandy Dyson, Transitional Care


October 4th, 2013 · Leave a Comment

Mark Gilbertson 2.0 – Putting the Pieces Together Again

By SMHNadmin

After a terrible accident left him barely alive and in need of major reconstruction, Mark Gilbertson found the right team at Mayo Clinic to help piece things back together again. He shares his story below.

 

Mark Gilbertson

My name is Mark Gilbertson, and here’s my story.

I am originally from Brainerd, Minn. I joined the Air Force following high school and retired in 2009 after 22 years of active duty as an aircraft mechanic. I now work for the Boeing Company as an aircraft mechanic at an air base in Hungary. My family and I have lived there for nearly four years.

On Dec. 19, 2012, some workers at the airbase were opening a large hangar door using a steel cable attached to the front of a large truck. The cable was stretched across the road. The weather was rainy, and it was a little dark. As I approached in my car, I did not see the cable, and struck it at about 29 MPH.  Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: dental implants, Dr. Eric Moore, Dr Kevin Arce, jaw surgery, otorhinolaryngology, rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic Rochester, Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery


November 27th, 2012 · Leave a Comment

Working Your Way Down and Out

By Margaret Shepard

Chad HansonSince a serious car accident in 1998, Chad Hanson has learned a lot about goals and adaptations. As a patient in Mayo Clinic's Spinal Cord Rehabilitation Unit, he remembers the first time he was able to use the joystick on his wheelchair -- his fingers pushing the lever but not strong enough to pull back, his therapists standing close by, catching him before he hit the wall.

"It was great!" he laughs. "I didn't have much control that first time, but I told them by the end of the weekend I would be able to take my hand on and off the joy stick. And I did."

Chad broke his neck in the accident. "He was initially paralyzed from the neck down and required a ventilator to help him breathe," explains his physician, Jeffrey Strommen, M. D. "Over time his breathing improved to the point that he was able to get off the ventilator and transfer to the rehabilitation unit. His prognosis for recovery of walking was less than 3 percent but we hoped that he would at least gain some arm function to allow him to be more independent." Read the rest of this entry »

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Tags: assistive technology, Chad Hanson, Dr. Jeffrey Strommen, Matthew Clark PhD, Physical Medicine & Rehabilitiation