Wife, Mother, Grandmother and Rehabilitation Patient
“The people there are wonderful. I believe they cared as much about my recovery as I did.”
Walking Strong Thanks to New Knees and Physical Therapy at MidMichigan Health Park–Freeland
After a double knee replacement in September of 2012, Laura Becker chose MidMichigan Health Park–Freeland for outpatient rehabilitation. “Having both knees done at the same time was a big step,” she said. “I had one shot at rehab and I wanted it to come out right.”
Laura considered several facilities for her physical therapy and rehabilitation. “I called around and made initial decisions based on how I was treated on the phone and how much information I was given,” she said. She was impressed by the Freeland staff from her first phone call. “Jeannine, the lady doing the scheduling, was very kind. She took the time to explain everything about the place and invited me to come in and have a look around.”
Laura was further impressed when she visited. “I felt so welcomed,” she said. “I knew I would get the personalized attention I needed.”
She started physical therapy with Kate Kusowski, D.P.T., the following week, three weeks after surgery. Laura quickly progressed from using a walker, to using two canes, to using a single cane. “In the beginning I saw big changes. As I progressed, the changes weren’t as dramatic but were still there,” she said.
Laura admits that physical therapy was a difficult journey at times. “It’s a lot of hard work and it helps to have someone like Kate to cheer you on,” she said. Her sessions started with a warm-up, usually on a stationary bike, and included exercises to build strength, expand range of motion, and improve flexibility. As Laura improved, Kate would change the routine and add new exercises. In addition to one-on-one therapy sessions three times a week, Laura worked out at home.
Laura views her progress as nothing short of miraculous. “My goal was to walk without a limp,” she said. “I had to leave a job I loved because of arthritis in my knees. I couldn’t stand for long – I had to sit on a stool to cook. I couldn’t even walk down our long driveway to get the mail.” She said the total knee replacements, and the outstanding help from the Rehab team at MidMichigan Health Park–Freeland, changed her life. “I remember the first time I saw my reflection in a store window and realized I was walking without a limp. It gave me goose bumps to see myself as a normal person again. My new goal is to walk without a cane.”
Her three months of formal physical therapy ended December 21. “I had no limp and, with Kate’s help, I actually skipped that day! I felt like a new person,” Laura said. She celebrates being able to do everyday tasks. “Normal things are now pain-free. I take walks with my husband, walk through stores and even wait in line without pain.”
Laura happily – and often – recommends the team at MidMichigan Health Park–Freeland to others who need physical therapy. “While not everyone needs the same therapy, everyone needs to have a good start,” she said. “I needed a place where I felt comfortable, and from the first phone call I felt right at home. The people there are wonderful. I believe they cared as much about my recovery as I did.”
Rehabilitation at MidMichigan has one goal – to help patients achieve the highest possible degree of independence after an injury, illness or disability. We help most people through convenient appointments at one of our twelve outpatient locations. We also offer inpatient rehabilitation for more complex conditions such as stroke, and injuries to the head and spinal cord. For more information about MidMichigan's Rehabilitation Services visit www.midmichigan.org/rehabilitation.