I am the mother of Clay Burkhalter, your bill board man. I had a bad knee for four years and I finally convinced myself to have it replaced. I limped along and everyone could tell it was me by my awkward walk. I went to the same doctor as Clay and after xrays showed I had nothing left in my knee, I went ahead and had the surgery at L+M in January of 2014. I only put one provision upon my doctor. I had to be back on the tennis court on May 17th. This was the qualification year for the National Senior Games for 2015. After great care at L+M I went through intensive physical therapy. Everyone knew what my goal was. And I reached my goal winning my age group in singles in tennis and qualifying for the nationals in MN next July. I have won in previous Senior National Games, a gold, silver and bronze. I will be 80 years old next year and I am aiming for another gold medal or two.
So thank you to the team at L+M and physical therapy for getting me back on the court and being competitive once again. Everyone with a bad knee should think about replacement as mine feels like a normal knee.
In April I went to Disney with my family to see my nephew perform with his band. I was having severe stomach pain and ended up in the emergency room in the Orlando Hospital and was told that I needed to have my gallbladder taken out that day and they prepared me for surgery. Fourteen hours later I was still waiting, as they had mistakenly not put me into the surgery schedule. I met with the surgeon again, everything was confused and I did not feel good about having the surgery there, at this point I just wanted to go home and get taken care of at home. I was told that I was okay to fly.
The next day I flew back home to Pawcatuck and saw my doctor and then met with the surgeon Dr. Michael Betler. He received and reviewed all the test results from the Hospital in Florida and saw me that day. He was very informative and reassuring, especially after what I just went through in Florida. He scheduled me for surgery the next morning.
The next morning I went to Westerly Hospital and I was brought right in and taken care of immediately. I was being prepared for surgery by a few nurses, and Dr Betler saw me before surgery as well. I felt very reassured and comforted. The laparoscopic gall bladder surgery was done and I woke in the recovery room and was taken care of while I waited to be picked up. I went in at 9am the morning and was at my house by the afternoon and had dinner that night. I spent less time in the hospital here where I had my surgery than when I was in Florida... waiting for my surgery. My entire experience at Westerly Hospital was a good one from start to finish! I was impressed with the kind staff, Dr Betler and the comfortable environment and the efficiency. Dr Betler saw me for my follow-up visit and I thanked him... I feel great!
I went to the ER at the end of October 2013. This was the second ER visit in 2 days. Another hospital sent me home and told me that my migraine, which I had for 4 days, was causing numbness from my upper lip to my fingers and toes. I was not walking very well and the pain that was in my lower back and in both legs was debilitating. My husband pushed the wheelchair up to the ER check-in window and as we explained the symptoms to the woman behind the glass she introduced herself as a neurologist (wish I remembered her name) and rushed us back to a room to begin testing. They started the process of admitting me immediately but due to the busy time there were no beds. I spent 8 hours in emergency, I am not complaining, and was taken up to the first bed available to wait for another bed on the right floor. When that next room on the 4th floor became available they moved me and also diagnosed me with Guillain Barre Syndrome (GBS). I could no longer stand and could not feel anything from the waist down. The upper body, arms and face were numb at that point and then everything went black.
The next thing I remember was waking up in ICU but I couldn't communicate. I went through IVIG which slowed down the progression enough for them to start plasmapheresis treatments. Everybody was wonderful from my nurses to pulmonary to EVS I was treated with dignity and respect. When I left ICU I went to 5.2 and then finally to 5.4 until my discharge on Thanksgiving. It was on those floors that I remember the most and will forever be grateful for the care that I received. Dr. O, Dr. Wolff, Dr Peters, Dr. O'keefe, Dr. Zevi (just to name a few) made sure my care was outstanding. The nurses and the aides were incredible from those floors and made me feel better about being away from my family as long as I was.
While in rehab on 5.4 I met some of the most personable, caring people. I was able to be myself during just about my entire stay and didn't feel judged. I could not imagine that I would have gotten this far without any of them but my physical and occupational therapists were second to none and I think about these girls everyday. I hope I get the chance to do this in person but I want to thank all of them for fighting for me even when I couldn't or didn't want to for myself. I am still out of work with pain and numbness under the care of a neurologist and going to physical therapy. I have retired my walker and presently get by with a cane but for those who know me also must know, I will not settle for this, so I continue to fight until I don't have to. Thank you L+M for employing greatness, if not for this I would not be here today.