Hi, I'm Dr. Mary Elizabeth Norris, an active resident of Northeastern Connecticut.
A year ago pain was shrinking my world. After hearing reports ranging from being too young for knee replacement to surgery being my only option, I worked with my general practioner to explore other options. I pushed for physical therapy, and luckily, the sports medicine doctor sent me to Westview.
Sure. . . I still have bone-on-bone osteoarthritis in both knees, but it turned out that my pain had been soft tissue all along! My body was screaming at me because it knew there was something I could do. All those years of compensating for my pain had altered my gait and twisted my joints. And so we began a journey that has opened up my world.
My journey- in five steps:
Step One. . . Without any finger-pointing or blaming my weight or my age, the therapists listened to me and my body- my whole body. For the first time in a long time, a medical professional was seeing me as a whole human being functioning in a real and demanding world. What were my goals for therapy? Where was my pain? When was my pain less? Where did I manage to function well?
Step Two. . . Deep tissue massage was performed to loosen the tendons and ligaments that were crushing and twisting my joints, limiting my range of motion, and causing most of my pain.
Step Three. . . Learning to walk with a normal gait again. As my joints freed, I was eased into the warmth of the aquatic therapy pool. I walked on a treadmill that was under the water, while the water buoyed me up. I felt like a kid again. My body began to slowly learn how to place my feet without the guarding and lurching that I had been using to protect the joints when they were tight. No one laughed at my limitations, or at my ample figure. No one told me I was not trying hard enough. I set the pace. We applauded my accomplishments and we opened up my world.
Step Four. . . After months of doing better on my own, I am back at Westview working with their team of professionals on my next steps. . .literally. The rest of my body was ready to expand its range. My knees hardly ever scream at me anymore. My hip is opening up. My back muscles are able to relax. The more active I am in my ordinary life, the better I feel, the better I work, and the more fun I am with others.
Step Five. . . Will I ever need surgery? I might. But if it happens in the future, my efforts now will just speed my recovery. And the team at Westview will be there, waiting to help me. As a veterinarian, I am on my feet all day as I tend to my patients and perform surgery. Just as I listen to my patients' bodies, I am listening to my own imperfect, and yet magnificent body. My world is getting bigger every day! Work is fun again. I am riding horses and walking dogs without pain.
Got to go. . . the puppy is waiting!
Westview Health Care Center is a 103-bed skilled nursing inpatient facility, which includes a distinct and self-contained 28-bed subacute short-term rehabilitation unit and an Outpatient Rehabilitation and Aquatic Center, both dedicated to providing quality health care services. Along with garnering a perfect five star overall rating found on Medicare.gov Westview is proud to have received such accolades as US News and World Report America’s Best, Consumer Reports Top 10 Connecticut Nursing Facility rating and Health Grades 5-Star Top Ranking.
If you or your loved one would like more information or to take a tour of the facility, we invite you to a closer look at Westview Health Care Center.
Please contact our Resident Services office at 860-774-8574