Regaining health one day at a time in the Transitional Care Unit

Aug 24, 2015

Through the last several years, Mary Howey's health has deteriorated bit by bit due to Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). As daily life activities were beginning to become more and more difficult for Mary earlier this year, pneumonia hit her hard. Instead of just sending her home after she was released from the hospital, Campbell County Medical Group Nephrology and Complex Medicine doctor Robert Neuwirth, MD, encouraged Mary to utilize the rehabilitation services at Campbell County Health's Transitional Care Unit (TCU).

While Mary said she was worried about going into the facility at first, her nine-day experience there has helped her regain so much in her life.

"They taught me how to pick things up off the floor, which I hadn't been able to do at home," Mary said. "I hadn't been able to wash my hair in the shower for about a year."

With the help of the occupational therapy staff, Mary learned new techniques to accomplish everyday tasks that she had been struggling with. While the therapy wasn't easy, she said the therapists pushed her in a caring way to do more.

"They reassured me," Mary said. "They always told me if I wasn't comfortable doing something to tell them. They didn't want me to feel insecure."

One of the biggest takeaways for Mary was an understanding of how important exercise is for her health. She continues therapy twice a week, but now she has also added regular exercise to her daily routine.

"The more I move, the better off I am," Mary said. "I'm determined to exercise."

For Mary, the stay at the TCU changed her life. She has regained strength, received encouragement and learned how to do daily tasks that had slowly been slipping from her abilities. Ultimately, she said she would encourage those needing extra days for recovery to seek help at the TCU.

"My whole experience there was very good," Mary said. "I would recommend it to anyone if they want to get well and go home."

Article written by Kim Phagan-Hansel, Wyoming freelance writer