Customized Rehabilitation at The Selfhelp Home
Owen Randolph, most people call him “Rand” is a rehab patient at The Health and Rehabilitation Center at The Selfhelp Home. Rand had a major neck and back surgery earlier this year. After surgery, he went to another rehabilitation facility for therapy and was released home, but he soon discovered that he couldn’t make it at home on his own. Rand went back to Northwestern Hospital for a few days before they referred him to Selfhelp for a more comprehensive post-surgery rehabilitation program.
Rand’s primary recovery focused on Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, and Speech Therapy. The speech therapy was an important component to Rand’s rehab because there is a valve in his esophagus that isn’t opening properly to take in the liquid and solids that he needs to swallow and take in proper nutrition safely on his own.
Rand says: “The valve closes too soon, causing me to cough it or wretch it back up into my throat, and then it goes down the airpipe. It’s very uncomfortable and causes the possibility of pneumonia, coughing or even potentially choking. It can be very dangerous. I’ve been given a series of swallowing exercises, tongue work, and other things, which I need to do in order to improve that valve. My surgeon said that it’s not unusual in his experience to see the healing process take between 3-6 months. I’m just hitting month 3, so hopefully it will begin to work soon!”
When he’s not working hard at therapy, Rand likes to listen to audiobooks. He often goes through two audiobooks a week, occasionally more. Mystery, crime fiction novels, and 20th century history are his favorite genres. A few of his favorite crime fiction authors include James Elroy, Michael Conley, and James Lee Burke. “Being here has given me a chance to catch up on them.”
“It’s certainly been a professional experience here. All of the staff has treated me well and been wonderful. Aaron the Nurse on the rehab floor has been very helpful. He has explained my situation, therapy exercises, and goals in great detail. I’ve gotten everything I need. I’ve been quite satisfied with everything at Selfhelp.”
Paul Miranda, our Physical Therapist, shares a more in depth look at Rand’s journey:
Paul Miranda has been a Physical Therapist at Selfhelp for just under 19 years and has worked with Rand on his recovery. Paul says that after a month of rehabilitation at The Selfhelp Home, Rand has made significant progress. When Rand was first admitted to our Health and Rehabilitation Center, he was very, very weak. Initially he had a cell carcinoma in the back of his neck. The doctors took out the carcinoma, and fused his spine. He had a brace to stabilize the spine and a C collar to stabilize his neck area.
Paul describes when Rand came to Selfhelp, “He was having a lot of orthostatic hypertension when he would change his position from a lying position to a sitting or standing position, meaning his blood pressure would drop with any change in position and he wasn’t really walking at all. He also had a little confusion because of all the traumatic events at the hospital.”
Since then, we have been addressing all those issues. We’ve especially focused on getting him stronger, working on his balance, working on his walking, his upper body strength, and his ability to perform ADLs (activities of daily living). Rand has improved significantly over the course of the 4 weeks he’s been here, because Rand works really hard. He’s very motivated and optimistic about his continued progress.”