Patient Testimonial of CMMC's Inpatient Rehabilitation Center
Sandy Beaulieu Patient Testimonial
On June 29, 2014, what started out as a beautiful Sunday boating on the lake turned out to be my family's worst nightmare! As I was sitting in the boat, I decided to change seats and upon doing so, somehow got wrapped up in the tow rope that was attached to a tube (the tubes that you see people sitting in being towed behind a boat). In that split second, my leg was severely damaged by the tight wrap that the tow rope had around my foot. The doctors tried for almost two weeks to save my foot but unfortunately the outcome was that I had to have a below the knee amputation.
When I was told after almost a month of being in the hospital that I was ready for acute rehab, I was scared. I was afraid of trying to walk again, trying to tend to myself and become independent again. Once I was settled into my room on the acute rehab unit, the staff was amazing. They made me feel so at home. The nurses, the therapists, the nurse's aides, all the staff made me feel so welcome and I felt as if everything was going to be okay. Every one of them was so understanding to my fears and had very pleasant attitudes. No matter what time of day or night it was, when I rang for help or had a question, someone would come into my room with such a warm and comforting attitude and they were always happy to answer my questions and meet my needs. One nurse in particular even took some of her personal time to come back and see me to give me some extra attention! You know who you are and I love you for everything you did for me!
While I was in acute rehab most of my treatment was with physical therapy and some was with occupational therapy. The therapy team was amazing, awesome, and very heart strong. They were so understanding about my fear of pain and of trying to walk again. Heck, going from walking with two feet to just one was hard enough! But after some intense practice, which they made very pleasurable and purposeful, using that walker didn't seem so bad after all. The physical exercises were amazing. I could actually see and feel how my muscles were starting to tone up again. After being in bed for a month, the intense therapy was just what I needed both mentally and physically. The nurses always made sure that my pain was under control and that I had what I needed before they left the room. Everyone worked with me at the pace that I felt most comfortable but pushed me to the limits they knew I could reach. It actually felt like one big family helping each other out. Any questions or concerns I had while I was in acute rehab was always answered with great concern of their own and was worded so it was easy for me to understand. And what I liked the most was that no matter what my question or concern was, they never made me feel like I was bothering them or that my questions were of no importance.
My transition from the hospital to home was much easier than I anticipated. CMMC acute rehab has taught me so much about taking care of myself and mobility with the amputation that when I got home I had gained a lot of self confidence and returned to being completely independent. I had become very attached to those people around me on the rehab unit that I was nervous about going home with just my family and not all that extra support, but with their encouragement and their positive attitudes, it helped make the transition that much easier. I am now functioning with just the prosthetic, no walker or other assistive device. I am back to work, back to driving, and living life as usual.
The only advice I could give to anyone in a similar situation as to what I went through is to be strong both inside and out. You must have a positive attitude as to what your outcome will be and what you want it to be. Yes, life deals you a bad hand at times but you cannot turn back the clock on what has happened so just look ahead and believe that you can regain function and get back to baseline if you believe it. Believe in yourself, never say never, and always be your best.
You're a survivor!
With the outcome of my injury, I have learned to never take anything in life for granted. With the love and help of my family and everyone at CMMC I have learned that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and just try. Don't say you cannot do it until you at least try it. I am a below the knee amputee now but I have become so much stronger in other aspects of my life. This will not stop me in any way or deter me from leading a normal life and doing the things that I enjoy the most. CMMC acute rehab has shown and proved to me that you can do it if you put your mind to it!