Over the last few years, I have been living with chronic pain. It was all I could do to get up out of bed, go to work, and get back in bed.
When I was 11 yrs old, my body started changing. My gait started to become different, my muscles in the legs, arms, and hands were getting weaker. After multiple doctor visits, medical tests, a diagnosis was never determined - they could not diagnosis what was happening. Even though changes were taking place within my body, it did not stop me. I continued to be athletic, played sports in high school (basketball, tennis, track) was a cheerleader. Throughout my life, I have had to learn how to do things differently.
About four years ago I fell at home on the left side of my tailbone. The fall has caused me severe chronic lower back and sciatica pain. I was diagnosed with severe spinal stenosis, the narrowing of your spinal column, and the fall had caused the nerves to be totally compressed. I tried multiple nonsurgical treatments but nothing provided me the relief I needed. In the mists of all of this, I saw multiple doctors trying to figure out what would be the best moving forward. My neurologist recommended to do some genetic testing. After 36 years of not knowing why I have weakness in my hands and weakness and stiffness in my legs, I was diagnosed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia Silver Syndrome which is considered a very rare disease. Worldwide, the prevalence of all Hereditary Spastic Paraplegias combined is estimated to be 2 to 6 in 100,000 people. After much deliberation, I decided to have a laminectomy at L3 L4 to allow more room for the compressed nerves. When I came home from the hospital, I had home health for a few weeks. My home health nurse strongly recommended me to consider West Texas Rehab, and I am so glad I did.
There are not enough words to express how awesome West Texas Rehab Center is. I was so blessed to have the opportunity to have Gina (Gina Karr, PT and Director of Adult Therapy in San Angelo) as my therapist. Not only did she push me to work hard, she was very knowledgeable about my spasticity, she was always positive, she was my cheerleader, and she always listened to me and my concerns and gave me words of encouragement. As a result of her expertise and my individual treatment plan, I am now able to perform daily activities with less pain.
As I progressed, Gina highly recommended the Pacesetters program that WTRC has implemented. I visited Pacesetters and immediately joined. Gina Karr visited with the certified fitness professional at Pacesetters and together they incorporated my treatment plan within Pacesetters. The collaboration between the therapists is such a blessing. Everyone is on the same page and wants what is in the best interest for each individual. Pacesetters is a wonderful, friendly environment. I love being able to participate in a fitness program in a rehab environment. The certified fitness professionals are always available to answer any questions, or help me with a new exercise machine, or provide me with new exercise ideas to add to my program. I am getting stronger everyday which has helped me feel better and have less pain. Pacesetters was one of the best decisions I have ever made.
My life has truly changed for the better and I owe it all to the West Texas Rehab Physical Therapy department, Pacesetters, and staff. They truly care about me and my success!
Thank you WTRC for being so amazing!