Mrs. Spicer

Mrs. Spicer

About 7:30 pm the night Mrs. Spicer suffered a stroke, she said goodnight to her husband and went to bed. Other than the headaches she'd been having the past few days, everything seemed normal. At 3:00 am, her husband woke up to find his wife on the bathroom floor. She was mumbling, in a weakened state, and confused. Though Mrs. Spicer has some memory loss, she recalls having trouble moving her leg and hand.

Mrs. Spicer was airlifted from her local hospital to University of Louisville Hospital. There, she was evaluated and cared for over a nine-day period. Doctors confirmed that Mrs. Spicer suffered a significant stroke. The stroke left her with aphasia (the inability to understand or express speech), slurred speech, and without the use of her left leg and both hands.

As Mrs. Spicer began to recover, it came time to choose a rehabilitation facility. The Spicers chose Southern Indiana Rehabilitation Hospital. Mr. Spicer had been a patient at SIRH in 2014, due to Guillain-Barre syndrome. He recalled it was "a great experience" that helped him get back to better. Mr. Spicer felt it would be the best place to help his wife do the same.

Before the stroke, Mrs. Spicer was a very busy person. She worked full-time managing a purchasing department, keeping her on the move at all times. Her loss of independence would be challenging for her. Her goal was to restore her ability to walk and talk.

At first, Mrs. Spicer struggled with the perception her progress wasn't fast enough. She felt discouraged. But she credits her therapists Katie Just (OT) and Katie Starr (PT) for keeping her motivated. They "made it worth it," she noted. Mrs. Spicer decided to keep up the progress, even if it wasn't happening as quickly as she would like. "The Katies" would not let her give up.

Mrs. Spicer completed the inpatient portion of her rehabilitation after 36 days at SIRH. This, however, wasn't the end of her rehabilitation journey. Her recovery continues with the outpatient NeuroRehab program at SIRH. She has come a long way already and continues to make further progress.

When asked about her greatest achievements, Mrs. Spicer counts several. First, she has learned to speak again and can hold conversations. She has also switched her hand dominance. previously right-handed, Mrs. Spicer now can write with her left. She has regained enough function in her legs to stand and walk small distances with the use of a small-based quad cane. Mrs. Spicer continues to increase her strength and abilities by using a treadmill.

Mr. Spicer remains her steadfast support, continuing to remind her how far she's come and how well she's doing. SIRH provides family teaching components to help patients be successful at home. The Spicers have taken full advantage of this. Mr. Spicer notes that his wife is now his sous chef and helps with many tasks. And Mrs. Spicer has set her next goal: independently getting back into the pool this summer.