Client Spotlight: Lakewood Patient Dorothy

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Lakewood patient, Dorothy works out at Atlantic Physical Therapy Center.

Dorothy Rohland is eager for the warm days of Spring to return. Not just for the warm weather, but it’s also when she hopes to return to the horse stables and start riding again.

Growing up, Dorothy always enjoyed watching people ride horses. But, it wasn’t until her late sixties that she finally took up the sport. “One day I just decided to do it. I thought now is a better time than ever,” recalls Dorothy. From that day on, she was hooked. She immersed herself in everything horses and riding. She bought all of her own gear and spent as much time at the stable as possible. Then, one day last winter an unexpected fall changed everything.

“It was just a normal day. I was running errands in preparation for my vacation to Florida. I never expected anything out of the ordinary to happen that day,” said Dorothy. While in a store, she slipped and fell. Dorothy broke three different bones, her radius and humerus (injuring her shoulder and elbow) and her femur, in other words, her hip. The next day, she was wheeled into surgery for a total hip replacement.

Dorothy’s surgery was a success, but she had a long road ahead of her. Her luck of breaking three bones at once would make her recovery even more difficult. She wouldn’t even be able to use a walker as she couldn’t use her broken arm. “I was in shock. I went from being perfectly healthy to not being able to get myself dressed or walk,” says Dorothy. She spent the next month in an in-patient rehab facility. There, she had to relearn how to do simple tasks again like how to feed herself, walk and brush her hair. “I never imagined myself not being able to take care of myself,” she said, adding,”I was determined to get back to where I was.” She pushed herself hard and in a few weeks, she was sent home from the rehab facility. Her doctors recommended physical therapy Dorothy getting stretched by Jim Sellnow, Physical Therapist at Atlantic Physical Therapy Center in Lakewoodto help her continue with her progress. “I was a little apprehensive, but I knew I had to commit to it since I still had quite a ways to go,” says Dorothy.

Dorothy went to Atlantic Physical Therapy Center in Lakewood for her physical therapy. The minute she walked in, Dorothy said she knew she was in the right place. Her physical therapist, Jim Sellnow greeted her and has been by her side ever since. On her first visit, Jim completed an evaluation and worked with Dorothy to develop a rehabilitation plan to meet her individual goals. Dorothy says, “Working with Jim made all the difference in the world. He didn’t just tell me the plan. He really listened to me and helped me every step of the way.”

Jim’s philosophy for helping patients like Dorothy is straight forward and simple. “We allow for plenty of time for our patients so we can spend one-on-one time evaluating the patient’s progress and modify the treatment plan, as needed,” says Jim. Even Jim is impressed with Dorothy’s progress and “don’t quit” attitude.

It’s been a long road, but after seven months, Dorothy is now able to walk normally without pain, her right hip and shoulder are moving well and she has been given an exercise program that she can do at home to help her continue to progress once she is all finished with her physical therapy. “I’ve been coming to Atlantic Physical Therapy Center for months. I’m going to miss it,” she says. She’s feeling so good, that she was finally able to take her trip to Florida. And, in the spring, she’s hoping to be back in the saddle riding horses again.