Shrot-term stay

An infection on the bottom of Electra’s foot spread into her leg, just below the knee, forcing an amputation. She went into Rim Country Health and Rehabilitation for rehab and to learn to use her prosthetic leg.

This success story is a personal journey for Electra H. She arrived at Rim Country Health & Rehabilitation (RCH) to get healthy and rehab her amputated leg. But, the greater message here is that you, too, may find yourself in an unexpected health situation. Electra’s no nonsense attitude… “Push harder than you ever thought you could.”

The month of February was like no other four weeks for Electra. Prior to her arrival at RCH, she realized after her battle to rid her body from a very contagious and damaging infection, she needed a victory.

Electra, a certified EMT and once a member of the Christopher-Kohl’s Fire Department — and Fire Chief for eight years — remembers thinking, “Never in my entire life did I think it would be like this.”

It began more than a year ago with wound care maintenance from an infection her podiatrist noticed on the bottom of her foot. The infection spread from her foot to her leg, just below her knee. She realized that she couldn’t rehab at home after her surgery and began searching for the right place in town.

“The trust that was built with both my podiatrist and my surgeon was awesome. Now, just to find the right place to rehab.”

She required physical therapy and occupational therapy every day for a session lasting up to an hour each day. The entire rehab process will be six months to a year, she was told.

RCH’s Rehab Therapy department is very familiar with patients in need of short-term stays, but also in need of a little more attention. Electra remembers the admissions director telling her, “We’ll take care of you and pamper you. You will be happy.”

“The short-term unit is also a home-like setting with a dining room just a short distance away. Many patients are just tired of being in the hospital, but not yet able to go home to recover. Many come to Rim Country Health,” shares Lynne Krahn, director of rehabilitation therapy.

Two therapists, Allan and Patrick, were mentioned quite often during my interview with Electra.

“I started out with a walker, hopping and hopping, then advanced to the parallel bars. My therapy was customized to me.”

She said the therapists understood about her phantom pains and how real it was for her.

“I knew they were doing everything they could to help me reach my goals.”

Electra also realized that the power of her mind was also an important factor in her recovery.

“The energy from the Myofascial Release treatments also helped my good leg. The therapists explained how pain in a healthy area of the body, from compensating for the loss, also needs attention. I just set my mind to do it! One goal each day.”

Days before her discharge, Electra made a return visit to Steve, the gentleman who was making her prosthetic.

“The area on my leg was wrapped for a better fit into the prosthetic. A cast was made and then hand-carved for the fit.”

She said she can now laugh some about the learning curves, and falls, but will be ready.

“I want to walk out (of RCH) on my own,” she says with strong intention.

Electra shares that she recently met an older man in his 80s, also an amputee, and can see herself being able to walk again.

“He trusted himself to get up with his walker, first, then he began walking around.” This gentleman was her inspiration.

Electra’s other inspirations were, “The residents and short-term patients at RCH kept me motivated, too.

“I also had a nurse who knew I didn’t have a proper pair of shoes with me. She brought in an awesome pair of sneakers for my good, and my new, foot.”

When asked what her goals were for the future, Electra beamed and said, “On April 1st I’ll be in Oregon at the Pacific Ocean. And, I want to come back (to Rim Country Health) to visit.”

Now, I’m imagining that Electra is the inspiration to someone reading her success story today.

Health. Care. Living! at Rim Country Health & Rehabilitation. We’re here when you need us.

Contact the reporter 

tmcquerrey@payson.com

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