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Sweet-sounding successWoman back on her feet after rehabilitation
transverse myelitis. “I learned that one-third of people don’t improve, one-third improve somewhat and one-third improve a lot,” she said. “I was determined to be among those with significant improvement.”
“Alice’s therapy focused on learning how to do the activities of daily living, with her changed physical condition,” said Renae Peterson, Iszler’s occupational therapist. “That included dressing, using the bathroom and getting in and out of bed. Alice was motivated and had an excellent attitude.”
The rehabilitation team at Sanford Health uses Easy Street to acclimate
“I didn’t realize how valuable those real-life situations were until I returned home,” Iszler said. “Renae taught me to open a bathroom door while sitting in a wheelchair, get up off a couch, get in and out of a car and make chocolate chip cookies. The therapists helped me do everyday things, like play the piano, when I very much wanted to return to normalcy.”
Since Iszler returned home, she has progressed from a walker to a cane. Her Sanford Health specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation, Dr. Douglas Eggert, said Iszler could continue to improve for another year or so with continued work.
“As you age, you lose balance, coordination and strength, so Alice is up against that natural process in addition to her illness,” Dr. Eggert said. “She has made great progress. When I first saw her, she couldn’t get out of or into bed or dress her lower body. By the time she left, she could do those things and walk 35 feet with just standby assistance.”
Among Iszler’s accomplishments since she returned home was playing the organ at church.
“I’m back to playing at weddings, too, which is an absolute high for me,” she said. “I’m very independent, so this has been a humbling experience. I can never thank the Sanford Health staff enough for their kindness, patience and willingness to share their expertise with me.”
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