Judith McConkey’s Rehabilitation

Judith McConkey’s Rehabilitation

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Judy and Bruce at home in Houston

Judith and Bruce McConkey faced a whirlwind couple of years when Judith was diagnosed with Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus (NPH) starting in the summer of 2010.

NPH is a condition where the cerebrospinal fluid is not absorbed correctly and creates a reservoir in the brain that then creates pressure on the frontal lobe. The symptoms usually manifest slowly but resemble those associated with Alzheimer’s. By the summer of 2011, Judith’s symptoms were very pronounced and it was clear she would have to take the next steps.

On October 4, 2011, Judith went in for her first endoscopic treatment, to create a new path to drain the fluid. Unfortunately, this procedure did not prove effective and it was necessary to have a VP shunt implanted on November 28, 2011. Since that time, she has been in some form of rehabilitation.

Judith started her journey at Tirr. Tirr Memorial Hermann is a facility in Houston that treats patients with a range of disabilities including brain injury, multiple trauma, Lupus, and Parkinson’s disease.

“Tirr was a great facility, but there was a lot of back and forth commute,” said Bruce McConkey, “Judith was seeing great recovery but little progress at home.”

Once Judith was deemed ready, the McConkeys opted for Cole Health’s Home Health rehabilitation services.

“[Cole was] very upfront about how they operated,” said Bruce. “They told us there would be three different people coming to our house: a nurse, a physical therapist, and an occupational therapist, and that’s exactly what happened.”

The Occupational Therapist worked with Judith for about 6 weeks.

“The occupational therapist, was a forward looking lady,” said Bruce. “There’s a depression that comes with this, Judy was trying to get her mind back together again and she could lift her spirits every time she was here. It was almost like a homily, always uplifting.”

“Motivation was another problem for Judy. She doesn’t like risk, she’s afraid of falling. Most patients in similar situations just want to sit until they get better. But Judy’s physical therapist, never spares a minute,” said Bruce. “She gets her up, gets her walking around without insistence. That’s a real leadership quality. She’s not derogatory, not a cheerleader, not manic; she just comes in and is very professional, and my wife immediately complies.”

“I think all of it has been a success; walking is not great, but being the person I am, talking came more quickly,” said Judith of her recovery. “Verbal skills and problem solving came back before physical improvements have.”

The Cole Health physical therapist will continue to work with Judith through her rehabilitation process.

For more information about Cole Health’s Home Health program and other inspirational stories visit http://www.colehealth.com/homehealth/.




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