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  • Occupational Therapy at Chestnut Commons Physical/Occupational Therapy Services has patient playing her cards right again 

    Like most people, Rose Burbidge, of Rome, never really thought much about occupational therapy. But after an unfortunate collision with an over exuberant Boxer dog in the narrow hallway of her home last January, Rose was left with a shattered wrist, fractured bones in her left foot and a long road to recovery.
    Following surgery, Rose needed occupational therapy to regain the use of her left hand. She found the therapy she needed and so much more with occupational therapist Michelle Casab, OTR/L, at Chestnut Commons Physical and Occupational Therapy Services.

     Occupational Therapy 

     HELPING HAND – Occupational Therapist Michelle Casab, OTR/L, (left) of Chestnut Commons Physical and Occupational Therapy, provides physical manipulation therapy on the hand of Rose Burbidge.  After a serious injury to her wrist, Rose was not even able to hold a hand of cards.  Now, thanks to occupational therapy, she is able to enjoy regular card games with her friends. 

    Occupational therapy is the use of assessment and treatment to develop, recover, or maintain the daily living and work skills of people with a physical, mental, or cognitive disorder. Common occupational therapy interventions include helping people recovering from injury to regain skills, helping children with disabilities to participate fully in school and social situations, and providing supports for older adults experiencing physical and cognitive changes.
    “You don’t realize how much not having the use of your hand limits what you do every day,” Rose said. “I had to depend on a lot of people to help me during my recovery, which was hard for me because I worked as a nurse and caregiver all my life. It was hard for me emotionally to be the one who needed help. From the beginning, Michelle was so positive and uplifting. She did wonders for my recovery with the therapy and she helped me stay positive with her friendship and caring ways.”
    Michelle’s encouragement was especially important when the therapist determined that Rose had developed a complication which required additional surgery. Rose said her surgeon was impressed that her occupational therapist recognized the problem right away and knew she would need to go back to surgery. Although it was back to square one for Rose following the second surgery, Michelle quickly got her right back on track.
    “I had two goals,” Rose said of her motivation during her therapy. “I’m left handed and I needed to be able to write again and I wanted to be able to play cards. In the beginning, I couldn’t even bend my fingers enough to hold a hand of cards.”
    Rose’s treatment included submerging her hand in warm paraffin wax, phonophoresis ultrasound therapy that uses sound waves to send healing medication deep into tissue, physical manipulation of her hand by Michelle, and exercises to increase flexibility and strengthen the muscles in her fingers and hand. Although there was some pain involved in her therapy, Rose said that Michelle always made her feel better. “She is very knowledgeable and talked to me about everything she was doing,” Rose said. “I appreciated how Michelle focused on me as a person and really listened to me. We had some great conversations.”
    Rose said she enjoyed coming to occupational therapy so much, she was almost sad when her 15-week treatment program was over. What she is happy about is that, in addition to regaining about 94 percent of the use of her hand, she has regained her independence as well. She is also thrilled that she is once again able to join her friends at their routine card games.
    Rose is telling her friends, and would tell anyone who may find themselves in need of occupational or physical therapy, that the therapists at Chestnut Commons Physical/Occupational Therapy Services are experienced, knowledgeable and just plain nice.
    “Everyone here has just been wonderful,” Rose said. “From the girls at the desk to the other therapists and especially Michelle, everyone makes you feel welcomed. I was treated with respect and compassion by everybody. When you are dealing with pain, it is great to come to such a friendly and caring place. It makes you feel better just walking through the door.”
    Located at 107 E. Chestnut St., Rome, Rome Memorial Hospital’s outpatient rehabilitation center provides physical, occupational and vestibular rehabilitation. For more information or to make an appointment with a physician’s order, please call 338-7952.