What was supposed to be a wonderful vacation with his wife, Barb, in Branson, Mo., went terribly wrong for Palmyra resident Mike Metcalf.
After enjoying a beautiful day and dinner out, Mike lay down for the evening and began to experience extreme pain in the back of his neck and a sharp headache. As he rose, he immediately felt himself going back down.
“Barb, you better call 911,” he said.
Mike passed out, and he has no memory of events, or anything, from March 24 until May 20. He had suffered a subarachnoid hemorrhage.
Such a hemorrhage is bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissues that cover the brain — an area called the subarachnoid space. The main symptom is a severe headache that starts suddenly and is often more intense near the back of the head.
Once Mike’s condition stabilized, after six weeks he was taken to Hannibal Regional Hospital where he was a patient for five days before being transferred to the Hannibal Regional Inpatient Rehabilitation unit.
His first day in Inpatient Rehab, Mike could barely take a step. During the three subsequent weeks, the staff invested themselves in his care, determined to return him to his normal life.
After each morning’s breakfast, Mike would do strengthening and balance exercises.
Since Mike barely could swallow, his therapy included Vitalstim — electrical stimulation — and swallowing therapy as part of his daily routine. He would exercise throughout the day, with a nap between therapy sessions. From barely able to take a single step his first day, he went four steps on day two, 84 steps on day three and 240 steps on day four.
“There were days I was so tired and didn’t want to get out of bed, but I was so impressed with the staff,” he said. “My care was stellar; they cared about me and pushed to get me back to where I could move again.”
Rehabilitation means reshaping lives and restoring lost abilities after an illness or injury. It means treating the whole patient — physically, emotionally and socially. At the Hannibal Regional Inpatient Rehab facility, a comprehensive rehab team provides individualized and goal-oriented treatment programs tailored to the older adult. The team’s focus is to help patients return home or to a reduced level of care. The inpatient rehabilitation professionals include occupational therapists, certified occupational therapist assistants, physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, speech-language pathologists, nursing staff and physicians.
Mike was a patient for three weeks, and his road to recovery is far from finished. For every day Mike was down, it takes four to five days to recover that time. It is estimated that it will take 200 days for him to fully recover.
“When I arrived, I was like an amoeba. These girls brought me back to life. They are on their game with no nonsense,” Mike said.
Because Mike himself had medical training, he felt certain the unit’s medical professionals knew what they were doing.
“The care was stellar. This facility is as good as you will ever see. It is about the people, not the facility. The people were all about getting me better,” he said.
For more information, to request an on-site evaluation or to arrange a facility tour, call 573-629-3444. Referrals are welcome from physicians, discharge planners, social workers, family members and case managers.