SHELBYVILLE, IL – Seeing her now, it would be difficult to tell that Roberta Menis was once unable to walk and even told she would not walk again. Her tenacious spirit would not allow her to give up on her independence.
Now, she is independent, drives her vehicle, enjoys yoga, exercises daily and helps others. But she has worked hard with the HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital rehabilitation department to regain her active lifestyle.
When she left the nursing home after recuperating from two surgeries for a broken pelvis and snapped femur, she said, “I could barely walk with a walker. I didn’t have much hope, but I decided that I was going to give the hospital’s physical rehabilitation department a try. In 2013, on May 1, I began physical therapy there. The people were wonderful. They kept encouraging me to do new exercises, try new weights, do different programs, and try machines. It seemed that I didn’t have any confidence that I could do it, but they did. And I trusted them. They inspired me.”
At first, the therapists of HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital gently nudged Menis to join the hospital’s Wellness for Life program. She began exercising three mornings a week at the therapy department. She took the CEFS Transit bus because she couldn’t drive.
The hospital’s therapy team developed exercise rituals just for her. They crafted her program so that the exercises helped her grow stronger. She began to move better. She progressed from needing a therapist to place her on a machine, to climbing onto the machine independently. Menis was still using a walker but she became better at maneuvering it. She was doing so well and feeling so much better that she increased her attendance to five mornings a week.
“These therapists would push me. They’d say, ‘You’re ready to climb steps.’ They showed me how to maneuver the steps,” Menis said. “Then came, ‘You’re ready to use a cane instead of a walker.’ I didn’t feel ready, but I trusted them. So, I tried the cane. It worked! They kept working with me. Then it was ‘You’re ready to do yoga.’ I told them I couldn’t get down on the floor because I couldn’t get up. They proved to me I was ready for another step, and I began doing yoga.”
She continues, “Next it was ‘You’re ready to walk without the cane.’ Again, I denied it. I told them I would compromise with a no-cane-Friday. Fridays became my day to walk without a cane. Then I was ready for a no-cane-Thursday and Friday. Walking without a cane was a big accomplishment considering there had been a day I never thought I would walk again. They would push me. They gave me so much hope where I had none.
“Finally, ‘You’re ready to drive.’ I argued that I was frightened. Emotionally, I wasn’t ready. They told me to go with my husband and drive with him. And he didn’t want any part of riding with me, either. But the therapists told me to go ahead and try it. They were right. They gave me back mobility. They helped me through a metamorphosis from feeling so dependent to being productive again. I wouldn’t be walking, doing yoga, driving up north to our other home in Fox Valley, and going to social functions like my nephew’s wedding if it weren’t for these people. Every one of them is wonderful. One could say that they were just doing their jobs. But that’s not true. They have been my cheerleaders. They have been my hope! And they believed in me as I trusted them. They gave me back a full life again.”
Recently, the therapy department awarded Menis and four other ladies with a medal for their attendance in the golden yoga program at HSHS Good Shepherd. Menis has been attending yoga classes faithfully for five years. She drives herself daily to the department for exercise or yoga.
About HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital
Since its inception in 1916, HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital in Shelbyville (GSS) has been dedicated to excellence in healthcare for those living and visiting their communities. GSS has accomplished this by providing comprehensive health services and meeting the needs of patients served through their compassionate care, business integrity and community responsibility. GSS provides a 24/7 emergency department that is fully staffed by physicians and highly-trained nurses, and also features inpatient and outpatient services, including a 24-hour laboratory and an imaging department that meets today’s highest standards for diagnostic imaging technology. GSS has an advanced surgery department and an acute inpatient care unit. Dedicated to being a hometown hospital, GSS’ home health and rehabilitation departments are committed to excellence with a team of professional nurses and therapists providing a variety of medical services and rehabilitative therapies, all designed to help patients heal in their own environment. The group of visiting specialists in the outpatient clinic works closely with GSS to help keep the healthcare services local even if a specialized procedure or exam is required. GSS strives to be the first choice for the community’s healthcare needs. For more information about HSHS Good Shepherd Hospital, visit www.hshsgoodshepherd.org.
About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high-quality Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our 15 local systems and physician practices in Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit www.hshs.org. For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit www.hospitalsisters.org.