Patients Age: 68
Admitted From: New York Presbyterian
Discharged To: Home
Length of Stay: 35 days
Reason for Stay: Short Term Rehab
How did this patient hear about the Riverside? Hospital Social Worker
Mr. Moses was admitted to New York-Presbyterian for elective surgery on his spine. He injured his spine during his military career. As he recalls during a combat operation, the enemy fired an artillery shell at his position. It was nearly a direct hit, with the impact pushing his body up in the air and landing him on hard terrain. He was evacuated to a medical site for injuries to his spine and neck. Fortunately, he was able to return to active duty and finished his year of service. His injuries to his skin healed over time, however, the bones and disks were still damaged. Army medical doctors told him he will need surgery to repair the damage. 30 years go by and Moses continued to have pain but never went through with the surgery. His devoted wife and 3 daughters saw that he was not able to perform tasks without feeling a surge of pain. The pain became unmanageable, to the point he had to stop working, and lay in bed, “flat as aboard.” While he was in constant pain and refusing to see a doctor, his wife began a search for a spine specialist in New York City. She found a physician at New York-Presbyterian that was ready to help her husband recover. His X-ray showed spinal stenosis in C5-C6, these vertebrae areas are found in the neck. After undergoing a successful laminectomy, Moses was instructed not to move his neck for a few days. There was still pain radiating from the neck to his fingertips, which the medical staff explained to him will get better over time. Physical and occupational therapy was recommended, as well as continuing medical care for pain management. With consistent therapies, medical staff felt Moses should recover in a matter of time. The hospital social worker offered Moses and his devoted wife options on which skilled nursing facility he might consider participating in. For a few years, this Upper West Side couple heard about The Riverside Rehabilitation Center and felt the close proximity would allow his 3 daughters to visit him regularly. With a gentle voice, Moses told the hospital social worker he would like to recover at The Riverside Rehabilitation Center.
The road to recovery was indeed bumpy and painful the moment he left the hospital. Every turn the ambulance took caused pain in his neck. Medics that were driving the ambulance took every bit of caution not to make a sharp turn, avoid every possible bump in the road and drove very slowly. Moses stated, “I can’t tell you how grateful I am to those drivers, they were being honked at the entire trip to The Riverside. They care so much that I wasn’t in any pain that I am willing to bet it took us 3 hours just to drive less than 100 blocks.” Upon arrival at The Riverside Moses, was in a tremendous amount of pain. “I was laying flat as a board, who knows maybe even flatter?” The pain management team at The Riverside began to evaluate Moses upon admission. Next to Moses was his wife, concerned for her beloved husband. She held onto his hands, trying to absorb each wave of pain radiating through Moses’ body. The physician arrived to go over the medication list with the family and assured them soon, this pain will be a distant memory and you will be home again. Different departments arrived to ensure Moses and his family were okay. As frightened as they all were Moses could not help but joke with his family, and staff. Days past and Moses was still unable to move as freely as he hoped. Through time consistent medical attention, with light hand therapies, the pain was becoming less and less. With weeks passing from his admission, Moses’ pain was becoming less and less. With pain getting better he was slowly able to take a few steps. Being self-motivated he practiced his therapies in his room. While his wife and staff told Moses to slow down, he could not help but work harder. Therapists were exercising with Moses each day and made costume sessions with him. Soon Moses got permission to remove his neck brace from his Columbia Doctors. They were impressed at how well he recovered.
Moses progressed according to his Doctors, “truly remarkable, and should be able to discharge home shortly.” Just hearing those words going home made him and his wife beam with joy. Therapists and Riverside medical staff determined that he would be safe to discharge in a few days. As his discharge date came closer and closer Moses was able to walk all over the building, with minimal pain. Upon discharge, he gave the staff members a solid handshake, which once upon a time he could not do without feeling pain. Staff members wished him continued health and happiness. As he left the doors of the Riverside he remarked to his wife, “If I ever need to go someplace to recover, make sure I come back to The Riverside.”