D1 Blog

Marilyn Nickle – D1 Therapy Testimonial

February 13, 2013 –

Marilyn Nickle undergoes therapy at  D1 Therapy  Colorado Springs

Marilyn finished her therapy session and sat up on the plinth.

“Are you ready to tell me your story?” I asked.

“Yes but first, do you have any chocolate?” She laughed.

“Yes! With fortunes on the wrappers!” I gave her one. “What does yours say?”

“Be the first to hit the dance floor! That’s one of my goals- How perfect!”

Marilyn had other goals for herself as well. Along with dancing she wanted to walk around the lake again, and ride a bike. Marilyn’s gleeful and appreciative personality is striking. Very rarely did we see frustration or sadness linger for long. As soon as we met her we knew there was something different about her. Her laugh is childlike; almost like it doesn’t matter if no one else knows what’s funny.

Marilyn had been living with chronic hip pain for many years. She tried every shoe on the market. She tried to exercise and stretch more. It only got worse. In 2008 she stopped working because of the pain. She had been a teacher; it was a career she adored. “The best way to describe it was that my life just got smaller and smaller.” She lost the ability to do things like walk around the block and stand up to cook. As she illustrated this time of her life her voice got quiet and the weight of the memory was visible in her eyes.

In the fall of 2012 life dished out a heaping scoop of adversity, as it often tends to do at inconvenient times. In September Marilyn underwent a double mastectomy. Her cancer doctor was concerned that the cancer was also in her hip and wanted a tissue test. That was the final push toward the surgery she’d needed for so long. Her total hip replacement was scheduled for November of 2012.

Marilyn told Dr. Rahill she wanted to strengthen her upper body so she could lift herself during recovery. Living alone there was much she’d have to manage on her own. So Dr. Rahill prescribed some pre-operative therapy to address these concerns. She first came to us in a wheelchair, as she was not cleared to walk because of the extensive necrosis in her hip. She did her pre-hab therapy for six weeks. Soon after surgery she was on her feet with a walker, then with a cane, and today she walks free of support. Marilyn is now a true believer in pre-operative rehabilitation. It increased her strength and aided in her successful recovery. “Immediately following surgery there was no more of that horrible hip joint pain that I’d had since the 90s.” On top of that, the tests showed there was no cancer in her hip tissue.  There’s nothing like the gift of great news. “Now I can hardly contain the pure delight of being able to walk freely again.”

“The lake in Nancy Lewis Park used to look huge to me but I walked all the way around it the other day. I did a happy dance and I didn’t care who saw.” Marilyn hasn’t tried riding her bike outside yet but here in the clinic she’s been working up to it by spending time on the upright stationary bike. And as for dancing she just taught me how to do a basic waltz step here in the clinic before her interview. “I’m practicing on anybody I can!” she laughed.

Jennifer Schwomeyer, PT, says of Marilyn, “She always stays positive and cheerful considering everything she’s been through.” And Erica, PTA, adds, “She’s always laughing.”

On Marilyn’s experience with D1 Physical Therapy, she says, “My world was so small when I came in. I really thought that was how it was going to be forever, but just coming here and being with you guys made me feel better. I was able to walk with more ease even before surgery. It blew me away. Jennifer really gave me a vision to believe in. She gave me hope that I could get my old self back. This is an exceptional place and you all have so much knowledge. If sharing my story will encourage even one person then it’s worth it.”

It’s bound to touch way more than one person. Faith and hope of that magnitude are hard to ignore. We can’t wait to see you hit that dance floor Marilyn!

Category: CO - Colorado Springs Sports Medicine Therapy