Traumatic brain injury
Driving home from her family-owned recreational vehicle resort after midnight, 73-year-old Angelita McCasland experienced a headache so severe that she called 911 and then her husband. Emergency services had her flown to Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas where doctors diagnosed and repaired her aneurysm. Angelita remembers nothing about her experience except waking up from surgery.
After surgery, Angelita was unable to walk and had difficulty with memory and cognition. Her medical team recommended specialized rehabilitative care and for that, she and her family chose Baylor Scott & White Institute for Rehabilitation (BSWIR) – Lakeway.
Upon admission, the rehabilitation team developed a personalized care plan to help Angelita reach her goals. “My goal was to start walking and recall things about my work and home life that I needed to know,” she said.
In physical therapy, Angelita focused on strengthening the muscles of her lower body by practicing sit-to-stands and heel taps. Once strong enough to stand, the team helped her become more mobile. She enjoyed the therapy that was improving her abilities and worked her closer toward going home.
Angelita’s love for her pets, and her work at an animal rescue group, became the basis for part of her occupational therapy. To increase endurance, Angelita did animal care tasks like filling food bowls and scooping litter boxes which helped her build stamina while doing something she loved. “My favorite things in therapy were learning how to walk without the rolling walker and doing animal chores,” she said. She also learned how to get herself in and out of bed and use the bathroom independently.
Her hard work paid off as Angelita reached a turning point, “I got to the point that I could walk without using the rolling walker and without holding on to the chair,” she said.
Angelita shared that her family helped motivate her. “My husband, sister and niece were involved from the beginning. They took care of everything and updated me and the rest of the family. My sister and husband also did family training here in the hospital with the occupational therapist and physical therapist,” she said. Family training assists families in learning to take care of their loved ones at home after discharge from the hospital.
As she prepares to leave inpatient rehab, Angelita looks forward to returning to her life with her family and her animals. She also plans to continue with rehabilitation exercises and activities at home.