Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Dueling Pianos Road Show to Benefit Marianjoy!


Starring local keyboard genius Mike Brumfield and Tony Kidonaskis.

Spend an evening of fun, laughter, and song with good friends and to benefit a great cause!

Have a drink and before you know it, you'll be writing requests on a napkin...have another drink and you'll think you can sing...don't just come to see the a part of it!

Doors open at 7 p.m. Dueling pianos begin at 8 p.m. $50 per person included drinks, food, entertainment.

Space is limited.Arrowhead Golf Club on Butterfield Road in Wheaton.

Call 630-909-7333 to make your reservations.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Getting Back in the Game

After attending soccer practice, 16 year old Devin Crockett accompanied his dad, Darrien, to a dentist appointment. While driving with Devin at the wheel, the Crockett’s car crossed the center line and struck a delivery truck, causing their car’s driver side and roof to be peeled back.

When Darrien awoke in the emergency room with minor injuries, he learned that his son’s condition was more serious. In addition to a concussion, the bone above Devin’s left elbow was shattered and his right hand was broken. His left knee cap was split with deep abrasions below his knee. He had also fractured the 5th and 6th cervical vertebrae in the back of his neck.

Surgery was performed immediately on Devin. A main nerve in his arm had been severely traumatized resulting in the installation of 20 screws and two plates in his arm.

After one week in the acute care hospital, Devin was transferred to Marianjoy for intensive inpatient rehabilitation. He was in a neck brace, unable to walk, and his left arm and right hand were in casts.

Devin worked with his therapists to slowly regain movement in his fingers, eventually being able to pick up and grip objects with his right hand. Despite his leg being immobilized, his physical therapists worked with him to improve his strength.

After one week of acute inpatient rehabilitation, Devin was discharged to Marianjoy’s outpatient therapy and returned to school on a part-time basis.

“We were pleased that some of the same inpatient therapists that worked with him would be caring for him in outpatient as well,” remarks Darrien. “They already knew Devin and were familiar with his condition and progress which helped to make the transition a smooth one.”

After five months of outpatient therapy, Devin has regained full use of his right hand. His left arm and hand have improved significantly as he continues to receive occupational therapy in the hopes of a full recovery. His goal is to return to sports, and with his physical therapist, he’s working to strengthen his left leg. He has even begun to run and jump again.

“Because of my injuries, I was in a lot of pain while I was here,” Devin explains. “But I knew I’d get better. The therapists were encouraging and gave me the tools I needed to recover.”

“We’re blessed to have survived such a horrible accident,” remarks Darrien, “and I can definitely see a positive change in Devin as well. There is a spiritual awareness in him. That’s a wonderful blessing to have come forth from such an awful situation.”

Darrien continues. “The therapists at Marianjoy were reassuring, comforting, and patient. They worked at Devin’s pace, and their care for both him and my family was truly genuine.

“When I bring Devin to outpatient therapy I meet other parents whose children are going through their own recovery process. Though their stories may be different, as a parent, you completely relate to their feelings and emotions. We’re all looking for our children to heal. And Marianjoy is a good place to do just that.”

“We are so pleased by his progress. The doctors attribute it to his being young and athletic, but I believe a big portion of his recovery is the care he received at Marianjoy.”

Friday, March 13, 2009

Twins Make Great Strides

Nicolle Frisone’s twin daughters, Domenica and Francesca, were born three months premature.

At approximately six months, Domenica was diagnosed with having torticollis, a condition in which the muscles of the neck are tightened, pulling the baby’s head toward her shoulder.

Francesca was experiencing weakness in her right side as well as high tone or muscle stiffness. She would not use her right arm or hand.

Both infants were enrolled in Marianjoy’s pediatric outpatient program. Domenica excelled quickly and was discharged from therapy in three months. Francesca required additional therapy.

“Francesca was unable to crawl and her right arm dangled at her side,” explains Nicolle. “The therapists worked to strengthen the muscles on her right side and gave me exercises to do with her at home.”

Though she could crawl “army-style,” her therapists continued to encourage Francesca to learn to crawl on all fours. Doing so would help to improve the use of both the muscles in her arms and legs, thereby forcing the use of her right hand. Francesca’s crawling abilities improved.

At 18 months, Francesca took her first steps, though she was still not using her right hand. Dr. Keen and the team decided to try Botox® treatments to encourage the tight muscles in Francesca’s leg and hand to relax.

The treatment worked and gave her better flexibility and movement.

Therapists also casted her left arm several times (a technique called inhibitive casting) in order to force her to use her non-dominant right arm and hand.

In addition to individual sessions, Nicolle opted to enroll both her daughters in a therapy play group offered through Marianjoy’s pediatric program.

The group not only helped emphasize the skills they had learned in therapy, but offered them the opportunity to socialize with other children. Nicolle continued to notice great progress in Francesca.

Today at the age of four, and though still experiencing a slight issue with her gait, Francesca runs and plays just like other kids. She’s even started preschool. Francesca still receives therapy at Marianjoy once a week and continues to progress.

“I have found so much more in Marianjoy and its staff than I ever expected to when I walked through the doors,” notes Nicolle. “They treat us like we’re family. Everyone is personable and so very patient. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for being such a wonderful facility and for helping so many people.”

“I have found so much more in Marianjoy and its staff than I ever expected to find the first day I walked through the doors.”

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Celebrating the Possibilities of Every Child

Every parent shares the same hope for their child—that they will learn, play, grow, and live a carefree life. At Marianjoy, we couldn’t agree more. From infants to teenagers, Marianjoy’s pediatric program is designed with each child’s specific needs in mind.

The Marianjoy pediatric team consists of highly skilled pediatric therapists who have expertise and experience in a variety of specialty areas and levels of care—inpatient, outpatient and day rehabilitation. Many therapists are also Early Intervention certified.

The team is led by award-winning, board-certified pediatric physiatrist, Dr. Mary Keen, who oversees the treatment plans of our youngest patients.

What makes Marianjoy’s pediatric program different?

• World-renowned Voice and Swallowing Center
State-of-the-art equipment and pediatric therapists who specialize in performing videoflouroscopic and swallowing procedures

• Splinting and casting clinic
Focus on spasticity management and constraint-induced therapies

• Orthotic clinic

• Warm water therapeutic pool
Helps patients with strengthening, coordination, and motor skills

• Community Group Classes for Kids
Classes on a variety of topics are taught in a group setting. They are designed to improve and emphasize those skills learned in therapy, while promoting socialization.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

How is Stress Affecting You? Listen to Your Heart

Take just a moment and consider the stress you carry throughout your day. Are you worried about work, family matters, finances? Stress in our daily lives is inevitable, yet the way we handle it—or don’t handle it—can have a devastating affect on both our mental and physical health.

Stress can manifest itself in a variety of physical ways such as migraines, neck and back pain, high blood pressure, chest pains, a rapid or irregular heartbeat, and possibly even a heart attack. February is National Heart Health month, and we’re reminded to take care of one of the most important organs in our body—the heart. Constantly allowing stress to overwhelm us forces our body to react by producing elevated levels of stress hormones, like adrenaline and cortisol, which can lead to a heart attack. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to control your emotions and the amount of stress you assume, and most importantly — learn how to relax. Meditation is one way to do something good for your body — and spirit. '

“There are many forms of meditation,” explains Dr. Gouri Chaudhuri, Marianjoy Medical Group physician who encourages her patients to learn meditation and relaxation techniques to aid in their recovery. “It can be a structured meditation session, such as controlling one’s breathing while concentrating on a word or image to help block out thoughts and calm oneself. Meditation can also simply be done by sitting in front of an aquarium full of fish or staring out into a body of water, calming yourself down. There is no right or wrong way to meditate. The goal is to get the heart rate decreased, the mind to stop racing, and the body to relax.”

Dr. Gouri Chaudhuri is board certified in Physical Rehabilitation, Electrodiagnostic Medicine, Acupuncture Medicine and Integrative Holistic Medicine. Her outpatient practice includes the Integrative Holistic Wellness Clinic. To schedule an appointment please call 630-909-7000.

Here are some basic tips to use in meditating and quieting the mind:

• In the beginning, commit to relaxing for a minimum of 15 minutes.
• Light a scented candle, dim the lights, or play calming music.
• Find a quiet space to sit that is comfortable, sitting up straight with your feet flat on the floor and your eyes closed to help block out any distractions.
• To begin, take deep, steady breaths. Breathe in through the nose, slowly counting to five; then exhale through the mouth, again counting to five. Do this 5 times as you slowly feel your body relax.
• Start with the toes, concentrating on how they feel. “Will” them to relax and go limp. Work your way up your body slowly in this same manner, focusing on each area for at least one minute. Move all the way up to the top of your head.
• Try to keep stray thoughts from entering your mind. If they do, gently push them aside. It may help to find a positive word like “peace” or “love” that you can silently repeat over and over to help block out any other thoughts. Continue to breathe deeply.
• Throughout the mediation, remember that you are committing to do something good for yourself for 15 minutes. The worries and restless thoughts can wait. This is your time. Enjoy the silence and relax.