Intensive Therapy at New England Rehab Gives Active Patient Two Legs to Stand On
May Mu Tung was very active. She played tennis and golf and loved to ski; the problem is, her knees didn't enjoy these activities as much as she did.
"Both of my knees were in terrible shape," said the 60-year-old Carlisle resident. "The years of heavy activity just wore them down. My orthopedic surgeon said I should have had them replaced years ago.
"Five years ago, I actually had arthroscopic surgery on both knees to clean out my cartilage, the other procedure to repair a torn ligament. Last winter, I really started to have problems when I walked. I knew I was beginning to have serious issues."
No longer able to delay the inevitable, she went for total knee replacements, electing to have them both done at the same time. Following her surgery on March 9, 2011 and a four-day stay at New England Baptist Hospital, she transferred to New England Rehabilitation Hospital, where she remained for 10 days. The care she received there was everything she could have hoped for.
"I was very impressed with New England Rehab," said Ms. Tung, who has owned a dental practice in Reading for 30 years and is known to her patients as Dr. May Mu. "Everyone on the staff - the nurses, doctors, nurse managers, therapists - made me feel welcome. They made sure to let me know who was doing what and exactly what to expect.
"I originally picked the hospital because it was convenient for my family to visit," she added. "I didn't know much about the place at first. But it turned out to be the right decision for so many reasons."
The occupational therapists taught May how to take care of herself when she went home. They concentrated on the basics: dressing, bathing, getting in and out of her car. The progress she made during her relatively short stay was remarkable.
"When I left New England Baptist, I could barely get into a wheelchair," she recalled. "One knee could bend a little, the other wouldn't bend at all. But by the time I left New England Rehab, I could walk with a walker, go up and down stairs, and do most everything I needed to do around the house.
"I expect to be back at work in a few weeks when I should be able to walk without any devices.
And what about her formerly active lifestyle?
"I can't wait to play golf again," she said. "I won't be able to swing a club for a few more months, but I can start putting very soon. I expect to be back on the course by mid-summer."
Her love of sports and her own dedication certainly played significant roles in her impressive recovery. But May is quick to credit New England Rehab with a major assist.
"Of course, the people at New England Rehab made sure I was able to take care of myself when I got home," she said. "But they also wanted to help me return to the things I loved to do, my active lifestyle. They made me feel like it was as important to them as it was to me."