(Pictured) Gaylin and Barbara Anderson are honored as Patients of the Year for Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services – Paola.
Gaylin and Barbara Anderson of Paola have a different take on retirement than most. Gaylin, 80, put up 2,000 square bales of hay earlier this year and cares for a number of horses on their farm. Also 80, Barbara helps Gaylin out on the farm, and enjoys the thrill of the hunt she gets from garage sales. The couple likes to travel the country in their motor home, visiting family throughout the year.
A year ago, Gaylin injured his neck and shoulder when he fell of a horse while roping cattle. The injury left a narrowing in his spinal column, causing his neck muscles to tighten up.
“I couldn’t turn my head, I couldn’t raise one of my arms above my shoulder and I was in a lot of pain,” said Gaylin. His doctor sent him to Olathe Health Rehabilitation Services in Paola.
“My therapists were outstanding. They really are good at what they do,” Gaylin said. “They encouraged me—sometimes challenged me—to work hard, and with their help I regained my range of motion in my neck and can now get my injured arm above my head.”
Barbara had suffered for years with foot and ankle problems of her own. She often required a cane or a scooter to get around. Previous doctors had told her she would need surgery, but she decided against it and just put up with the pain. In early 2017 the pain worsened, and Barbara’s leg became so swollen that she decided to go the emergency room. Her doctor put her in a boot and warned her that surgery might be inevitable, but Gaylin suggested that Barbara try physical therapy first.
Barbara worked hard in therapy, where she learned much about improving her posture, increasing muscle strength and changing the way she moved.
“Now I’m walking without a walker or a cane, and I know so much more about how to care for my body by being aware of how I sit down, how I stand up and how I walk,” said Barbara. “I’m so thankful that I’m able to walk and am not hurting. Our therapists were so personable with us. We’re all friends for life now.”