Glenda's Story

Glenda Huacuja stands after therapy session.

Glenda Huacuja, 68, lives in Picayune, Mississippi with her husband, Robert. Glenda was very active helping with the care of her husband and helping with her daughter and granddaughter, who live next door. Before retiring, Glenda was a full-time high school substitute teacher with the Picayune School District. On an otherwise typical day, Glenda fell down the back steps at her house and was taken by ambulance to Ochsner Northshore Hospital in Slidell, Louisianna. After x-rays and tests, it was determined that she had broken her hip and would need a hip replacement.

Surgery was performed to replace Glenda’s hip and after two days at the hospital, her medical team advised inpatient rehabilitation and suggested Northshore Rehabilitation Hospital. When admitted, Glenda was unable to do any basic self-care or walk. Asked about her recovery goal, she replied, “To be able to be independent and drive again.”

Glenda’s physical therapy team worked with her on leg lifts, walking on the stair climber, walking in the parallel bars, transferring from one surface to another and walking with a walker. 
Occupational therapy focused on increasing Glenda’s arm strength with stretches and exercises using therapy bands, hand weights and the upper extremity arm bike. Her therapists also taught her new ways to shower and dress herself using special tools including a reacher, a long-handled shoe horn and a sock aide.

By the time of discharge, Glenda could independently manage all self-care needs was able walk up to 700 feet at one time. She shared that she was motivated to work hard so she could get back to all the things she did prior to her fall.

When asked about her experience at Northshore Rehabilitation Hospital, Glenda responded, “The staff was wonderful, they really make you feel comfortable. Everyone does a fantastic job.”  
Reflecting on her recovery journey and thinking about others who might be on their own health journeys, Glenda said: “I learned that I am a lot stronger than I thought. If you have to go to a rehabilitation hospital, even for a few days, do it.”