From Therapy Skeptic to Therapy Believer: One Patient Shares Experiences with Physical Therapy Services at Mercy

November 25, 2014

WATONGA, Okla. – After suffering a slight compression fracture in her spine due to a fall at her home in June, doctors recommended that Norita Curtin begin physical therapy services to help her heal.

Tasha Vega, physical therapist at Mercy Hospital Watonga,

assesses a patient to determine range of motion.

For Curtin, the thought of making a 140-mile roundtrip drive from her home in Watonga to a therapy appointment in Oklahoma City two or three times per week for three weeks was too much to handle, especially since her husband was remodeling their house and he would have to take her to the appointments.

Then she discovered the services she needed were offered close to home at Mercy Hospital Watonga.

“I was glad we had the hospital here,” said Curtin, 75. “I’m just so thankful. God put them here for a reason.”

Curtin was initially skeptical about the effectiveness of physical therapy. But after three weeks of treatment, she was a believer.

“Every time the physical therapist asked me to raise my arm or do a movement it hurt so bad that I thought, ‘now why am I here hurting like this when I could be at home lying down?’” said Curtin. “Then I realized after a couple of sessions how much it helped and I could begin raising my arms. They were very professional and I couldn’t have asked for better care.”

Through her hard work in physical therapy, she gained full function in her back and shoulder.

“I don’t want to fall again, but if I do, I won’t resist going to physical therapy,” said Curtin.

About Therapy Services

Therapy services are appropriate for a variety of patients, whether they need assistance with back, neck, arm or leg pain; are recovering from an injury or surgery; need to make a few changes to their routine to manage pain; want help after having a stroke or in dealing with a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis; or are overcoming weakness after a hospitalization.

Mercy Hospital Watonga offers physical therapy and speech therapy. Physical therapy builds muscle strength, enhances range of motion, and improves mobility, balance and coordination. Speech therapy helps patients who have difficulty communicating due to speech, language, memory or cognition problems. Among the services include:

  • Physical therapy for orthopedic injuries; orthopedic or developmental delays in children; joint replacements; balance and coordination deficits; neurological impairments; wound care; chronic pain; spine surgery; and physical weakness
  • Speech therapy for neurological deficits, difficulty swallowing and for the effects of Parkinson’s disease and stroke

“We always tell patients that we can get them back on their feet and make them smile and laugh all while sweating,” said Erin Scammahorn, manager of physical medicine at Mercy Hospital Watonga. “I am very proud of our therapy services and our ability to accommodate the varying needs of our patients to help them meet their goals. Therapy is often hard for the patient and we are there to encourage them and ensure they follow through with their care.”   

Although Curtin doubted the effectiveness of physical therapy initially, she recommends the services at Mercy and offers these words of advice to others in need of medical care in the area.

“Before you go outside the area for any type of service, such as therapy or things that a hospital would supply, look at Mercy first,” she said.

To contact Mercy Therapy Services at Mercy Hospital Watonga, call 580-623-7204. Mercy accepts Medicare, Medicaid, SoonerStart and most other major insurance plans, as well as private pay. Contact your insurance provider to determine if you are covered for services and if you need a referral from your primary care provider to begin treatment.

Mercy is the fifth largest Catholic health care system in the U.S. and serves millions annually. Mercy includes 34 acute care hospitals, four heart hospitals, two children’s hospitals, three rehab hospitals and two orthopedic hospitals, nearly 700 clinic and outpatient facilities, 40,000 co-workers and more than 2,000 Mercy Clinic physicians in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma. Mercy also has outreach ministries in Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas. 

Media Contacts

Meredith Huggins
El Reno, Guthrie, Kingfisher, Oklahoma City, Watonga
Phone: 405-936-5766