In May, Avera Queen of Peace Hospital in Mitchell opened up a Balance Center to help patients recovering from brain injuries, or dealing with MS or struggling with vertigo, to name a few. We met a Mitchell man who is recovering from stroke who is finding out how the new balance center is bringing balance back to his life.
It's hard to imagine that someone as young as Derrick Krogman is recovering from not only one stroke but two. The 38 year old Mitchell man suffered his first on May 13th followed by a smaller one June 5th.
Krogman says, "I was having some trouble with my balance and my site and sensory problems. I've got issues on my right side with numbness, but they've helped fin the weak parts of me and helped restore my balance."
When we met Derrick he was on week 3 of physical therapy with Jon Kludt (physical therapist) at Avera Queen of Peace hospital. Derrick is also one of the first rehab patient's to utilize the hospital's new Balance Center. It's filled with computerized high tech equipment created by NASA.
Kludt says, "What's nice is by the push of a button you can make it easier or harder and we can tell by the computer and the sway if it's too much challenge, but you need a little challenge to get better just not too much."
Audiologist and Speech Pathologist Dr. Patricia Larson Shields was instrumental in developing the Balance Center. She explains how the posturography machine works.
Dr. Larson Shields, AuD, FAAA, MACCCSP/L says, "With this machine there are 40 different tests. They include different things with eyes opened, eyes closed, surroundings moving, moving under your feet. You know, just like when you sit in a car and someone drives by, you feel like it was you moving."
Kludt says, "When we first evaluated him we first noticed he had difficulty standing on one leg and had trouble with his posture and balance getting up. After re-testing he can now stand on one leg and his balance reaction is as close as normal as it can be."
As cool as it is that astronauts use this same equipment to train for weightlessness, Derrick Krogman is just happy he can walk again without the use of walker and that's a great improvement from where he was in mid-May.