GETTING MY LEGS BACK
The Chemo treatment had killed the nerves his legs and he couldn't walk. Jim was wheelchair bound.
My friend Walter and I had a plan; play a lot of golf and outlive everybody, was the first thing that came out of Jim Mayos mouth when he was asked to share his story. Then he goes on to explain how that all fell apart
First of all, they tore the golf course apart for a couple years - that put a little bit of a kink in our plan. But the plan got even more off track when in January of 2010 I got out of my car one day and I couldnt breathe.
After several weeks of testing and seeing no improvement in his health, Jims family practice doctor referred him to Dr. William Highfill, a cardiologist with Rocky Mountain Heart and Lung who has a regular weekly clinic in Libby. It is a real convenience to have a specialist like this here in Libby, stated Jim. If you dont have to go to Kalispell or Spokane, it sure saves a lot of time, and money, and aggravation.
Jim was extremely impressed when he entered Dr. Highfills Libby office for the first time. When you havent been able to breathe for weeks and your attitude isnt exactly perfect, it sure is nice to have someone greet you with a smile and act like they truly care about you. Thats Dr. Highfill and his nurse practitioner Leslee Chavez. No matter how crummy I felt coming in the door, I always felt better going out just because of their attitudes. I mean honestly, how many medical professionals give you their home phone numbers, remember your wifes name, and call you at 7:00 on a Friday night to see how youre doing? Thats some pretty special stuff in my book!
Before long, Dr. Highfill was fairly confident that he had a diagnosis for Jim, but to be absolutely sure, he sent Jim to Spokane for confirmation. As luck would have it, Jim had bone marrow cancer.
Jim underwent months of chemotherapy to help kill those cancer cells. His luck took another turn for the worse when they discovered that the treatment had killed the nerves in his legs and he couldnt walk. Jim was wheelchair bound.
But, even after all of that, Jim still hadnt given up hope. He started seeing Dr. Bret Lindsay, a neurologist from Kalispell who also has visiting clinics at St. Johns. He was determined that he would walk again, and he started going to St. Johns Rehabilitative Services in Troy for treatment.
This is another great part about St. Johns, stated Jim. Every single person Ive met in the Rehab Department there has been terrific! They are warm, friendly, professional, knowledgeable, and creative. They have more ways to get your muscles moving than you can even imagine. Every time I walked in the door in Troy, I was greeted with a smile. And they always smiled while they were trying new ways to make me do things that I didnt think I could do. The staff at the Troy Rehab Office makes for a perfect blend of torture, therapy, and humor! laughed Jim.
If you saw Jim now, you would never know that he underwent such amazing hardships. He walks down the street just like anybody else; theres a good chance youll even see him out on the golf course walking the new back 9 with his friend Walter. The truth is that St. Johns Rehab helped me walk again. Ill never be able to thank them enough for giving me back my legs.
St. Johns provides some terrific services outside of that main hospital building. The specialists they bring in from outside the area are a wonderful resource that can benefit every member of Lincoln County. I cant imagine how much more difficult this adventure would have been if my wife Pam would have had to drive me long distances for all of my treatment. Pam has been my caregiver and my chauffeur, plus she had to handle of the day to day chores on her ownand she did it all with so much love and class. Im thankful that St. Johns was here to help make this experience easier on both of us!