LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A woman recovering from a stroke, turns to her passion to heal the life-changing event. A piece of home is now pushing her to get back to a sense of normality.
"It was kind of like pet therapy," laughs Paula Bowers.
She has been spinning for several years now, and she's not letting a stroke prevent her from doing what she loves. Each time she steps on the pedal, the motions come back to her.
"There's not a doubt in my mind that they saved my life," Bowers says about the Baptist Health team.
It's hard for her not to get emotional. She's come far in her recovery. Twelve days earlier, she had speech problems and trouble lifting her left arm.
"Everything that I do for relaxation, and pleasure and enjoyment... to me was just coming to an end too," she explains.
But being persistent, Bowers wasn't going to let that happen. That's why she made her spinning wheel a part of her therapy at Baptist Health.
"She makes it look easy, but there's a lot of things going on when she uses that device, in the coordination, the feel and the touch," says Joseph Marti, Baptist Health Occupational Therapist.
A spinning wheel isn't your typical recovery tool. Marti says they most often use electronics and the exercise machines.
"Spinning the wheel and actually threading the thread is a good strengthening tool, but definitely a good sensory tool," Marti continues.
The device has helped Bowers with her left arm and memory.
"A lot of hand eye coordination too," adds Marti.
Bowers has never lost sight of her goal to go home after two weeks and kick some bad habits, like smoking, to the curb.
"I had to quit. It was that or have another stroke and die. And we've worked too hard," she says.
To look for the signs of a stroke, remember the acronym "FAST".
F- Face Drooping
A- Arm Weakness
S- Speech Difficulty
It's important to get the patient to the hospital immediately.