“I forget, myself, that I have Parkinson’s,” shares program participant, Dean Holtorf, about his success with the LSVT BIG and LOUD program. Holtorf was the first to admit the new program offered by Trinity Rehabilitation Services was hard work, but the changes he has experienced are as he states, “unbelievable in my mind.”
Holtorf was diagnosed with Parkinson’s at the end of January 2019. Parkinson's is a progressive disease of the nervous system that affects movement. Parkinson's is often associated with hand tremors, slow movement, loss of balance and a quiet voice.
As a semi-retired farmer from the Pomeroy area, Holtorf first started noticing last fall his stamina and balance were deteriorating. Initially he associated the loss with just growing older, until he started to experience hand tremors in the evening, especially when he had a long day of working.
“When my hand and arm would start to shake at night, I knew something wasn’t right,” shares Holtorf. At that time, he saw his doctor who then ran some tests and a CT scan. “He really didn’t have an answer for me but directed me to a Neurologist in Iowa City that specialized in movement disorders.”
On the way home from his appointment in Iowa City and dealing with the shock and reality of his diagnosis of Parkinson’s, Holtorf asked his wife to drive. “I had my suspicions that is was Parkinson’s, especially after all my research with ‘Dr. Google,’” smiles Holtorf. “During that drive I was determined not to let the disease beat me. The neurologist told me I would need to have physical therapy and speech therapy but didn’t really point me in any direction. I started researching therapy and Highland Park popped up. I knew nothing about them, so I called while we were sitting at Mineral City, and the receptionist was excited to share with me the new program they had just started for Parkinson’s. So the same day I was diagnosed, I signed-up for therapy, and started within a couple days.”
Trinity Rehabilitation Services at Highland Park began offering the LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD therapy to help patients with Parkinson's Disease. The program is designed to improve function and slow motor deterioration through intensive exercise and patient empowerment. The therapy also increases speech clarity and improves a patient’s confidence. Participants in the program meet with therapists four days a week, for four weeks.
While Holtorf attributes his early diagnosis and treatment to be instrumental in the success he had with the program, both his therapists will tell you that the hard work and commitment he put towards the program made all the difference.
“I could tell in the first week things were improving,” Holtorf states, “From my balance, to my hand writing to voice volume. At that point, I knew the hard work was going to pay off and it made me want to stick with it.”
Holtorf has many reasons he plans on keeping up with his exercises to fight the progression of the disease. For one, he wants others who have Parkinson’s to know there is hope to regain some of what the disease may have stolen from them. Then there is the reason near and dear to his heart, “I have five grandchildren ages 8-14, and I am determined to see them all become adults.”
For more information about Trinity Rehabilitation Service’s LSVT BIG and LSVT LOUD program call (515) 574 – 6900.