First and foremost, I would not be where I am today if I had not met my physical therapist, Peg O’Reilly, and the Premier Orthopaedics therapy team in Exton, PA.
I have been an avid runner for most of my life, and it is my passion. This past summer, I spent a lot of time running outside, especially since gym facilities were closed due to COVID-19. I would typically run 15 miles per night after work, before going to my second job. It helps to clear the mind and rejuvenate the body when transitioning from one job to another. On this one fateful night, I was running and got caught in a severe storm that came out of nowhere. There were suddenly 65 mile-per- hour winds with sheets of rain and lightning. I had about one mile to finish before getting back to my car, and starting running as fast as I could, mostly out of fear. I was in the middle of a stride when the wind blew me sideways, making me slip and wipe out on the macadam. I made it back to my car sopping wet and a little sore from the fall. I thought I was okay and probably just pulled a muscle when I fell.
During the following two weeks, it became increasingly evident that something was very wrong. I was not able to run at all, biking was uncomfortable and I had a severe limp with unbearable pain. I decided to visit my general physician to get examined. It took her all of five minutes to send me for an MRI because of my lack of mobility and pain. It turns out, I had been walking around with a fractured pelvis in two places and a torn hip labrum.
I was then sent to Premier physician Eric Zabat, M.D., who immediately put me on crutches, as to not bear any weight on the right leg, and wrote me a script for physical therapy. I had never been on crutches before and that was just a herculean challenge in the beginning.
I began my physical therapy journey by starting with three sessions per week. My first visit was with my physical therapist, Peg O’Reilly. We did an evaluation of my injuries and checked for mobility. She was so thorough and caring about what I was experiencing, both physically and emotionally. Not being able to run was so devastating to me! Peg took the time to listen and care, as well assess my injuries to create a course for improvement. We had an instant personal connection as we talked a bit about our families and upbringing. I left after my first visit feeling encouraged and motivated to work toward healing and strengthening my muscles.
Peg helped me to focus on the possibilities and not the negatives of the injury. I must say, my physical therapy sessions are the reason that I have healed and improved so well. Peg went above and beyond to try to find exercises that were challenging for me. I know that she used many resources to determine the best movements for my injury. My last appointment was on October 7, and it has been a long journey since my fall on June 12, 2020. I am crutch-free and have been cleared to start running again (slowly and gradually), which is music to my ears.
I will continue to do the exercises at home to stay strong and injury-free. I am forever grateful to Peg and the team of physical therapists at Premier Orthopaedics in Exton. They made me feel so special and rallied around me, encouraging me to improve. I felt like part of a family, and was very teary-eyed when I left the office. What an amazing difference they have made in my life. I am blessed beyond words.
“Angee was a great patient to work with,” O’Reilly says. “She was a hard worker and up for any challenge thrown at her, no matter how difficult. She started PWB, so her program was limited. When she was cleared for full weight-bearing, she embraced every exercise with enthusiasm, and tried her hardest.”