Spotlight on Transitions Rehab: A Conversation with Suzette Orcholski

Jan 9, 2017 | Leadership, What's New


Suzette Orcholski

Suzette Orcholski, a lifetime resident of Milwaukee’s East Side, first got to know Milwaukee Catholic Home as a volunteer.  Suzette is a member of the Pilot Club, a service organization which meets on Milwaukee Catholic Home’s main campus.  She’s volunteered regularly at MCH, accompanying groups of residents on outings and manning a booth at the Fall Harvest Festival.  When she was in need of short-term rehab services, picking a provider was an easy choice – she was already part of the Milwaukee Catholic Home community.

“I feel comfortable here,” Suzette said.

Suzette’s journey began with an experience of chronic pain from an old work injury, which affected her neck and back. After a number of ER visits, consultations with orthopedic specialists and a series of less invasive treatments, Suzette realized that she needed surgery.  Her operation in early December expanded her spinal cord and repaired fused vertebrae.  A healthy recovery required a neck brace and a robust therapeutic approach to get her back to full mobility and strength.  Transitions Rehabilitation at Milwaukee Catholic Home has been the right place for her to work towards healing.

“Your therapists are wonderful, as well as the nurses and nursing assistants,” Suzette said, “They’ve all been very helpful.”

Suzette especially appreciated the emphasis placed by her therapy team on setting ambitious but realistic goals based on her unique situation.

“When I came, I had no idea what my goals were going to be,” she said, “The staff put me at my ease.  They made the therapy fun, and they’re very respectful of your limits and encourage you to know your body.”

In addition to therapy focusing on the site of her operation, Suzette’s therapy regiment includes occupational therapy to prepare her to be fully independent once she returns home this month.  Suzette’s team asked plenty of questions, and have been working with her to make sure she can safely mount stairs and do all of her day to day activities.  They’ve also placed emphasis on strengthening her legs and improving balance to prevent future falls or injuries.

Prior to her surgery, Suzette walked 2 miles every day, and she’s excited to return to her active lifestyle.  She looks forward to getting back to her volunteer activities, including at Milwaukee Catholic Home, and also plans to participate in Milwaukee Catholic Home’s pilgrimage trip to Poland and Prague with Fr. Tim Kitzke in May.

“I would of course recommend the Catholic Home because I’ve had such a good experience here,” Suzette said.  “I would look here first before I’d look anywhere else.”