Stahoviak continues to improve

— Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak could be released from a Denver rehabilitation center in the next couple of weeks.

But when she returns to Routt County, Stahoviak won't go back to work full-time. She said she likely would stay at home until her health improves more.

"Attitude is so important. I really try to maintain a positive attitude and know that I can do it," Stahoviak said. "I just have so much help physically, mentally and prayerfully, that I just know it can happen."

Stahoviak's occupational and physical therapists project she could be released from the Spalding Rehabilitation Center in Denver between Jan. 14 and 21, depending on her ability to get around on her own.

Stahoviak first became ill in early December when her kidneys shut down because of the effects of Ibuprofen she was taking for arthritis. Stahoviak has suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis since she was 30. She was later flown to Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in Denver, where she was put on a dialysis machine for kidney failure and was treated for infections in her kidneys and knee implants. Stahoviak had her knees replaced in 1987.

Since then, she has been released by her kidney doctor because the toxicity level has gone down markedly, but she still is taking antibiotics for her infections. She was transferred to the rehabilitation center on New Year's Eve.

Stahoviak said she is on the upswing. "Each day something works better and I can do a little bit better," she said.

Her biggest challenge is getting out of bed, she said, but her therapists are working her hard and she now is able to walk 20 to 25 feet with a walker. Another challenge will be to find pain medicine that she can take that will help her stay mobile, she said.

Originally, her orthopedic doctor suggested that she replace at least one of her knees, but Stahoviak said her preference is to come home, get stronger and then worry about what to do about her knees.

"I just have to be patient," she said.

Stahoviak has been sitting in on county discussions through telephone conference calls and has continued to work on county business to the best of her abilities. Her husband, Ron, has been able to bring packets of work to her in Denver.

One of her biggest disappointments came when the Denver Broncos lost Sunday to the Indianapolis Colts. If county residents want to continue to help Stahoviak, she said that she would most appreciate their prayers and thoughts.

Instead of sending flowers and gifts, she encouraged people to make a contribution to the Community Foundation's Good Beginnings Never End Fund for early childhood education, the Yampa Valley Housing Authority or United Way.

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