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My Meriter Story

I've Turned My Life Around Thanks to Staff at the Wellness Center

A couple of years ago, I had reached a very low point in my life, I was morbidly obese, suffering from COPD, CHF, Diabetes and other afflictions. My breathing was so poor that I had to stop every 100 feet, or so, to catch my breath. I was to the point where I was hoping that my next breath would be my last.

I was referred by the Meriter Pulmonary Department to the Pulmonary Rehabilitation class at the Meriter Wellness Center. Initially, I was placed under the direction of Denise Furrgasen, and then under Emmalee Coleman. Everyone working in the Wellness Center was attentive to my needs, but my motivation remained low.

Upon graduation from the Pulmonary Rehab program, I was placed in what is known as Phase III. I was given a free one month membership to the gym after attending all of the classroom meetings during the rehab program. I started out attending two times a week, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I was under the tutelage of Kim Faulkner in Phase III, and she guided me in my exercise regimen. Kim saw how I was struggling, not only physically but emotionally. She suggested that I see Meriter's exercise psychologist, Dr. Gretchen Diem, Ph.D. for assistance with my emotional issues. Kim, wanting to learn more about Dr. Diem's program, agreed upon my request to attend the sessions with me. Kim received permission from her supervisor for this unusual arrangement.

Over the next year plus, I went from being a "hopeless wreck", (in my mind), to a "new" person. I have increased my workouts at the Wellness Center from two days a week to five days a week, an hour per day. Kim Faulkner monitors my progress as well as oversees my weight loss (Weight Watchers) progress weekly. I have lost thirty pounds in the last four months, and am enjoying my daily workouts. I can now walk a pretty good distance before needing to rest - what a change!

I can't say enough to show my appreciation for the turnaround I have made with my life, thanks to Kim Faulkner and Dr. Gretchen Diem, and for all of the staff at the Wellness Center -- Lisa, Susie, Emmalee, Amy, Carol, Deb, and Denise.

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