Two physicians at National Jewish Health gave Shirley Stafford the starting point to change her life, providing her with relief from a variety of health problems that had plagued her for years.
Shirley had been living with several conditions including fibromyalgia, Raynaud’s Syndrome, Sjogren's Syndrome, breathing problems and Restless Leg Syndrome for nearly a decade. She had been experiencing a dry, hacking cough related to the Sjogren’s Syndrome and was referred to National Jewish Health.
Shirley’s physician at National Jewish Health told her that she might get relief from some of her symptoms if she lost weight, and suggested she begin with a 20-minute walk every day and build from there. She took the advice to heart.
Shirley began walking around her cul-de-sac, which took her 30 minutes at the time. She can now walk a mile and a half in 30 minutes. “I walk every day, rain or shine, no matter what,” she said.
As part of the unique system of coordinated care at National Jewish Health, Shirley also saw an otolaryngologist. He recommended that she start using a nasal rinse in the shower, and that helped to clear up many of her respiratory symptoms. She still uses the rinse, which she can make at home, today.
Shirley also adopted a healthy diet. Over the past six years, she has gone from 400 pounds to just 140 pounds.
“My Restless Leg Syndrome is gone now, and I no longer take medication for my fibromyalgia,” said Shirley. “I am forever grateful to National Jewish Health. They turned my life around.”
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