Patient Story

Violin Strings Together Family at Palomar Health

The Doerings from Escondido like to keep things in the family. Mark and Michael, identical twin brothers, and their sister Susan have a passion for playing violin string instruments and often play at funerals, weddings and religious gatherings. As musicians, their hands are crucial to their craft.

When Susan suffered a shattered wrist two months ago in a car accident while visiting family in Escondido, it put her playing days in jeopardy. As a music professor at Fresno Pacific, she naturally considered returning home to Central California to have surgery and go through rehabilitation. However, Michael had other plans. He insisted she stay and use the same occupational therapists at Palomar Health he had used when he suffered a similar injury five years ago. He had feared his music playing days might be over but was extremely satisfied with his medical care.

“She said, okay Michael, I’m going to listen to you,” Michael recalled gleefully.

So Susan called her husband in the High Sierras and said she was staying in Escondido for two months to work with Palomar Health Occupational Therapists Diane Creamer and Jessica Baptie three days a week to rehabilitate her surgically repaired wrist which now has a plate and nine screws.

Just as was the case with Michael, Susan’s work with Creamer and Baptie resulted in regaining the range of motion necessary to start playing again, and within two months of surgery.

To prove how far she’s come and show her appreciation, she and her brothers put on a small concert at the Palomar Health Outpatient Rehabilitation Services in San Marcos. They played four songs culminating in a rendition of Clair de Lune by Claude Debussy that brought tears to the eyes of one therapist.

“Diane and Jessica have been like miracles to me,” Susan said as she showed Creamer, who specializes as a certified hand specialist, the flexibility in her wrist after 15 minutes of playing the violin.

“She’s going to be able to do everything she’s used to doing,” Creamer said, noting it could take up to a year before everything fully heals.

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