Routt County Commissioner Nancy Stahoviak has been at county meetings in her dreams, literally.
Recently, she dreamed she was sitting in a meeting with staff members from the Road and Bridge Department.
Those dreams soon may be reality as Stahoviak -- who is running for re-election in November -- is recovering from her third of four knee surgeries in Denver. This surgery installed a permanent knee replacement in her right knee, which she can now focus on strengthening.
"It feels like I have a really good implant to work with," Stahoviak said from the Spalding Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver.
"It's just a matter of getting it good and strong now before I come home."
Stahoviak was flown to a Denver hospital because of life-threatening kidney failure and infections in mid-December, and in the past months has had temporary replacements with antibiotics installed in both knees.
Her most recent surgery went more smoothly than she and doctors expected, she said. Plus, there is a "huge" improvement of having a permanent replacement over a temporary replacement.
Nurses who have worked with Stahoviak since her first stay in early January noticed the improvements she has made as well, Stahoviak said.
"They see the difference and the change and the way I've increased in strength and health," Stahoviak said.
Stahoviak said she plans to remain in the Denver hospital until next Tuesday, when doctors will re-evaluate her condition and decide whether she should stay for more rehabilitation, return to her Oak Creek home, or go to the Doak Walker Care Center in Steamboat Springs. She said she prefers staying in Denver to do the intense therapy the hospital offers.
Once her right knee is strong, she hopes to attend some county meetings in person, instead of over the phone as she has been doing. She is hoping she can attend the city and county joint meeting at the end of June.
Becoming more mobile involves various hurdles, such as getting in good enough shape to get up and down from a hard surface, such as a chair. She realizes those improvements could take time, but, "I'm so impatient, I want to be able to get it done right now," she said.
Stahoviak's fourth and final surgery, to install a permanent replacement in her left knee, will be at least two months away, giving her time to get strong and healthy before the procedure.
"I have come a long way," she said.
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