Stroke, broken bones slow down, but don’t stop Clarendon Hills resident
Clarendon Hills resident Roberta Schwinn with her "best friend," Monique. | Chuck Fieldman—Sun-Times Media
Updated: March 8, 2013 6:02AM
CLARENDON HILLS — Roberta Schwinn has been slowed down a bit over the past seven months, but it would take more than a stroke and some broken bones to keep the Clarendon Hills resident completely out of action. Schwinn, 70, moved to Clarendon Hills eight years ago, after living for 22 years in River Forest. She grew up in Chicago and also lived in Lake Forest and Kenilworth as an adult.
Q. You mentioned that you like to walk. How much walking do you usually do?
A. Before I fell in November and broke some bones, I walked about 15 total miles a day. I did that in about five different walks each day. I used to jog 30 miles a day. It’s so refreshing and healthy to be able to walk. I just enjoy nature.
Q. You have a walking cast on now because of broken bones in your leg and ankle. How much has that slowed you down?
A. I still go out and walk, but only about 3 to 5 miles a day. I went three weeks after falling before I went to see the doctor. My ankle swelled up pretty badly. It hasn’t been healing too well, so I don’t know how much longer I’ll have the walking cast on.
Q. You love to walk, but you don’t like to walk alone, do you?
A. I always take Monique, my beagle, with me when I walk. I had a beagle before that got cancer, and I had to put her to sleep. After about six months, I started going to shelters to look for another dog. Monique had all kinds of health problems; she only has one kidney and a partial bladder. I just knew she was the one when I saw her, and she’s my best friend. She’s just wonderful, and she goes on walks with me.
Q. You had a stroke in July 2012. How did that affect you?
A. I’m recovering well, but it definitely had an effect on me. It’s limited my lifestyle from what I was used to because I have limited use of my left hand and my left leg. And, of course, it had an effect on my speech. I’ll keep on fighting, though. I’m a very determined individual. I believe in survival.
Q. As the victim of a stroke and broken bones in the past seven months, you have been on the patient side of treatment. Don’t you also have quite a background in treating others?
A. I was a nurse for 35 years; I worked at Cook County Hospital for about 30 years and saw all kinds of things. I enjoyed that job because it’s important to help people. I was raised that way. I retired about 20 years ago, and I do miss the patients. They came from all walks of life. Being a nurse was one of the most rewarding things in my life.
Q. Why did you move to Clarendon Hills?
A. I have some friends who live in the area, and they suggested I move here. I like Clarendon Hills; it’s a nice, friendly community. I’ve spoken up about a few things, like having stop signs put in at 58th and Holmes for the safety of the school kids, and the police chief and village officials listen when someone is concerned about something. They followed through with looking into stop signs, and they ended up putting them in there.