Taking Things for Granted
Today I went shopping for one of my patients. She's lost nearly 100 pounds since her brain injury and needs new clothes. Her current wardrobe falls off her during therapy. Her family can't afford to buy any for her. I went to a secondhand store looking for things that would fit better. I was lucky. I found a few things that should not only fit but also look nice on her.
Paying for them was an experience. The woman at the cash register was apologetic about the cost, a little more than 15 dollars. She was surprised when I offered her a credit card for payment. I realized 15 dollars was a lot of money for some of their customers. I spend that much each week on carrots for my horses. I watch my money carefully but take it for granted that I can afford treats for my horses.
Many of my patients would benefit from a wardrobe overhaul. Some of them have adequate funds but no one to shop for them. Some have shoppers but no funds. Almost all of them would be grateful to me if I were to go shopping for them. I take it for granted that I can go to the store or shop online whenever I wish.
Talk about putting things into perspective. I realized how many things we take for granted that our patients are unable to do. Anyone who's ever been hospitalized can attest that food selection is lacking. Patients were always telling me what they were going to eat as soon as they got home. Patients who discharge to other facilities don't have that luxury. They eat whatever the new facility is serving.
I was happy to let my patient out. I hope the new clothes fit. I keep thinking about the cost of carrots versus the cost of her new clothes.