Things You Hear at Work
Many years ago there was a television show called "Kids Say the Darndest Things." I think the same could be true of our patients and families. Over the last few weeks I've heard many things that make me want to shake my head.
I was trying to help a man stand in the parallel bars. He was rather large and non-weight bearing on one leg. After several attempts he informed me he could do it just fine at home. He has one of those rocker recliners. He parks and locks his four-wheel walker in front of it, rocks and back forth until he gets up some steam. Then he can pull himself up.
A few days ago I was evaluating a woman who'd been on hospice at home but was now in the hospital. Her daughter was concerned about the hospice agency. Her mother was getting sicker and sicker and they weren't doing anything about it. Finally she took her mother to the emergency room because no one at the hospice agency would do anything.
This morning I assessed a 90-ish woman who was not arousable. My plan was to get her into a neuro chair to work on arousal and provide stimulation. Her daughter requested we wait until after lunch to get her mother out of bed. She said her mother liked to sleep late and she didn't want us to disturb her.
The list could go on. I'm not even considering all of those family members who have unrealistic expectations of therapy, overestimate the patient's ability to participate or expect me to singlehandedly lift someone who weighs at least twice as much as I do and is dead weight. I wish I had a tactful way to explain to obese people that obesity is the problem, not the diagnosis that admitted them.