My Last Patient
The lights were low and everyone seemed to be in a relaxed state of mind. The patients were not lining up outside the therapy gym clamoring to get seen like they normally do, so I knew something was up. I had seen most of my patients earlier that day and was down to the last two people.
The first patient was up in his chair so I quickly swooped in and brought him down to the gym. He didn't say much so I did the talking for the two of us, again. We went through the whole gamut of leg exercises with and without weights, then moved into a standing position for some balance work. That's when I noticed he kept looking over at the clock. Then the light went on in my head. Today was BINGO day. After using the 4WW and working on step length and width, he sat back in his wheelchair and began to wheel himself down to the activity center.
I had about 35 minutes left before the big game began and I noticed the activity room was starting to fill up. In the very last room on the left down the longest corridor, I found my last patient trying to get out of bed. I sprang into action without startling her and assisted her to a sitting position. "Do you feel dizzy?" I asked.
"Yes, a little," she replied.
"Maybe we should do a couple of things here before you start moving around too much."
"No! I have to get to BINGO," she said, reaching out for her wheelchair.
Hearing this, I knew I could lose this treatment completely if I did not play my cards right. I suggested that I could help her get there and would try to get her a seat in her favorite spot. Suddenly the dizziness left and she was willing to do whatever was necessary to get moving. In fact, she did better with this session than she had ever done in the therapy gym.
All down the hall she performed balance activity with and without an assistive device, her progress and mood dramatically changed as we got closer to activities. She was brighter, more alert and willing to do a whole lot more until she saw BINGO was beginning. She abruptly sat down and told me, "That is enough." The session ended just like that.
I did find her a spot close to her favorite one and I have the activity department to thank for her progress in therapy. If it wasn't for them and the games they play, she probably would have refused therapy and not walked down there as well as she did.