Saturday, March 14, 2009

It is all how you look at it

The other day I heard my least favorite comment from a patient.
"This wasn't a good session."
How the hell do you arrive at that?
You expected to live forever, or at least without major disruption, but if you are seeing me, you had a major disruption.
You think that it should be healed in a day or two, especially if it is something you can not see such as a stroke, a surgery to a part of your body you can't see, out of sight out of mind kind of injuries.
You forget that a simple kitchen cut (usually from a knife that is way too dull) and does not need stitches takes about 14 days to heal.
But when an educated mad man (a surgeon, we lock up people who cut people but you PAY this person to incise you and stitch you, they gotta be mad as a hatter!) cuts you open, cuts apart bones and either removes them or replaces them, and them staples you or sutures you closed, it is VERY different from the knife cut while preparing your mirepoix for chicken soup!
So then you look at me, after walking farther than you have since your surgery, without any (or minimal) assistance from me, you did not fall, lose your balance, have your knees buckle from a neurological problem or a strength/endurance issue, did not pass out from orthostatic hypotension from your bodies inability to regulate its own blood pressure, you did not have a cardiac arrest or pass out.
I frequently lecture my patients with the above litany and then ask them, again, if it was a good session.
They expect to be healed from a major surgery, stroke, long term illness creating debility, in a matter of days, not the weeks to months that it will really take.
But I prevail.
They admit that it was a good session.
No one is willing to take the time needed to heal correctly.
Healing is a full time job to do it right.
Listen to your Physical Therapist, your Occupational Therapist, your Speech and Language Pathologist, your Doctor and the nurses and you will get through it well.
And I will keep lecturing my people on patience and needing to accept small victories and advances in the healing process.
Heal thyself.
No, seriously, do that and let the rest take care of its self for a while.
Go ahead, I'll wait.


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