Wednesday, October 19, 2011

good times and bad times.

I've learned a whole lot this semester;  I've stepped up my game, gritted my teeth, hurt my back, and taken more people to the bathroom than I ever thought I would.  and I've loved every minute of it.
There have been days I have come home elated and thrilled. other days when I'm cranky (thankfully that patient was discharged ;p). and others when I've sat out in my car, my mind heavy with sadness.

There are several reasons I am doing what I'm doing.  Near the top of the list is because I like helping people, and I like leaving an imprint on someone's life.  I know there are some people that wont get better, either because of physical problems or they just don't want to, and I dealt with a fair share of both types last spring.

There are good days in therapy, and there are bad days in therapy; I've experienced both, as a patient and as the therapist.
Today was a good day and a bad day, the past week has been a week of good days and bad days.

I have a patient who had a stroke, a pretty bad stroke, a couple months ago.  Today, with the help of three people (two holding him up, and one following with the wheelchair) he walked 94 feet. One week ago he couldn't take one step.  he can't stand without someone holding him up. He can't walk without two people and a walker holding him up, and he can't really sit straight either.
Finishing "stepping-off" at 94 feet was a good moment today, and announcing that to everyone and having all of the nurses and therapists, and other patients cheer, THAT was a good day.  Those moments are the moments that I love. and I mean really really love.
But it was a bad day too.
Because the fact of the matter is that due to how severe his stroke was, chances are high that he will never walk without someone holding the majority of his weight up. chances are high that he will never go back to his home. chances are high that he'll always, ALWAYS need help moving from one chair to another. chances are high he will never take a walk with his wife again.
There is a moment of celebration, when we find out how far he walked, and then everyone gets really quiet as we all recognize the cold, bitter, hard truth. 

Visiting hours for our unit start at 4 oclock, and his wife comes walking through those elevator doors at 4:00pm EXACTLY.  He waits patiently for her in his room all day long, and when he sees her, his face is split in half by a smile the size of the moon.  I can't be there when that happens. I was there one time, and had to leave as fast as I could because of the tears that came unexpectedly to my eyes.When we see his wife step off the elevator all of us silently shake our head at how devoted she is to him, and how horrible the situation is.

so today was a good day and a bad day.  there's no point in lying to yourself, and denying the bad, but its better to look at the good and look forward to tomorrow when we try to go for 100'.