Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth." Genesis 9:13

Thursday, April 11, 2013


I think I'm also going through a jealous period.  For years I worked with patients.  Most of the time they had therapy, improved and went back to their lives. After I moved to home health I discovered that the transition wasn't as seamless as it could appear if you didn't think about it at the early rehab level.  I knew that I was referring most homegoing nursing home patients for further therapy.  I just didn't know that therapy was about reshaping their lives in the context of what happened to them.  I thought home health was about making things normal for them, even though I learned that mostly they didn't go back to totally normal.  Most suffered losses but then were able to re-arrange life enough to go on.  It could be very hard and I gave a lot of support.  Sometimes support was half of my job.  Sometimes I had to get support to give support; there was once a patient who believed with 100% determination that if stroke recovery was not 100% that was my fault.  I had actually done a pretty impressive job with her (for those in the know I reduced a significant shoulder subluxation from I think 2 fingers to less than 1/2) and that had reduced her severe pain and then we had regained most function in that arm. We were working on precision and she was not going to get all of that back at that time.  But it took a social worker to convince her that she couldn't expect me to fix things 100%. 
Another person had lost her husband and then had major health problems develop.  I was called in partly to show her that I had developed asthma and allergies during the past 6 months and that I struggled to cope as well, while helping her learn ways to deal with her health.  It worked for her.

Sometimes I couldn't make it better.  Both in nursing homes and home health I had some  very hard conversations about this and about recommendations nobody wanted to hear.  I didn't want to make them either.  But it was my job and not one I could delegate.  There were nights I cried because someone had worked so hard and improved so much and it just wasn't enough for what they wanted.  That was the hardest thing I did I think, watching people progress so far and then not quite manage to make it.  On the other hand watching people do things that they really shouldn't have been able to do or people who I didn't think would recover return home to their prior lives was the highlight of my life. I loved having people come back and show off what they could do now.

Last week I wrote about my need to watch movies that are sad to help me cry and let go of some of my excess emotion during this moving thing.  Later I realized that mostly one movie was what I wanted to watch, over and over.  I know there are a few others in my pile that share what this movie had but this one is very close to home somehow.  What makes me cry is watching someone lose everything to illness or accident and then recover and experience life, good and bad.  It's the thing I worked for so long to help others achieve  and now I find it so painful to watch. 

I'm on the side now that receives the little talks about what I can do and what I need help with.  I'm on the side where I have to hear that eating one egg and a handful of crackers each day is not acceptable, that I need help with my meds, that my life is going to show signs of this illness probably every day for the rest of my life.  I made it home but am accepting that home doesn't work and so I'm moving to half the size of my home.  I suspect the smaller home will make me happier.  But I'm jealous of those who went home and found that even the difficult things were easier when they were back in their routines.  Their lives go on to have good and bad because that is normal, and the good and bad isn't significantly affected by whatever made them need rehab.  Instead for me the impact of everything else makes what I'm dealing with continually worse.

It's sort of like a nightmare where I have to have those awful talks with people over and over and every time I say they'll do well they turn out to do awful, which is my own fault.  What is happening to me isn't anyone's fault, I just believed the positives I heard more than they were meant to be believed.  It's a common error. But for now it's painful for me to see what used to make my world happy:  someone recover.

It's so backwards.  i don't wish anyone to have to face this kind of loss.  Losing independence means losing yourself as well.But what I did for so many years has made this one specific thing the thing that makes me cry.  It's a weird way to heal yet I suspect that's the process.

I hope nobody is offended by this.

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