half glass full: we are living each day – hopefully to its fullest potential
half glass empty: day by day, we are all dying slowly (some faster than others, some more predictably)
. . . .
I get it. This is not going to resonate with everyone (anyone?). My typical patient has multiple comorbities, is incapable of leaving their home due to challenges with their mobility and has varying degrees of pain (often not their primary complaint). They are weak, alone and (often) depressed. They are scared and fearful of the uncertainty that awaits them. This is not everyone’s typical patient, but it is mine.
As I reflect back on my metamorphosis these past few years from who I was to who I am, I realize that (for better or worse) my way of being with patient’s has been most informed by my working with those with terminal conditions, weeks/months before their inevitable transfer from home- to palliative-care.
Most clinicians recognize that patient’s who receive palliative care deserve a dignified level of care that is often absent in typical settings. This care often emphasizes the clinician’s efforts to gain trust through inter-personal interactions and being present in a relationship that both the patient and the clinician goes in the direction of the other.
What would physical therapy care look like if every PT worked to earn patient trust, rather than assuming it is conferred on them by title, degree or position?
What would physical therapy look like if we interacted with each patient as if they were dying?