Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Get Me a Physical Therapist - Now

At one point last week, I felt like I was dealing with Lazarus rising from the dead.

Mama was nigh unto to dead with extremely low blood pressure, on oxygen to breathe, a white blood cell count count of over 51k, and wheezing with pneumonia, and I hear - between god awful coughs, "I want to get a head start on rehab." I reassure her that when she is strong enough she will be moved back to the rehab floor. "No, I want a physical therapist to come and work with me now, right here, in this room." I told her I did not think that was possible. However, before I could begin to make my case she pointed out the door, "There's one now, go get her." Sure enough standing just outside her door in CCU was a physical therapist. "Mama you have to have one assigned to you." "Well, then go get one assigned to me."

I found a nurse and explained the impossible request Mama had. She said, "Well, the Dr. will have to enter orders for one to come and evaluate her." "Whatever. Can you just start the process, so I can reenter her room and honestly assure her that one has been requested.?" She told me she would and turned to find the doctor.

I went back to Mama and announced my success. "Well, when will they be here?" "That I don't know." "Did you tell her I needed them today?" "Yes mam, I explained the situation." All afternoon, I was asked, "When are they coming to start my rehab?" "You did tell them I needed them to come, right?" Later, one of her doctors explained to me that he did not want her to start rehab due to her situation. I just looked at him. "Really? You didn't really think I seriously thought she was in any condition to begin physical therapy did you?" "Well, I wondered. We'll just drop that." "And, you think she is going to forget about that?" "Oh, I am sure by tomorrow she will never remember anything about physical therapy." Uh, yeah, right.

The next morning I walked in her room. "Today's the day I start my physical therapy." I looked at the nurse standing behind her who just shrugged her shoulders."Mama, I don't think we are going to do that." "You told me yesterday that the doctor had ordered it for me." So all afternoon, we sat and waited for the physical therapist to come and work with her. 

She was sane enough to know that she could not do physical therapy, but so competitive, she did not want anyone to get ahead of her and say they recovered faster. So, up until the day she died, "we" were still waiting for the physical therapist, the doctor ordered, to come see her. 

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