Thursday, 18 February 2010

The way the job makes you think

She sits there, weak, and starting along the way to confusion. She's asleep when we arrive, and her husband answers when we arrive. Before we walk in the door, I've already spotted the removable wheelchair ramp, and the wheelchair itself by the door. As we walk into the living room, I see her gradually waking up in the corner. Immediately, I spot the specialist cushion she is sitting on to avoid pressure sores. This tells me that she is spending long periods of time sitting in the same place. Further evidence is added by the hospital-style table that sits by her, everything strategically placed within reaching distance. I talk to the husband briefly, and I can see the exhaustion in his eyes, the sag of his shoulders, and the relief on his face that tells me he is exhausted, and needs some time off.

We sit down and talk for a while, and I learn that she can't get upstairs any more, and that this means she can't get into the shower. I learn that she has a frame, and sticks, but that she generally can't use them. I discover that her husband is having to lift her in and out of the wheelchair/car/seat/bed if she wants to move between them.

Without noticing, my mind starts ticking over what they need. First off, they need some respite care sorting. She needs a stairlift fitting. She needs modifications in the bathroom in order to allow her to get in and out despite the increasing weakness. They need a hoist installing so that he's not putting his back out moving her from place to place.

These are the things I'm thinking, as I would with any other patient. Difference is, this isn't my patient.

It's my auntie.


  1. I am sorry that your Aunt is unwell, but am thinking that she is very lucky to have you in her family. You have the resources to get your Uncle and Aunt the help they need.

    Sending good thoughts...

  2. Powerful post. Am in a simular situation with my grandfather. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck and God speed.

  3. Thanks :-)

    And welcome to the blog, please do come back! (How did you find me by the way?)