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Friday, April 22, 2011

OT: The Poor Relation

The day before yesterday the occupational therapist here, Amanda,
visited me. Her job is to help patients get back into the real world, by
introducing them to devices and techniques for functioning in spite of
the various disabilities they have, when they are home again. In my
case, I will return home with a left leg that is not yet up to snuff. I
won't be able to drive, and I will still be working on perfecting
walking without hurting myself. What I realized several days ago,
though, is that I will be no more disabled when I go home than I was
when I left. I have been modifying my house to suit my physical
condition for years. She has given me some tips that are helpful but for
the most part I had already figured things out. Thus the day before
yesterday she terminated her visits with me. Our work together is done.

I have been watching how the various therapists work. There are several
physical therapists and only one Amanda. When Amanda wants to schedule
time with a patient she first discovers the patient's PT appointments.
She then clears her visit with the physical therapist so she won't
interfere with what they are doing. I couldn't help but notice that her
position is like that of a poor relation. She is happy for what grubs
can be thrown her way by the more important PT folks. I don't think this
is an intentional relationship, but there it is.

Then there is the activities director. I look at the cheery little
flyers she sends around, with the day's meals on it, with various
puzzles to do...and I think, she's really on the bottom.

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