Monday, 21 September 2015

Not My Job

I don't like the way today started. Last night I was looking forward to Monday. A new week, a day of therapy, friends coming in the afternoon. And here it is, 10:35 before I am ready to start my day. I may come back later and re-write this post, but maybe not.

I know that I need to speak up for myself and make sure that if someone is doing something wrong with my care - so that wrong thing doesn't happen. But I don't think it is my job to "train" someone new. Let me try to put this into the context of teaching. If a new teacher came along, and she told the kids she was new, and was not sure how things were done in "this classroom" then what would the kids do? And what about if one kid said, "oh, we don't do that anymore", should that teacher believe him? Well, I think we can all assume that chaos would reign.

So this is just a bit of a rant, because I am not happy with my care this morning. It's about being left in the bathroom for an extra 15 minutes (let's face it, I am already in there way longer than I want to be), missing an appointment (leaning to get dressed while sitting) because my care did not start early enough, and missing my outdoor time (i.e. recess) before OT. All because the new girl did not have her shit together.

I know that we all have off days, but professionals need to be professional at all times, as much as possible. When you are making a first impression (i.e. the first day of school or the first day with a patient) you want to send the right message - that I am competent and will do my job well. It is not a student's job to tell a teacher what to do, nor should it be a patient's job to tell a nurse what to do. But, having been through this experience, I am reminded that I do need to speak up at all circumstances where my inside voice says "say something". That is my job, because no one will look after me the way I want to unless I do speak up.

So now that I have vented, I am going to re-start my day. In 10 minutes I will be starting my "seating assessment" where we will be deciding what kind of wheelchair I will be getting. I am excited about that because it means that we are that much closer to getting me home. I am going to go upstairs after OT and get my lunch and come back down to get more sunshine, except on my forehead, because that is what I need the most.

P.S. The nurse did apologize by offering a semi-reasonable explanation. But first impressions really stick.


  1. I don't even know if you remember me, but I was in your biology class the year you had your daughter. (Most teachers remember me as the girl whose dad died on exchange... Or the one on crutches for way too long.)
    Good luck with the wheelchair fitting. I remember my first one vividly... It's amazing how freeing the right chair can be. If it's a manual, I could give you tons of recommendations... But I'm sure your team know what you need. I will say, though, if manual - don't get pneumatic tires. There is nothing worse than a flat tire when you're at work. Invest in the best seat possible. I still use mine if I'm in pain and it's more effective than lying down to relief back issues. And my biggest regret with my chair was not getting spare tires. I opted for all terrain wheels, but I really wish I had gotten a pair of indoor sport tires as well....
    I've been following your blog for a little while now and wondered if I should comment. While I'm so fortunate that I no longer need my chair and never had paralysis, I still spent almost ten years on crutches and in my chair. But reality is, I loved the wheelchair after years of crutches. It was freeing! I could move without pain and resume life. I can hope you won't need your chair for long, but if you do there is still so much you can do! If you're interested in adaptive sports, please message me. I live in Australia now but still have friends at home who are "in the know" and still get emails regarding some of my favourite teams.
    I wish you the best of luck with healing and recovery, and on this new adventure you're beginning. And it is an adventure, even if not one you expected to take. You're strong and you're stubborn, and no matter what hurdles you face, I bet you'll come out on top.
    And as for the nurse... Yup, we've all had one who comes across as incompetent or a complete twit. Do speak up! Mine was the first nurse I had after surgery... She grabbed my freshly operated leg and dropped it, then berated me for not getting up to use the washroom. Turned out she read the wrong chart... Didn't realise I wasn't supposed to be moved, at all. That one thing messed up the healing process and the brackets in my leg are still mangled! So speak up. Maybe you can prevent someone else having the same problem.

  2. You are the one person best placed to advocate (reasonably) for your optimal care. Plus, you're not a "whiner" by nature... Don't be afraid to speak up.

  3. Annoyed on your behalf, and proud of you for speaking up. You deserve the best of care. Everyone has 'bad' moments and makes mistakes, but it sounds like this particular caregiver has a lot still to learn. Hopefully you sped up that process about today by saying something. Hoping you more moments in the sunshine very soon.