As Thomas’ Shadow

by twofiftyorless

Once inside her apartment, he sat down at her couch and opened his laptop. He reviewed her digital chart and asked a few mandatory topical questions including pain levels, nutrition intake and medication use. Then he took her heart rate and blood pressure before asking her if she had done her exercises the day before. She reported that she had not; she had forgotten. He asked her where her exercises were; she thought they were somewhere in her folder.

On her coffee table he found, and proceeded to open, her home care folder. From a large pile of papers, he pulled out her exercise sheets and followed them step by step for the next 20 minutes, making sure that she was familiar with her exercises and reminded her that she needed to complete her program daily to get stronger. She then returned to sitting in her electric scooter, which she sits in all day long (until bed time). He returned her papers in the large overflowing folder to be lost amongst her emergency call lists, nursing notes, occupational therapy instructions, medication calendars, service schedules and other varying papers and documents. Throughout his visit, she was polite, but she simply seemed to be humoring him and his efforts.

On the way back to his car, I thought of my friend, Mark, and I smiled as I realized that I might have something to offer home care patients after all.

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