Friday, 27 April 2007

Little victories

“Hello Mrs Brown, how are you this afternoon?”

“It’s getting a little bit better, doctor.”

“Let’s see. Can you lift your foot off the floor?”

She slowly lifts up her leg.

“Now can you put your arm above your head?”

She can

“Can you pick up this pen off the table?”

She cannot.

“Well it’s getting a bit better isn’t it?”

“I think so, I’m trying the best I can with all those exercises.”

“Good, I think they’re working, it seems that every day when I see you, you’ve got a little more movement, and that’s encouraging. Did anyone tell you the results of your scan?”

“No, not yet doctor.”

“Well, like we were expecting the scan shows that you’ve had a stroke, and this is why you’ve had this weakness down your side. We know now that it was a blood clot that caused it and this means we can give you some tablets that will reduce the chances of it happening again. I have to say that I’m really pleased that you seem to be getting better quite quickly. Remember when you first came in? You couldn’t really move that side at all.”

“I know, I’ve been doing the exercises and - my daughter will you – I’m really stubborn and I’m determined to beat it.”

Mrs Brown’s daughter: “She’s right, she is stubborn – I think it runs in the female side of our family!”

Me: “Well sometimes, I think that’s the best way to be. Remember we chatted about you going over to the rehab ward where the physiotherapists can be much more intensive about your movement and exercises.”

Mrs Brown: “Yes, they’ve been earlier today and they’re really nice and I’m looking forward to going over there.”

“That’s good, I think that while you’re improving, it’ll be worthwhile you spending some time with them so they can help you get as good as you can be.”

“Can I just say doctor… I just want to say thank you for the way you’ve looked after me. You know, I really appreciate that you always take the time to come and talk to me – when you’re not well, it really helps to feel like there’s someone who you can talk to about things. You’ve got a bit of a fanclub in here. All the other ladies agree that you’re a really nice young man.”

Patients saying things like this makes it all worthwhile you know. I love my job.


Jo said...

I just wish that there had been someone like you in the hospital where my fiance's great uncle was taken after his stroke, paralyzed down his left hand side.

Nobody talked to him, or explained what was going on, and he left the hospital (to go into the care home where he later died) convinced that he was going to go home in a few weeks, able to walk again.

The Junior Doctor said...

Thanks Jo,

I'm sorry to hear about what happened to your fiance's great uncle. I've heard many similar stories and it makes me sad. I can see why it happens sometimes but it's not right and it's not fair. Like Mrs Brown says, a few minutes explaining things goes a long, long way.