13 September 2011

OT: Synonymous with WonderWoman

I've been treating a woman who broke her leg . . . two years ago.  And she hasn't walked or stood since.  Our visiting Ortho did something to fix her . . . and now it's my job to get her moving.

She's a short little lady, but two years of immobility has resulted in some putting on of the pounds . . . this, coupled with weight-bearing intolerance, pain, weakness, lack of endurance, and a quick rate of fatigue, in one week of daily therapy, we still have not yet taken any steps.

The first day, our LayingInBed-to-Sitting-at-the-Edge transfer consisted of her two already-very-gray-themselves sons climbing onto the bed to lift her . . . and actually, that time they swung her around and stood her right up, in a human-hoyar-lift kind of way.  Call me cruel, but this was not the kind of therapy session I had planned . . . this was to be an active experience for my patient!  After they (reluctantly) sat her on the side of the bed, it required all three of us to lift her a second time from sitting into standing.

On day two I tried (with my very broken Hausa) to explain that, while they are without question, good, caring, loving sons, therapy is rarely a passive process, and if she is going to get well, she has to work.  It's taken a few more days, but I think they get the idea.

When I arrived in her room today, neither of the sons were there . . . and I knew there was no way I could lift her on my own.  Plan B: use a sling.

As Momma slowly inched her legs toward the edge of the bed I repositioned the bed sheet so that it was under her hips.  When I finally got her into sitting, I braced her good-right knee with my left knee.  I took the slack out of the sheet and on the count of uku I shifted my weight, leaned back, and pulled with all my might.

In those split seconds I prayed . . . hard . . . mostly that the sheet wouldn't tear.  That would have been a disaster!  I don't think I'd look good as a pancake.

But it worked.  I'm pretty sure there was a hoard of angles pushing from beneath and behind, because she stood!!

Once she was up, and the sheet was no longer in risk of rupturing, I noticed the crowd that had formed behind me, just watching.  At the front of the pack was a nurse that often translates for me.

'How'd you do that?' he asked, wide-eyed.  'Physics' I said.  He wrinkled his brows at me.  So I reconsidered my answer: 'Physics, a little muscle, and a whole lot of prayer.'

3 comments:

Shal said...

Love it! You ARE the original wonder woman! I bet you have the biceps to prove it.

Mosieposy said...

I agree with Shal, you should definitely re-name this post to:  Deb(o): synonymous with Wonderwoman ;)

Deb. said...

Eh, in OT school we get capes and masks instead of caps and gowns. :)