Saturday, October 30, 2004

The power of a Thank You

I got a thank you note this week. It was from a patient I saw a couple of times about a month ago. I remember him well because it was right before Yom Kippur, and he was Jewish and we bonded over the holiday. We joked that he didn't have to fast this year, he was in the hospital. It was the bright side of having quadruple bypass surgery. He was such a nice guy, really soft spoken and pleasant, a really great patient to have to work with. I also remember feeling kinda bad for him, he had so much stinky stuff going on in his life. He had just lost his job, his wife lost her job, then got a new one but for less money with not so great insurance. Plus, he was from Canada, and he had waited months and months to have some hearing for his visa, or residency, or citizenship or something like that, and it was scheduled for the day after he had a heart attack and needed open heart surgery. I feld bad for all the stresses in his life, but I also admired him for his continual positive attitude and his willingness to work with me even though he was feeling icky.

I was actually kind of surprised that he took the time to remember me, I really only worked with him 2 times in the week and a half he was in the hospital. he saw one of the other therapists more than me. But he did, and, well, call me a cheeseball (it's ok, I do all the time,) but I cried when I read it.

It's been a little over 5 weeks since my bypass surgery- one heck of a way to spend Yom Kippur!!- And I didn't want the time to slip by without thanking you for your care and compassion in my recovery efforts. You'll be pleased to know I am walking and climbing stairs without difficulty- definitely on the road to a speedy recovery. And while you're part of a team of caregivers, I want to give you a hug for you sensitivity to my limitations and my pain at the time. It meant a lot to me. Thank you for everything!!
My patient

I was SO HAPPY to get the thank you note. It made me realize the impact I have on my patients. When you work in an out patient or rehab setting, you can see that impact more clearly. You see the same patients every day, you develop relationships with them, you track their progress. When you work in the hospital, you rarely see a patient more than once, and if you do, you usually send them off to rehab, or to home with more therapy there, you don't get to spend enough time with the patients to really see the impact you have on their lives. And I love that feeling, it's one of the reasons I love being a PT. So I got to have my good "helping someone" feeling, and it was a good feeling and me being the cheeseball that I am, I cried over it.

The power of a simple thank you can be pretty amazing sometimes. :)


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