Rita was one of my favorite homecare patients: not too difficult, always kept her scheduled time and definitely was in need of my assistance. She was well over seventy years old,cognitively challenged, and was not the patient I would expect to be overly excited! She was dependently independent ( meaning her husband helped her with matters concerning her health, but she took all the credit because he told her she should). She always made it a point to me to emphasis how "laid back" she was. Our first couple of visits were kind of boring, not much enthusiasm on her behalf, nor her husbands: we spent a lot of time discussing medication routines, her health history, and reviewing company paperwork. We also devised a plan of care that included active and passive ROM to alleviate the aches and pains she felt from her secondary diagnosis.
About the third week into our visits, Rita's husband came out of nowhere with a fitness routine! As I taught Rita passive and active ROM for her secondary diagnosis, her husband taught me how to gain strength as well. He waited until after I and Rita had finished our thirty minute visits and all three of us began to practice his "homemade" routines. Her husband was a retired police officer and he told me that seeing me work with Rita made him want to get back in shape.
The life changing event was the exercise. Why? Because at the time I was going through a situational depression that stemmed from lack of satisfaction with the company I worked for. Being a team player, my sense of worth as a nurse was based on working for organizations or companies that were quality places to represent and this time, I had chose something that wasn't representative of my philosophy! Not really excited about working for a company unconcerned about my safety, I found it difficult to feed the patients with their company motto of being the best homecare business around.
Her husband was right on time with the exercise and that's the part that was life changing in a very positive manner. I had a normal routine of getting up at 6am and going for a jog so that I would have enough energy and stamina to work throughout the day. But the more I became dissatisfied with the company, the harder it was for me to get up,exercise, and stay motivated about working.Serious situations were occuring outside of patient care and it seemed like I was stuck in a contract that was going to last too long.
Thank goodness for the husband of Rita and his routine. Although we only visited two days a week, the two days got me back into my routine of working out and gave me the energy necessary to fight the laziness of the depression. I am thankful for Rita and her husband because they took care of me and I did not ask them too. I never told them how much their joint exercise approach meant to me at that point in my career, but when I say it meant the world to me to exercise and get motivated again... I mean it. Thank goodness for the unexpected patient who cares for you in return. I will never forget them.