Aging: What’s On The Other Side

Aging: What’s On The Other Side

“If I knew being fat would cause all these problems, I would have taken better care of myself.” That’s what my patient said to me.

Let me fill in the details…

I sometimes work in a nursing home. I always agree to work because it is such a humbling experience. It really puts life and aging into perspective.

It’s almost like I can see the other side….of life.

I entered a patients room to do an evaluation to see what she was capable of doing – grooming activities, walking, standing, and stairs, and then devise a rehab plan for her depending on her limitations.

Simple enough, right?

The first thing she said to me was, “I have to use the bathroom.”

She then tried to get up out of the bed, and realized that she could not move her leg across the bed, or even come to a sitting position;  let alone sit unsupported at the edge of her bed because of how weak she became.

She was very obese and underwent major surgery in her left leg, where she had a rod and a few screws put it.

Due to her weight she already had trouble walking and after such a procedure she could not even lift her leg any more and could not tolerate putting any weight through her leg either.

Now, she couldn’t even walk to go to the bathroom.

She pulled the call button to get the nurse. When the nurse came in she said, “You just have to go in your diaper because you can’t walk.” She then followed up with, “and you’re too big for us to transfer you.”

The patient started crying loudly. For the first time she realized that her overall health brought her to where she is now.

The patient said, “If I knew being fat would cause all these problems, I would have taken better care of myself.”

Realizing that she had to have a bowel movement in her diaper and the nurse saying, “we’ll wipe you up afterwards.”

The patient continued to lose herself and was wailing. Although the nurse should not have said what she said, the patient understood that her weight limited our ability to physically help her to the bathroom.

She was so beside herself and couldn’t handle what was going on. She then said to me, “I’m going to work hard now to get my legs stronger so I can stand up and walk.”

This particular situation, hit me – and I wanted to share my experience so you understand and can see the other side of aging.

What if you could see into your future for the next 5 years?

What if it didn’t look the way you want it to?

Would you change your actions now so that your future looks the way you want it to – or at least look better?

Why do we need to be in a situation where we are forced to change?

Learn to make daily progress. This is not a race. Your health requires attention daily, in order to see results.

I see the effects that knee pain has on lives everyday. I’m teaching people just like yourself how to remain strong, and independent with my latest at home knee rehab program.

Change should always occur now. Don’t wait until it’s too late.

Until Next Time,

~Dr. Siobhan

Ps. I told this patient that I wanted to share her story and she agreed. She wanted me to tell you not to wait to make a change. She is sad that it took her this long to really FEEL like she needed to make a change, prior to this she said she talked about it a lot, but didn’t realize how much she should have taken herself seriously.

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