Thursday, November 16th 2017
Sometimes our reconnaissance about a potential patient gets overridden by the parent.
We get notes from the Child Life Specialist on every floor with a run-down of the patients that day; name, age, gender, anything significant going on with them medically, language and what their personal likes & dislikes may be. Then on each door is information about what level of precautions are called for with regard to infection control etc. We also do our best to ascertain what’s going on at the moment; whether patient or family are *asleep* for example, totally at peace or in the middle of a consultation or procedure, etc. All this information we have before even knocking on a door. Some patients will be having a so called “bad day” for various reasons and we are asked to “please skip.”
While in the process of skipping one of those rooms with my partner yesterday, the Mom opened the door and asked us to come in. Her 17 year old son was in bed pretty profoundly knocked out from treatment. We truly would not have chosen to impose ourselves upon his circumstance but the mother insisted he has a very keen sense of humour. We agreed it would be a brief visit, and my partner apparently knew what to do.
Mom told her son, “Honey, someone’s here to visit you. I’m going to open this eye for you so you can see!” My partner went around to that side of the bed and leaned over him to say hi when the eye opened and told him a succinct, apt joke.
“Awesome!” said the patient, closing his eye again. We all giggled and the mother spent a few more minutes sharing just exactly what a brazen sense of humour her son has, sharing a couple of his favorite jokes and pointing out how essential it is to be able to laugh.
It is not always the patient who benefits most from our unique brand of “Health Care.”