Curiosity, Dialogue, and Knowledge
The author of Ecclesiastes tells it like it is.
The beauty of therapy for stroke and other conditions that blossom under the light of time, caring, and the hard work of rehabilitation can only be truly appreciated when paired with the awful opposite: some things don’t get better. At the core of rehab philosophy is a notion that we can change anyone, we can fix them. In truth, this is not always the case. We are allowed a chance to work with some of the most broken families, devastated individuals, and fractured minds in our society. It is no wonder that we sometimes fail.
Doctors, nurses, and therapists all carry this burden: we can’t fix it all.
Well, so what? If it can’t be made straight, then let it be crooked.
There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile,
He found a crooked sixpence upon a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse.
And they all lived together in a little crooked house
Inevitably, all the discussions and research into the menageries of dysfunction leads me to a solemn state of mind. Even if you aren’t given to great bouts of introspection and self-criticism, it’s easy to look at the sadness that surrounds you in this work and be touched by it.
While the catchy little poem above does not have the fire of Dylan Thomas’s poem “Do not go gentle into that good night”, perhaps there is a take away for those of us in the medical field. The crooked man found a way to walk forward, and keep living.
Whether we can make the crooked straight or not, we should always try to share this with our patients – a way to walk forward.