Sharing Gratitude

From Agatha Pedro, OT/DOR, Timberwood Nursing & Rehabilitation, Livingston, TX
I have been listening to all of the therapy calls, and I just feel so lucky to be part of this organization because we have leaders like you! You inspire us to be better and to brave the unknown. In the past few weeks, there were days when I wondered if what I’m doing was worth it or if I’m making a difference. Yesterday, at the end of my day, I was reading my OT’s email about a new patient. She said that the patient has vascular dementia and he is slow to respond. He can answer simple commands, but you have to give him time to respond. He lives with his wife. I thought about his wife. She is probably worried not knowing how he is doing or if he is being taken care of. Because of his cognitive deficit, it is harder for her to talk to him over the phone, so that evening, I called her and updated her on how he did that day in therapy. She was so grateful and happy to hear about her husband, and toward the end of our conversation she said, “It is hard for him to express himself; he probably thinks that I abandoned him.” Then she started to cry. Of course that made me cry too, and both of us were quiet for a few seconds.

Sometimes, you think about whether it is all worth it. When patients and their families rely on you to take care of them, you have to give your best. I would want that for my parents. I’m blessed that I have my brother to take care of them while I’m thousands of miles away, that they are safe and healthy. I went home last night with a heavy heart but with joy knowing that we can make a difference.

By JB Chua, PT/DOR, Summerfield Healthcare, Santa Rosa, CA
I would like to encourage everyone to start your week with gratitude. A great leader once told me, “It’s not happiness that brings us gratitude. It’s gratitude that brings us happiness.” Today I am grateful for so many things:
● For my activities director, who asked me to play guitar for our residents last Friday. This helped me feel that I can offer additional support during these times when showing appreciation to your coworkers and patients are limited because of social distancing.
● For my ops manager, who made me realize that I am not alone with my struggles and there is someone out there who is willing to be the first follower and follow the lone nut.
● For my coworkers, who show up every single day, not because they need to but because they want to. One of my therapists was sent home a couple of weeks ago because she had an elevated temperature (99 degrees) and she was upset and crying. And the questions that she asked me as I told her that she needed to go home were: How about my patients? Who’s going to see them? Are you guys (therapy team) going to be alright without me? Those questions still give me goosebumps knowing that she is more concerned about our status than her health.
● For the therapy and clinical resources, the unsung heroes who keep on working day and night to help each and every facility to stay updated with regulations that keep us properly equipped in our daily battles, gathering information that can help us with our day-to-day operation that was affected by some new protocol because of COVID-19, and continue to cheer us on and support us on the sideline to give us the extra push that we definitely need. Mary, thank you for the great coherence exercise last Friday. It is embarrassing but I have to admit, it brought tears to my eyes as I reflected on the message that you gave during that session.
● Most of all, I thank you, DORs out there for keeping me inspired with all the things you do in your facility and community. Each day, I get in my car to go to work and I envision each one of you doing the same, ready to seize the day.