Since I wrote about healthcare proxies last week, I discovered that you can download them for free, including instructions for how to complete them. Now there is really no excuse not to have them executed! Just put “healthcare proxy” into a search engine (i.e. “Google® it”). There are usually forms at the official government sites of each state. One of the most-understandable forms are from Project Grace:
Especially you moms sending your kids off to college in the fall – once they are over 18, the university infirmary cannot release any information to you about your “child”’s health, or discuss their medical condition without an executed form. (You can scan a duly executed form and keep it on your computer so you can email it to any infirmary, clinic or hospital in an emergency. And some universities do provide them in the new student paperwork.)
And one more follow-up thought: My cousin Mary also had a bad experience with the physical therapist during that same nightmare-stay at the hospital. When she was getting therapy for her hip, she complained that the exercises the therapist was having her do made her still-mending broken ankle hurt. Unfortunately the man’s reply was, “I am only here to help your hip mend, this has nothing to do with your ankle.”
Infuriating, right? Doesn’t he realize the hipbone is connected to the anklebone? But the lesson here is for us all to be aware of this phenomenon of specialization in the healthcare field. The specialist only pays attention to the piece of the puzzle s/he is trained to fix. This is not the first story I have heard about PT helping one part of the body, at the expense of another. My husband went for PT for a torn rotator cup and came away with something wrong with his elbow.
Conclusion – speak up if it hurts, of course, but even if it doesn’t, ask questions so you can find the Physical Therapist or even the Doctor, Nurse Practitioner or herbalist who looks at the whole body, even if only charged with healing/doing therapy for one part. There are a lot of great, well trained therapists out there, ask around, research or seek recommendations so you can find one.