Yesterday I watched the drama unfold as I noted I am not the only one with that flux-capacitor (see my post of 11/5). Often, one or more of my patients’ family members are present during occupational therapy. With his wife and son in the room, I told my patient I’d enjoyed working with him and although I had evaluated him, my colleague would be following up with him for treatment. He answered with his signature “YepOkRight.” It was hard for me to decipher whether this was a genuine response, considering he was virtually deaf. On the other hand it may have been a habit developed through many years of marriage; he and his wife shared a room in their nursing home. As I turned to leave, their middle-aged son inquired, “Who are you with, and why is it that you do the evaluation and not the treatment?” As I started to answer, dad cut him off, saying “Look, its my business and you don’t need to know!” Son barked back “I DON’T NEED THIS! I’M OUTTA HERE!” as he threw on his jacket and stormed out. I skulked out quietly in his wake, feeling the same way I did in the 7th grade when my best friend and her mom would argue during carpool. The sensation might best be described as “This-family-might-be-more-messed-up-than-mine-but-that-doesn’t-change- the-fact-that-I-wish-I-were-anywhere-but here-right-now.”
I’m not sure if watching a 50-something year-old act like a bratty teenager makes me feel better (I’m not the only one) or worse (poor outlook for the future).