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Thread: conflict with my PT

  1. #1

    conflict with my PT

    This is just a small issue, but as a handicapped person I sometimes struggle with boundaries towards caregivers or - in this case - PT. I have her for about 2 months now and she is good and nice. But she comes way early most of the time. During the day I am alone and have lots to do, and she must be used to old ladies with assistance who have little to do. When I told her today that this is stressing me (I had to interrupt a phonecall when the doorbell rang today, and in general 1/2 hour before our appointments I stop being relaxed with whatever I'm doing). She got defensive right away, none of her other clients, who are normal people, would complain about that, no way she would call before she comes early, which I suggested, but will not come before the time any more, period. It felt weird. I must say that she wouldn't mind waiting till I open the door, but I still would be stressed, I guess, knowing she waits outside. Am I too sensitive? Why didn't she handle the conflict a little bit more flexible and understanding? She made me feel like I'm not "normal" and tolerant like her other clients.

  2. #2
    Is there anyway you could get to an outpatient clinic?

  3. #3
    She needs to realize she is there at your convientce not hers. You are the consumer who makes her job a reality. Showing up early without calling is unprofessional and rude.

  4. #4
    Thanks for your encouraging words! I would like to keep her, because her way of physical therapy was supportive so far, like we exercised emptying my leg bag or opening my door to my appartment, and leads to more independence for me. It's also handy to do it here in my natural environment where challenges like making my bed or cooking are easy to approach. But I need a way to show her that she needs to meet me on "eye-level". She had told me sometime that she is seeing a psychologist, so maybe I need to give therapy to her. Any psychologists here with an idea?

  5. #5
    Is this a physical therapist or occupational therapist? The things she is doing with you sound much more like OT.

    It sounds like this person has some serious boundary issues, and is crossing the line professionally with what she should be talking with you about. It would be considered inappropriate for a professional to talk with a client about their own psychotherapy where I work, or to expect that she spend social time visiting with a client, even if just before or after treatment.

    Is she from an agency or her own private practice?? If from an agency, and you have spoken to her about your wishes in this area and she still persists, then I would contact the agency and ask them to counsel her. You may need to ask to have her replaced with another therapist.


  6. #6
    I totally agree with SCI nurse. The fact that you are uncomfortable with the PT/OT person who got defensive when you tried to discuss your needs says a lot! Perhaps you will consider a replacement and instruct that person what you want to work on.

  7. #7
    She is a PT; usually here in Germany you only get PT over the years (2 hours/week), so they sometimes take over parts of OT, and emptying the leg bag or making my bed is also good training of some muscles and movements.
    I first thought her behavior wasn't a big deal, but when she didn't apologize for her defensivness yesterday, I tried to be friendly but clear, and observed some passive aggressive remarks on her side. Also she talked about her training in cranio-sacral therapy, and I wondered that she made it such a point that she already resolved her own traumata during that training, and that at doing that therapy with clients (not with me though, I just get PT) she needs to be centered to not get depleted by the patient. It appeares to me that she sees herself as the super-healed and -contious therapist who needs to carefully protect her energy, but doesn't realize that by coming at any time she likes she actually takes my energy away. She is coming on time now (to the minute), but for next week (we have one holiday on May 1st) she can only come Wednesday, but in case somebody cancels she would also come Monday. Sounds nice at first, but - somehow - expects my general availabilty all Monday. I don't think I will be available on Monday... and will ask if in her center they have another PT for SCI.

  8. #8
    This is getting really weird. Anybody with similar experiences?
    Carefully asking her if somebody else in her center did neurological PT (my prescription is only halfway used and I pay for each prescription), she said, her colleages don't do that because the "psychological implications" of neurological patients: moodswings, most of them are on antidepressants (me not: I very much dislike them), and the very hard faith they go through is hard to deal with. I was so puzzled, all I got out was, that many AB's take antidepressants as well. 3 hours later I found the right answer, but too late: that the very faith of my former PT's is hard to deal with: one survived a stroke, one was on marihuana and escaped personal bancrott by hiding in another country, one's husband hang himself on a tree, and the last one's wife had a two-years-lasting postnatal depression and expected her second child when he wanted to betray my health insurance through faked appointments...
    It sounds very much like discrimination what she said about neurological patients, no other PT in her center seems to be available, but my prescription is not used up. Don't know what to do, and how to find the RIGHT PT for me. That sounded like an existing prejudice about all us. I personally find my wheelchair-friends almost more psychologically stable than the AB-ones, but there is no point in this difference; we all have our "disabilities", one way or the other.
    I would really be interested if those stereotypes exist in the US to?

  9. #9
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Wisconsin USA
    This entire "energy" subject can confuse many Americans. I had one PT who received some extra training in cranial-sacral work and suddenly it was like she was a faith healer. We also divide most patients differently after initial inpatient rehab. I think most SCIs fall under muscular-skeletal work while those who also have a brain injury, those with dementias and Parkinsins come under the area of neurological impairments. Can you ask the department that schedules your physical therapy if there is someone who has worked in Bayrueth or Murnau (?) or another spinal cord injury center who might be available?
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  10. #10
    Senior Member elarson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    The Netherlands
    We live in Holland, and is somewhat culturally similar to Germany in my experience. My husband has had care people and therapists who also think it is okay to come early. I make it very clear to them that we do not want them earlier than planned, because it is disruptive to our schedules. We expect them when the appointment time is, and if they are going to be more than about 15 minutes late, we expect a phone call (for some we say 30 minutes).

    We have also had the uber healer types, or people who try to get involved in things we have not asked them to. It is energy draining to have to explain, defend and sometimes argue about things they are not aware of or we have no interest in. I explain to them that we want them to only do the services that we have asked them to provide. If they would like to offer additional services they can send an e-mail and we will consider it and let them know if we are interested.

    You should be the one steering your therapy. Your time and energy is also valuable. Don't let people suck it out of you. I don't know why, but for some reason many in the medical/care field here think clients should revolve around their schedule and and don't seem to respect the clients (or caregivers) time and energy. I have a business, and would never get away with what many of them do, and I let them know that. I think so much of it is just ingrained and that they don't think about it unless you tell them.
    Partner of an incredible stroke survivor. Limitations: hemiparesis and neglect (functional paralysis and complete lack of awareness on one side). Equipment: TiLite ZRA 2 and 2GX, Spinergy ZX-1, RioMobility Firefly. Knowledge: relative newbie for high-level equipment (2012), but willing to try to help others who are new with similar limitations (definitely not a guru, but inquisitive).

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