Monday, December 29, 2014

"Instant gratification and how it may hurt you" OR "It works great (and that's the problem)"

You want to eliminate drop foot? 

You want the elbow to straighten?
Tap the triceps, done! 


You want the hand to stay open? 
Put a splint on, done!

You want to improve balance? 
Give 'em a walker, done!

You want to have them talk better? 
Give them a language aid, done!

You want them to swallow better? 
Feed them thickened liquids, done!

In every case, and many more, short-term "instant gratification" often gets in the way of a more complete recovery. 

Why and how?

The irony of stroke is that deficits to lifting the foot, swallowing, balance, etc. are exactly what needs to be embraced to promote recovery. So instead of throwing an external aid at the problem, sometimes its best to challenge the challenge.
  • If you want to speak French better, do you get an app?
  • If you want to learn how to work on your car do you hire a better mechanic?
  • If you want to be better at driving directions do you get a GPS?
In stroke, sometimes it is better to use the aid, no doubt. But choose your acquiescence wisely.

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