Two neuro rehab patients were assigned to me this week. I have had them both for neuropsych testing first, so they already knew me.
Mr. B. is a 55 year old immigrant from Croatia who is recovering from his second stroke that left him wheelchair-bound (at least for now), with an impaired spatial ability, and with a slight residual hemispatial neglect for the left side (a deficit in attention to and awareness of the left side of space - always contralateral to the lesion).
Mr. E. is an 83 year old banker recovering from a small stroke, who is now suffering from memory problems.
Today I realized that being me - my positive, happy, charming and lovely self - might have more effect on my patient's wellbeing than any neuro training I can offer.
Yes, I can work with them on their memory and spatial ability, but it doesn't replace my kindness and compassion that I have for them.