jdonohie@gmail.com (510) 506-2400

John Donohie CMT

Wednesday afternoons with Mr. Slate

April 12th, 2016

When I enter at 2:00 in the afternoon, the room is pitch black. The lights are out and the blinds and curtains are closed. After announcing my arrival and turning on a light and checking that he’s ready for a massage, the table is set up and we prepare for the transfer. The pictures on the bedroom door are crooked, they’re always crooked. If I straighten them before he tells me to, I’m greeted with a big, wide, sincere smile, as though someone has acknowledged something that’s important in his world. If I don’t get to them in time, he always tells me to do it Then there’s no smile.
Mr. Slate fired the Physical Therapist. He didn’t like being told to do things he doesn’t wan to do. He’ll not only never walk again, but his joints are more stiff now. He’s also gaining weight. I can’t tell if it’s all fluid retention or if maybe he’s eating more. The transfer from the bed to the massage table is more of a challenge. I’m not so concerned about dropping him, I don’t think that’ll happen, but I am concerned about his comfort. He gets jostled in the transfer and winces in pain. This part of the job is technically outside my scope of practice and I feel it’s important to make that know to the head caregiver of the house to be clear about liability.
I recently read an article about geriatric massage, that it shouldn’t go over about 30 minutes. Otherwise, it can release too many toxins. With inactivity and intake of meds, toxins naturally build up. I work on him for 2 hours each Wednesday, another guy works on him for 2 hours each Sunday. He doesn’t complain about feeling sick or spacey afterward, so I assume his body is used that that much work.

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