Saturday, November 18, 2006

Disempowerment 101

"I really need you to take more responsibility," I said.

"OK, I understand," he replied.

"You know," I continued, "when you come in for your bloodwork, it's because I need to check your blood's clotting time. If your INR is too high or too low, then we have to adjust your Coumadin dose, otherwise you could end up with a clot or a bleed."

"OK." He smiles.

It's like talking to a ten-year-old.

"When you come in for bloodwork, I need you to take an interest and call me for the results. I can't be chasing you down every week. This is the deal: when you have your INR drawn, I want you to call me aggressively the next day until we talk. I want you to think for yourself how important it is to know how much coumadin to take."

"OK. I'll call you tomorrow, for sure." We shake hands.

The next day is Friday. I wait until 3pm for his call. No dice. I wait til 4. Still no call. I leave a message on his voicemail with his dose for the weekend, chiding him for not calling me. Am I undermining my teaching by calling him and letting him know the dose even though he didn't call me? Yeah, probably, but I also can't let him run the risk of throwing a clot this weekend either. Hmm.

So, I called my little ten-year-old in a forty-year-old body. Again. Better luck next time.

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