1. Dellosso, Michael PTA

Article Content

The other day I had one of those moments when you arrive at an intersection at the exact time another driver does. And what followed was a brief, but awkward moment of indecision while we stared at each other until the other driver waved me on, and we both smiled and went on with our day. It got me thinking about the chances of that happening. Up until that point in time I'd had a day of driving and conversations and errands and PT visits and phone calls, and the other driver no doubt had had the same kind of day. Yet we both inexplicably arrive at the exact same point in time and space.


That random but seemingly orchestrated meeting with a total stranger got me thinking about intersections of life. We're each on our own roads, living our own lives, doing our own thing, and yet have these moments in life when our path intersects with someone else's. For all of us a major intersection is home health, but even that is mapped with multiple smaller intersections that take place in the office or on the road, or when we both stop at the same gas station for a quick break and fill-up. Our lives cross and we share pleasantries, and stories, and maybe some hot news. But it's not really about the information, it's about the moment, it's about the connection. It's about me investing in you and you investing in me, and the two of us relishing the small bit of commonality we share, even if for just a moment. Our lines of travel through this world intersect and we realize that, though we may have different ethnic backgrounds or come from different cultures or subscribe to different religious or political ideologies, we aren't that different. It's in those apparently mundane moments that we can realize we are fellow sojourners with a common goal: to care for those who can't care for themselves, to give them value and worth and dignity.


And that, of course, leads to more intersections. Every day, field clinicians cross paths with those who are hurting, anxious, and scared. We meet them at an intersection in life where they'd rather not be stopped. Often, we see them traveling a rough road littered with potholes and rough shoulders and blind corners. And in those moments when we're both sitting at that intersection staring at each other, we have a choice to make. Will we see them as merely another patient, another visit, a conglomeration of diagnoses, medications, and deficiencies? Will we wave them on and keep moving? Or will we see them as so much more, as a person, a fellow sojourner in life, not that much different than ourselves? Will we see our time with them as an opportunity to invest in their lives, to spend a few moments cherishing the common bond we have as travelers? Will we realize the life-changing truth that when we pour into their lives, simultaneously they pour into ours?


We should be grateful when we have colleagues who collectively see the value of what we do. We are not just treating injuries and illnesses; we are treating people. We are not just making visits; we are investing in lives. We are not just following a plan of care; we are giving hope and shining light. We are not just carrying out doctors' orders; we are changing lives. It's what we do. We meet folks at these various intersections in life and we make a difference.