My brother in law has Cystic Fibrosis. As the result of deteriorating lung capacity, he received a lung transplant about 2 weeks ago. The process of recovery and his body learning to use his new lungs is not easy or quick. His wife posted the following recently on her Facebook page, and I asked her if I could share it.

“I’m not really sure how to describe yesterday. Clinically, he did amazing. He sat in a chair for most of the day and was on what is called a trach mask which has no vent support, just oxygen support through the trach, for 10 hours. This is far longer than certain members of his team expected him to last.

At the same time, there were also members of his team who set unrealistic goals for him that they probably didn’t expect him to meet in addition to a lack of communication on their end with other staff as to being able to take breaks from the chair and use the trach mask at night. At the end of the day he was exhausted and defeated, feeling like he failed because he didn’t meet those expectations. As his caregiver and his voice, I also felt like I failed him on some level because he should not have been made to feel that way when most of the staff were very impressed by how he is doing and how hard he worked. I think it’s an important reminder of the benefit of positive feedback and encouragement and how negative feedback or being made to feel like one is not trying hard enough leaves a greater impact on one’s mind and overshadows the positive that others expressed.”

In The Mandt System we recognize and teach how important it is for us to build people up in our interactions with them. Regardless of the struggles of the people you serve, whether they be medical, psychological, emotional, or behavioral, remember that, just like my brother in law, people want to get better. The things we say and the messages we send along with the level of consistency we provide as we interact with individuals we serve, will often determine the level of hope or discouragement that they feel in their process of healing and recovery. Please remember to always do your best in every situation to try to build people up instead of tearing them down.

Doug ZehrVogt- Mandt System Faculty