Editor's Note

Never Enough

Never EnoughA famous idiom says, “Enough is as good as a feast.” That’s ridiculous.

Maybe it’s all right when the “enough” refers to servings of Brussels sprouts or the number of funny cat videos on YouTube. But in so many other cases, enough — as in good enough — is a cop-out. Really, wouldn’t it be better to have more than enough vacation days? Money in the bank? Chocolate?

Enough becomes an especially dangerous word as stakes get higher. Does anyone really want just enough health? What does enough happiness or enough opportunity mean? And things really get complicated when someone else gets to be in charge of deciding what is enough for us. The American Revolution was fought because Britain believed the colonists across the ocean had enough rights and representation, while those colonists heartily disagreed, saying in essence about issues such as taxation without representation, Enough is enough.

This issue of Mobility Management is the antithesis of enough. Rather than be content with the status quo — or more accurately, expecting seating & wheeled mobility clients to be content — our Power Chair Case Studies (page 20) demonstrate what can happen when rehab teams think creatively and act innovatively to reduce the amount of compromising that clients have to do every day.

Similarly, our story on tilt (page 16) focuses not just on traditional posterior tilt, but also on anterior and lateral tilt, positioning options used less often, but to great benefit for clients who really need them. Again, this is a story about going beyond the basics and thinking well outside the box to see what else can be achieved.

And this month’s Clinically Speaking column by Steve Mitchell (page 14) blows enough out of the water by exploring the feasibility of what Mitchell refers to as Open Complex Rehab.

At Cleveland VA Medical Center, Mitchell specializes in working with veterans who have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Due to the quick and unpredictable progression of ALS, he points out that these clients often don’t have the opportunity to “grow into” their seating & mobility systems. They simply don’t have the time to gradually learn how to best work with their wheelchairs in different environments. That truth, Mitchell says, means that to best serve this population, all stakeholders need to share information about what sorts of configurations — head arrays, for example — work best so those systems can be replicated as quickly and easily as possible for other clients with ALS. This isn’t just a job for the industry’s manufacturers, Mitchell contends; it’s a responsibility that needs to be shared by the entire industry if clients are to be best served.

This issue is full of examples of clinicians, ATPs, clients and other members of rehab teams saying, Good enough is not enough. That isn’t the easiest or quickest stance to take, of course. It’s amazing how easy it is to decide that something is good enough for someone else. When our plates get overloaded, the phone won’t stop ringing and the demands on our time won’t let up, it’s easy to say, That’s good enough. But I’m thankful to those who, rather than walking away at that point, stubbornly stay right where they are and say, It’s not good enough for me.

This article originally appeared in the June 2016 issue of Mobility Management.

About the Author

Laurie Watanabe is the editor of Mobility Management. She can be reached at lwatanabe@1105media.com.

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