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Tea and physio

cup of tea

My mother, due to her superhuman powers, was let out of hospital at the weekend. Her health, at 94, was so good, that she was given an epidural, not general anaesthetic, when they pinned her broken hip. (She described the op as ‘like a party’).

She is now at home with a rota of carers in attendance. Being my mother this meant that, on her first morning back, she got out of bed in the morning to make herself some tea and toast (which took her hours, but she’s nothing if not bloody-minded), before hobbling back to bed so that she could graciously wait for the carer to arrive to help her get out of bed.

So she’s on the mend. But this is what fascinates me. Before she was allowed home she had to show the physios that she was capable of making a cup of tea. In fairness, I suppose getting a brew on does combine several skills. But I’m reckoning that nowhere else in the world is your tea-making ability evaluated by health professionals.

I mean, do you get points knocked off for not warming the pot, or putting the milk in last (or first, whatevs, ed) and does your inability to open a biscuit tin count against you? Do they want to see your fine motor skills evidenced by one lump, or two? And what happens, if like my mother, you can’t stand milk and ask for a lemon and a sharp knife (actually I know the answer to that; the aforementioned, and rather fazed health professional then allows my highly amused mother to play ‘lets pretend to make the tea’).

What happens in other countries? Do Italians have to rustle up an espresso? Are the French asked to uncork a bottle of wine? And do the Aussies have to pull open a tinnie?

Picture courtesy of http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cup_of_tea,_Scotland via Creative Commons

About elainecanham

I started blogging because I'm a writer, and I thought I ought to. Now I realise that I blog because I lwant to; even when I can't think of much to say. I do a lot of work for local businesses - get in touch if you like my style.


22 thoughts on “Tea and physio

  1. When my brother was released from rehab, he was made to get on and off the can. That’s the northeast for you.

    Posted by naptimethoughts | February 3, 2015, 9:25 pm
    • Oh, and there was a fake kitchen, but he wasn’t made to do anything but open the fridge. We like our food pre-prepared.

      Posted by naptimethoughts | February 3, 2015, 9:26 pm
    • I suppose it has the merit of being practical. Mum isn’t allowed to get anything out of the freezer or the oven, because she’s not supposed to bend down. Try telling her that.

      Posted by elainecanham | February 3, 2015, 11:55 pm
  2. Good stuff, Elaine. Light and funny way to start my day in Erie, Pennsylvania (USA) with a blizzard going on outside. Peace, John

    Posted by John Coleman | February 2, 2015, 3:07 pm
  3. I hear, though I can’t be sure, that some areas in the the deep South here require you to demonstrate that your rib bar-b-queing(sic?) skills are intact and can still pop a beer top with one hand before being dismissed from the hospital. 😉

    Posted by lbwoodgate | January 27, 2015, 4:09 pm
  4. Definitely it’s a test of frontal lobe work (planning and sequencing) and it’s included even when OTs go to visit people at home (in that case it also gives them a excuse to look at the kitchen and see if they have proper supplies and the state of the house). And gait, walking, obstacles, getting around. Of course it would also give an indication of possible risks (leaving the gas turned on if using gas or other risks). When a skill that is so ingrained over years goes…you’re in real trouble. I’m not sure what they do in other countries, but there is a logic to the seeming nonsense of it. Although I studied in Spain I’ve mostly worked in England so I’m familiar with the cup of tea test (although I don’t drink it and don’t think I’ve prepared a cup of tea more than a couple of times in my life). I might have to start training. Oh, I’m pleased your mother is on the mend, but she’ll need to slow down a bit.

    Posted by olganm | January 27, 2015, 12:23 pm
    • Yes my neice in Canada is an OT and she said much the same. The problem is, as you say, making her slow down. She hates being reliant on people, and she does tend to whizz about.

      Posted by elainecanham | January 27, 2015, 12:50 pm
  5. Glad to hear she’s on the mend Elaine.
    xxx Huge Hugs xxx

    Posted by davidprosser | January 26, 2015, 9:19 pm
  6. Good that she is in the mend.

    Posted by Mistine | January 26, 2015, 8:51 pm
  7. Sounds like you summed up your mother to a T.

    Posted by Tittle-Tattle | January 26, 2015, 6:52 pm
  8. I agree it sounds a little odd, or possibly eccentric, but there is a certain sense to it. Apart from being able to assemble everything, remember to put the tea bag in and take it out etc, the sheer power of the drink to sooth and stabilise those who’ve had a bit of a rough experience is well recognised at Chez Countingducks, and I am pleased that some pretty competent health gurus are giving the soothing nectar the importance it merits. Needless to say, I had to put down my cuppa to write this comment, but I thought your mother’s indomitable spirit and the wisdom of the doctors was well worth celebrating. I hope she continues to make her impressive return to health and mobility 🙂

    Posted by Peter Wells aka Countingducks | January 26, 2015, 5:11 pm
    • Thanks Peter. I agree there is nothing like a cup of tea to cheer you up (especially with a jaffa cake or two), it’s just so British of the health service to use it in a test. It’s like testing you on the contents of Wisden if you feel your memory’s going.

      Posted by elainecanham | January 26, 2015, 5:28 pm
  9. I burst out laughing at the second paragraph, last sentence. What a woman.
    This is a delightful poke at the health professionals. What a concept. Bah. 😀

    Posted by Let's CUT the Crap! | January 26, 2015, 3:32 pm
    • The thing is, she could do with their help. She is in pain. She just won’t back down, and you’ve got to admire her for that. It’s probably why she’s got to 94.

      Posted by elainecanham | January 26, 2015, 3:43 pm
    • Indeed. I believe she’s been a rock her whole life. I just thought she wanted a cup of tea NOW and helped herself. I got it took quite a while to accomplish. The idea she got back into bed sounded like she was doing the carers a favor. Spunk!

      Posted by Let's CUT the Crap! | January 26, 2015, 4:36 pm
  10. That would be me stuffed. I can’t stand tea and I’ve no idea how to make a decent cup!

    Posted by Jools | January 26, 2015, 2:33 pm

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