63 year old Mr. C. is chronically ill with cirrhosis and is awaiting a liver transplant.
He's fallen a couple of times recently when he lost his balance.
Most recently he sustained a laceration over the left eye that needed sutures.
He's been very hesitant to accept a cane or a walker to increase his base of support.
"Why?" I ask.
"I don't want to look old," he says.
I pause and then smile.
Luckily I had some statistics handy.
"About 17,000 people in our country are currently waiting for a liver transplant. Don't you think a broken hip or severe head injury from a fall would make you a little less likely to be one of the 6000 who actually gets one each year?"
He grinned again.
"Is everything OK?"
"Yep, I'm just trying to figure out how many canes and walkers I need," he answered.
"Let's just start with one of each."