I don't think I know anyone who always makes the right decision in life. Errors in judgement are driven by many different personality characteristics. Some decisions are based on our belief system, some on instinct, some entirely on our own emotions. Each mistake in judgement should be a lesson in how to do it better, or maybe differently next time. Personally, I think we should aim at better, which I fully understand isn't always easy to do. Somehow it seems that most of us just keep making the same bad decision over and over.
Many of my clients have dementia issues to varying degrees. For some it's short term memory loss which can lead to a bad decision now and again. For others it's an emotional regression to the sneaky childhood age of willfull disobedience complete with attempts to hide things or lie about them when they get caught. For people in these stages of dementia there is little that can be done except to frustrate yourself trying to make them understand why they have to take their medication or why they must do what the doctor orders.
I had a client confide in me that she had decided she didn't need her blood pressure medication. Her pressure was fine every time she saw her doctor so she must be cured. Fortunately, her granddaughter sets up her meds and caught her not taking them. It's also very fortunate that this client isn't in the willfull disobedience stage and she realized her granddaughter was right that her good pressure numbers were a result of her medication. She shared her mistake with me after the correction occured and with the sort of embarrassment one feels when we've made a mistake. It was a rather sheepish admission that she had made an error in judgement.
What bothers me about some of my clients is that they don't have dementia and they make these errors in judgement constantly. They pick and choose which of their doctor's orders that they will comply with. Overweight clients with bad knees who are told to walk as much as possible buy used electric wheelchairs so they don't have to walk at all. I agree, it hurts, but it's going to hurt less if they build strength in their leg muscles and take off some weight. I have a client whose doctor wants him to go to rehab for his back problem so he won't have to take so many pain meds. He won't go. I have another client looking for another doctor because her's lost patience with her and told her "No one should be this fat.".
This woman weighs over 400 pounds. She complains constantly about having leg pains and having difficulty breathing when she lies on her back. Her bed is a mass of wedges designed to elevate ones head for comfort and pillows to hold her arms up. She has the biggest lift chair manufactured and she's so heavy the leg rest won't elevate her legs high enough to avoid the swelling. Instead of following her doctor's instructions to cut back on what she's eating, she's looking for a different doctor. One that won't tell her she's fat.
I don't understand any of it. What part of making changes so you feel better doesn't she understand? Why do some people continually make excuses for themselves when all it does is cause them to suffer with health problems that would improve if they'd make necessary changes? I know these changes are not easy. I'm making them.
I made a decision to spend the rest of my life without having to cope, on a daily basis, with pain or other limitations. This decision means I have to give up a lot of things I really love eating. It means I have to move more and when I think I've moved enough, I have to move more yet. Thanks to my job and the clients I care for, I saw what my future was going to be. I saw it, and I chose to change it. For someone who has made more than her share of bad judgement calls, for once I did good and I'm proud of myself.