Day 38 – It’s all in the Game Plan

I have been so tired today. First, I woke at 6:10 thinking Oh, God. Why am I awake so early? But then was surprised to next find myself waking up to my alarm at 7am. Then, I blinked, and it was 8am. It’s one thing to be getting ready in a rush, but it’s a whole other ball game when you’re sweaty as hell, trying to struggle into non-stretch clothes with a mouth so dry you can barely lather up the toothpaste because you haven’t had your morning coffee. Also, since we’re 5 hours ahead of everyone, I usually answer messages that were sent in the evening in England in the morning, but that didn’t happen. It’s no big deal being late here, as I’ve said before to be late is to be on time so, although I came rushing in at 8:15 full of apologies, there were only 2 other physios in the office anyway.

I then felt so awful when I arrived on ward 3 at 8:30 to find my first smiley patient fast asleep with his wife sleeping on the stool next to him. For some reason – although I am certain of his name – he never answers to it and it makes me stall slightly and speak dead quietly and therefore to no avail. I am, however, very certain of his wife’s name and therefore said this with much more confidence which turned out to be a bit too much as she almost jumped out of the chair when I spoke. My poor patient was woken up and then being passively moved within about a minute, talk about early morning gym sesh.

I did not see two of my 8 patients today, so it was a fairly relaxed day again. ‘Dragging’ myself just about sums up my morning as I felt like I’d left my brain behind in the hostel and someone had attached a 100kg weight to it; so, when it finally caught up around 12pm I was about ready to go back and sleep. Which I did try to do, but my mind would not switch off so an hour later I got back up and made a coffee. This also, apparently, did not help much for when I turned up in the office at 2:30pm knowing full well that no one else would be there for 2pm, Salma and Shoaib very kindly asked what was wrong with my face. I’m sure that whatever was wrong with my face, suddenly got much worse after this comment.

I found Al, Abu, Man and a new guy who I had not met before wandering around the basketball court with their wheelchairs so I discreetly brandished a pack of cards and with some persuasion and Salma translation, I managed to capture their interest. Fortunately, I’d already taught Salma to play Banana a couple of weeks ago so that set the ball rolling. We then moved onto Bubble and another game that they played, and I tried to participate in since Salma took that moment to disappear leaving me without any form of translation, trying to pick up a game I had never learned before. Nevertheless, I call that a success. And when they got bored, I wandered down to the women’s ward to see my favourite patients, May and Tee, who I had been missing very much. I told May that we’d been playing cards outside and her face completely lit up which obviously made me very happy so I introduced her to Go Fish. What I also realised as we were playing along, was that I was picking up Bangla a lot quicker when the words were put to a context that I knew well and that the conversation was repetitive so I would remember it more easily. Cards save us all.

Photos: 1) May and I playing Go Fish 2) Sleepy cat takes a nap on the ward

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