Day 43 – Smile and wave boys, smile and wave

Always strange to go back to work after one odd day off and today was strange anyway as I once again found myself wandering back and forth not really knowing where I was supposed to be or what I was supposed to be doing. Due to the unpredictability of our situation, I hadn’t been put on the rota and therefore turned up everyday awaiting instructions as to who I would be helping out or what I would be doing. First, I was told I would be helping A.R. with wards 6 and 9 and then when Shoaib did not immediately arrive, I was told to treat ward 3 again. ‘Ok,’ I said, ‘Easy.’ So, I wandered off to ward 3 where I would walk in dramatically, take a bow and thank everyone when they say how pleased I am that I am back.

As it was, there were only two people there. One of them was Ash, who you are aware of our history concerning therapy attendance and Sar who knew the least English and I’d always wondered whether I actually helped him at all. He was also one of two bed rest though one had disappeared off on a Long Trolley and Sar was busy doing who knows what so I think I wandered between the office and past every single ward about 6 times. This means that 6 times I get called to from ward 11 where all the boys are and I have to make a judgement whether to actually acknowledge them or continue walking as I really don’t have anything to reply with.

Finally, at 9am I began once Shoaib had turned up and we found ourselves both treating ward 3 which caused some confusions while I shyly told him I’d do anything asked, just tell me what to do. There had been a new patient arrived replacing Abu on ward 3, this guy was also called Al and I grimaced when I saw the name before the patient, thinking I’d be treating Al, the Al from basketball and knowing it would be hilarious but hellish therapy. It was not the Al but Shoaib had treated him anyway. I was trying to push the thought of whether the patients were actually happy to have me back to the back of my mind – which was increasingly difficult as I could see such huge improvements in some of them.

Hel was now transferring much, much better in a way I didn’t grit my teeth when we went from wheelchair to bed. Rash was out of bed rest and in a wheelchair which meant his spasticity had decreased and his tolerance for sitting overcome. Sar now had much less pain in his back and was happy to do more intense therapy so I think he may also be soon in a wheelchair. Bak had a much better sit to stand technique and will soon master a zimmer frame, I think. Old Bill was still doing his thing whatever his thing was, and the other Bill was currently on a Long Trolley which made therapy difficult, but it was good to see him getting out and about. And finally, Ash, well, it’s hard to tell with him because I reckon he acts a lot differently around me so hey, small steps.

To close off the day I was asked by a patient – not one of mine, though he continues to ask if I would do his therapy and I continue to avoid extra work – why I smile all the time.

‘You are always very smiley, I like this. But why do you smile so much?’ He said curiously.

‘Because I love where I am, and you people make me smile.’ I replied (with a smile).

‘Yes, but you laugh, I see you are happy but also you laugh a lot.’

‘Why not? If you are the only person laughing in the room then sooner or later everyone will.’

‘I like your attitude, I want to be like that.’

‘Then start with a smile for every person you see and eventually you’ll both be laughing.’

He laughed himself then and thanked me, I later brought him a book as he said he liked books and he had given me a guava fruit which was very generous so I was merely returning a kindness. In contrast, I dropped in on Neuro for a moment and Aaliyah’s supervisor asked how I can be so insulting all the time but I’m sure that doesn’t mean I’m actually two faced, right…?

Photos: 1) Traction bed which turns the patient between prone and supine 2) Our local grocers

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