Day 52 – Controlled Fluster

Yesterday had required much concentration from the moment I arrived at the office.

Informed that I would be working with Liton on Wards 1 and 4, my frown continued to deepen when Liton did not make an appearance. Sandiza, who was working on women’s ward, took me to ward 1 and introduced me to the patients to find out what time their therapy was and who was bedrest. I’d learned that what is already in place should not be disturbed since I think my management of Ward 3 might have been a bit easier if I’d stuck to the pre-arranged timetable the patients already knew and not one that I made up differently every day. Therefore, organisation wasn’t something I needed to worry about, I could only hope that the patients would turn up and I would move on as and when needed.

This worked – sort of. I was immediately sent into a fluster when I found I had two patients to treat at the same time at 8:30 and they could not have differed more. One was a 4 year old paraplegic who’s main problem seemed to be balance whereas the other was a 55 year old tetraplegic with partial movement and strength in his upper and lower body and actually, his balance was pretty good. My mind constantly whizzed between the two of them lying on parallel beds, sorting and organising their next exercise after I’d just given the first one and timing how long I would spend on each so they both received 30 mins of therapy.

Slight breather with one patient next who was basically unable to do much at all. He required two men to lift him from the wheelchair onto the bed as he was tetraplegic with nil muscle movement lower limb and very, very limited movement upper limb. I’d tried to work independently but had to be rescued right at the end when I’d tried to sit him up and instead almost dropped him on the floor.

As it turned out, one of my next two patients that arrived together was not even from ward 1. It’s possible that they had been trying to tell me but he’d insisted he was ward one and in my Bangla ignorance I accepted black as white and treated them both. If only I’d known because he turned out to be one of them that just mucks about, finds therapy a joke and wouldn’t do the exercises I told him to do. That was 5 patients completed by 10am before I went and scoffed noodles and puri for breakfast. I even bought Old Bill the tea I’d promised him a couple of days ago.

After one more rehab patient at 10:30 which went quite well as he was a very pleasant gentleman whom we’d played cards with the day before, I went onto the ward to find the rest of the bed rest patients. It was 11am. I had 4 patients left and an hour until lunch. Right. Taking a deep breath, flexing my shoulders and cracking my knuckles I grabbed some dumbells and probably looked like the most disorganised person they’ve ever seen which was not helped by the fact their clock was running 10 minutes fast. It wasn’t a shambles, but it wasn’t good. Not knowing what these patients were capable of and weren’t, some received less therapy than they deserved, and some received more therapy than they were perhaps capable of. What was most baffling was a man on a traction bed who has 5/5 upper and lower limb muscle power! Why was he even there??

Today has followed pretty much the same though I was more prepared and organised knowing what was coming and what I needed to do. There is so much more I could talk about but otherwise today’s entry could last another 1000 words. After our 3hour investigation on Sam yesterday, Aaliyah had taken the day off Neuro to do further research and at 12:30 once I’d finished all my work we sat down with the Doctor and discussed our findings. It all seemed to be very successful when we left until we were grabbed moments later only to be told he’d got mixed up with another patient and therefore there is another patient on women’s ward with identical symptoms and we have no idea who she is. The point is however, we had completed our case study and the main thing was that we now had a direction for therapy to head in and a summary of her crazy past.

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