Saturday afternoon, Feb. 27, 2010
I do think that some cosmic force in the universe is trying to tell me to let go of my American obsession with time. First the bag with the alarm clock was lost. Then the bag was returned with the alarm clock (and 2 bars of soap, go figure) missing. This morning I set my watch alarm for 6:30. I awoke at 6:15, looked at my watch and rolled back over for a 15 minute snooze. When I next awoke, my watch read 12:00 AM! My theory is that the alarm went off and I did not hear it. This must have short circuited the watch. So, I am trying to ease up on worrying about time, especially units (that last a private joke for the Parkland folks).
I started late today around 8:30 but stayed until 2:00 seeing 14 patients. I was definitely flying without a net! The Haitian PT staff does not work today and I had no translator. The patients were amazingly patient and cooperative with my very limited Texas version of Haitian Kreyol.
After my halting greeting in Kreyol, one sweet young woman this morning asked me if I spoke English. She then told me that she was learning it in school and wanted to practice. We completed the entire treatment in English and she taught me how to say ‘wait on me’ in Kreyol and to understand when the patients are saying that back to me!
To the delight of his family, I sat up a head injury patient today who is beginning to wake up and come around much to everyone’s amazement. He is still confused and quite a handful, but does not seem to have any paralysis and may end up doing quite well. This is especially amazing given that there are no CT or MRI scanners here and no access to Neurosurgery. Head injury patients are only given supportive care and if there is continued bleeding inside their head, they expire in a few days. This patient will, hopefully, be one of the exceptions who lives to be rehabilitated.
It was cool this morning for Haiti (tepid for Dallas), then muggy this afternoon and now pouring rain. After work I took a long muddy walk down the ‘corridor’ looking for drinks and snacks. I was a one person parade especially to the children who called out BLAN as I walked by. One of the experiences that Haiti brings is the knowledge that you are always on display. You can never “blend in.” Coupled with that is the constant sensory stimulation--sights, sounds, heat, humidity, odors, vehicles speeding by honking their horn, people constantly flowing past. It is impossible to fully describe or capture other than to BE here.
Just got word that Beth Ellsworth has been picked up at the airport and is on her way. Can’t wait for her to get here and have Rum waiting (found that on the walk today)!
Will get this sent off to be posted; access goes down in 15 minutes.
A deman, Judy