This morning the newly formed Joining Hands Therapy group completed the design of their therapist badges and piled in to van to Krishna Prasad Hospital.
Himal and I made sure that the kids took the lead in introducing themselves to their patients and deciding what treatment protocols to use. Last night we practiced for a couple hours and did some role-playing so they have it down pretty well.
Our first patient, Sajina, was a 20 year old girl who came to the hospital yesterday with typhoid. She still had a fever and the kids chose exactly the right protocols: Routes of Elimination followed by Detoxification. They got themselves all set up and I stayed nearby to help them with minor corrections. Then I prodded our patient to ask questions, like “What the heck are you guys doing?” “How does this work?” And the kids did a great job answering her.
At first our Joining Hands Therapists were a little shy, but as the morning went on and they moved on to their second patient, and older lady with COPD and a small baby sharing her bed, they gained confidence and loosened up. I have really encouraged them to remember that their youthful presence and big smiles will be very healing for people, and not to sweat too much about the therapy, which does its own work.
Well that sure played out today! When we arrived, Sajina looked about how you’d look if you were laid up with typhoid in a pretty run-down hospital. She let us work but didn’t say much. By the time we left, she and all her therapists were laughing and joking. It was great that she said her fever felt “lighter,” but it was really wonderful that she said, “You guys are really fun. I like you!!”
I’ll be honest – this isn’t the cheeriest, richest hospital you’ve seen. By the end, even members of the hospital staff had come by to see what all the fun was and just sat down to hang out.
When we left I gave all the kids hugs and high-fives before I got on the bus back to Kathmandu to catch a flight home to Pokhara. The deal we’ve set up is that only the working therapists get badges. It’s up to them to teach the littler kids at the home. When they feel that the little ones have properly learned how to “do IMT,” they’ll award them badges as well.
The plan is for Joining Hands Therapy to do two hours of community service each Saturday at Krishna Prasad Hospital. Nice work, guys!