Posts Tagged ‘physical therapy’
Posted on February 19th, 2010 by admin. Filed under Haiti.
Unlike many in the States- if you give your average Hatian an opportunity to learn they take it, cherish it, and make the absolute most of it. I worked as a PT technician w/ a U of Miami team one rare day when were well staffed w/ PTs at the tent hospital. With our extra hands we decided to do follow up with some of the patients we had discharged to smaller clinics.. unfortunately the reality in these small clinics was that there were not docs, nurses, PTs or even cots for that matter….
A Hatian woman told me that most Hatians believe if you are sick or injured you should lay in bed & wait to heal- THat is counter to what PT is- and for many who suffered severe crush injuries, amputations, and broken bones, we knew we had to go out & educate that moving is in fact good for you- as long as it is done intelligently. At one clinic (pictured here) we had a woman go from a wheel chair to walking w/ a walker within 20 minutes with a PT from UM! She glowed as she walked- and seemed like she had just gotten her life back. It was empowering and gave me the chills to witness such a wonderful thing. It brought tears to my eyes- but like many times that week i bit them back. I worked with a school teacher that was lying on the floor in a tent the past week- i made her do some exercises that the PTs prescribed to her. She really hated it at first but with some animated enthusiasm and encourgaement (via translator) I got her up & walking with just 1 crutch- broken arm & all. Here she is calling her family to let them know the news afterwards:
When in a disaster area we all have to be extremely resourceful… not jsut with our professions but with supplies. The lead PT (a genius I might add) created a contraption with a Bally’s exercise club stretch cord, so that this sweet little 10 year old could slowly get some muscle control back -and again be able to do basic things like eat with his right arm. I was constantly struck by how much good came out of such little time and resources. I work as a psychologist: the mind- mental issues- things take a long time to change- but with PT- we saw instant results. Just a little bit of education brought so much joy. Ontop of that a few outgoing onlookers started imitating what we were doing- we began to train them in some PT basics so that after we were gone, they could step in to help. Again, the glow and joy that i saw from these poeple- to have a skill that was useful and could help- most have never had access to education- it again hit the point home that we have so much opportunity in the states that we take for granted. This was one of the most incredible days of my life. I am not expressing it too well here, but i will never ever forget this day- it warmed my heart and made me want to cry tears of joy.
Posted on February 4th, 2010 by admin. Filed under Haiti.
One day while we were doing Physical Therapy (PT) in a village clinic with some of the patients the UM had discharged, a man strumed on his guitar. I just watched video I shot of the PT team in action while we were there- the sounds of the man playing his guitar in the background are haunting. Although the patients had smiles on their faces since they made so much progress (many walked when before that thought they needed a wheel chair!!) the music was a somber reminder of the reality on the ground. As i watched this video i was finally able to start to feel some of the emotions that i had to hold back on at the time- so that i could keep going and focus on what i was doing- also not good to cry in front of patients b/c you are so sad about something they cannot easily escape, rite?! Something that is always in the back of my mind in Port au Prince is the question of why they have been born into what they have and why i was born where i was. It makes no sense that people who are poor, work hard, and only want simple things have gotten shat on (4 lack of a better word)… meanwhile there is culture just north that rewards individualism, greed and self promotion. Whenever I step foot back into the US i have this shock- the individuality and selfishness is acidic when you have been away. I often want to shake people back in the US and say “Wake up- do you know how lucky you are- you do not need all you have- give it to someone else- or help someone else- quit thinking about your wardrobe or image!!” Of course, I can;’t do that, so sometimes I am simply a bit reclusive after trips- things outside seems vulgar, fake and excessive. People jabbing away on their cell phones are the worst in my book. I am trying to learn to roll with it a bit better than that- for whatever lessons i need to learn- i should focus on evolving my own judging habits, rather than telling others what they ought to do.
- Some photos from Misrata… stories to follow.
- The Boat to Misrata (Libya): Men’s quarters vs. Women’s quarters
- Why I had to visit Misrata (Libya).
- Greetings from Benghazi, Libya
- Just another day in Cairo…