Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Day 15: Patients... not Patience

Recently, I've found my life to be cluttered- not enough time to do the things I need, let alone want, to do. I've had to cut tv and movies out almost completely(tv via dvds) because of the way they affect my sleep, so that's freed up time, I gave up facebook until Easter, which certainly frees up time, but despite all of that- I still had no time to just be. That's when I decided to start waking up earlier, where I have 2 sets of 45 minutes before work where I can do what I want/need to do before my day- most of the time get in touch with God and journal or something. 

Still, my life was too cluttered. I'd added some things- such as Toastmasters, exercise classes, and teaching piano lessons, but those are indespensible. I cannot do without those things- they feed me body and soul. So, I decided that working in the Cafe on Tuesday nights wasn't going well. I was always so exhausted from my day of work, which normally led RIGHT up to the time I opened the cafe. I was grumpy, not nice, and hated being there. I decided it had to go.

But wait- the Cafe is something I LOVE doing... how could it become the bain of my existence so quickly? So, I told the manager, I can't do it anymore- I'm sorry. I need more room to do other things. But something else came to mind... I have this weird time on Sundays where I have to get up in order to eat breakfast and get my lunch packed, but if I do a podcast, cabin church becomes overwhelming...... there's at LEAST an hour, depending on how late I was up on Saturday, where I am doing nothing..... and even more, there's nobody to open the Cafe on Sunday mornings.....PERFECT! So, that's how I moved that around and it works beautifully... and I get a free coffee to take with me to cabin church- couldn't get much better.

Now that my cafe time moved, I was still busy until 8pm straight from the morning, Wednesdays straight until 8:30pm, Thursdays off and on until 8:30, Fridays after 7 I had free time, but that was all.... hmph... There's something I love SO much, yet haven't done in a long time due to various reasons.... visiting the patients. 

My friends(a family) go down often because they have a 'befriend a patient' program, where you sign up to visit a patient daily/as much as possible. They've had me come with them 2 weeks in a row, and I realized it is time for me to dive back in. Then it all came together in my head... Tuesday nights free....PATIENTS!! So, last night after laying down post-dinner and letting myself relax for a while, I decided to head down to D ward (the Maxillofacial ward).  

I got down there and was met with smiles, as I'd been down a few short days before. One of the translators was asked to help translate and told me to takeover his card game. Now, the tricky part is I in no way speak the language of the man I played with, but I had to figure it out... I got it pretty quickly after lots of 'EHH!!'s :) He's a man with a Noma, which is an infection that essentially eats the face bit by bit. He is missing his whole mouth area. thankfully, his nose was not affected, but he's in for a ride. They have to take a skin graft from his chest and graft it on to his face, making lips for him. This is will take time. He will have to come to the ship for more surgeries for reconstruction over the years. Right now, he's been operated on his chest, but nothing else at this point. We had a grand old time... at the end of the night I smiled really big at him and I could see his cheek muscles raise- the best he could smile. 

I also saw a sweet 13 year old girl all by herself in the corner. She has a bi-lateral(2 sided) cleft lip, which looks like was attempted to be fixed in the past, but failed. I decided to show her my version of Mancala... it's not quite right and I made it up yesterday, but it was fun nonetheless:) Then my 8 year old friend, Elsa, wanted to make bracelets for people and she made one for my new friend. After that, we had a dance party the second someone put on Shakira's 'Waka Waka' :) Then we played games and just had fun with eachother.... amazing.... I left certainly feeling blessed.

I was reminded recently I need to be tracking my hours of volunteering for job applications, but not only am I now building that up a bit more again, but I'm back in the place on the ship I feel at home the most- on the wards. Blessed, Blessed, Blessed!!!:) 

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