13 June 2011

Who Needs Words

My patients speak to me in Hausa.  I answer in French.

And every now and again we manage to make do.  But periodically we hit the jackpot and communicate.  Typically it's through the language of charades . . . but lately it's been through the tongue of laughter.

I spent some time with H. today working again on transfers and sitting balance.  One of our short-termers followed me with a camera during my session (since it's hard to do therapy, take photos of myself, and keep patients off the floor . . . all at the same time).  I had hoped it might encourage the wearing of a shirt.  I was wrong.

We finished our back-and-forth practicing between the bed and the wheelchair (she's getting rather good, for the record) and positioned ourselves for the regular series of core-stability exercises.  It was in that moment I decided that I hate . . . HATE . . . doing therapy in a zunni.  When He created the world, I am certain, God did not intend for therapists to wear wrap-around skirts!  (If He had, He never would have given us theraballs!)

With H. sitting at the edge of her bed, I faced her, perched on a short stool.  I attempted to sit in a 'straddle' like position, with the medial sides of my knees next to the lateral sides of hers . . . I tell you, NOT POSSIBLE IN A WRAP-AROUND!  I began to wiggle in the hopes of readjusting enough to abduct my hips a little more.  Nothing.

I started to shimmy, attempting to loosen the zunni around my hips, but not my waist (remember, Rule Number One: NO FREE SHOWS IN THERAPY!  That goes for the OT too!).  It was no use.  I had two choice, cancel the rest of our session, or show an excessive amount of leg.  I'll give you three chances to guess which one I chose.

Squatting over the stool, I began to shift my skirt so that the overlap would be in a more therapist-friendly location and I sat back down.

Until that point, it had not occurred to me that I had a captive audience throughout my jiggle-session . . . the 'Ah-Ha' moment being the child-like giggle coming from my patient.  I had been practically nose-to-nose with H. the entire time . . . and she found the escapade to be quite humorous.  I smiled at her as she giggled and simultaneously we both began a full-belly-laugh.

I can only imagine what she was thinking of this quirky white chick who makes her reach for blocks and do seated-push-ups . . . who keeps mixing up 'tomorrow' and 'yesterday' . . . who can't keep a kalibi tied on her head . . . and who clearly knows nothing about wearing a skirt.  But it was a beautiful moment.  We had connected over a vente-doubleshot of laughter.

Babu Hausa.  Sans Français.  We didn't need words.  Just a motor-moroned OT, a zunni, and mutually respectful senses of humor.


Shal said...

Maybe she is contemplating writing a humorous blog post about her endearing OT who 'shockingly' shows her legs above the knee! :)

Deb. said...

HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sherry Kuhrt said...

Hey Deb,
Has the container shipped yet?  If not, can you give me the address and deadline?
Thanks, Sherry K
p.s. love you