Day 1: January 17
Barely time to settle in, Fabiola sent us the first patients…
Beginnings a little floating, we have not yet taken the place in hand, installed our equipment. We have 2 rooms, one for women and the other for men, each with 2 beds.
Today 9 patients, Syrian Afghan Palestinians… Heavy traumatic pathologies, on grounds of strong insufficiencies of Qi and blood. The work ahead of us is impressive, intense…
Patients have the opportunity to come back every day, so we are hopeful that we can move the work forward.
The welcome from Fabiola and the team is very warm, Maria, another young physiotherapist volunteer, has been there for 1 month, she will stay for another month.
See you tomorrow for the next part
Day 2: January 18
This morning we are ready, fresher than yesterday, and above all filled with growing motivation: what will this new day have in store for us?
We have breakfast at the dispensary with the whole team, the atmosphere is warm, and gives the impression that we have always been there with them… Having swept through the schedule of appointments with Fabiola last night, we know that our 1st patient, 19-year-old girl will put us to the test. That’s an understatement…
The experiences are all harder than each other, but, how can I put it, those that we read about young women and young men, so modest, trouble us with the deep marks left on their souls. Speech is rare, smooth faces, but the torments vibrate under the shell of modesty. We know that all are waiting… waiting for what? Which ? How? ‘Or’ What ? That’s right
which is problematic. Because according to the refusals of transfer or formalization of their administrative situation, symptoms worsen, always without a word more… without a complaint…
We will have 13 consultations today…
Our marks are taken, we benefit from a practical and comfortable space. But not a minute’s respite, because everyone must return to camp early enough. Earth Medicine prepares lunches for all the patients, the food of the camp being unsuitable, the NGO offers this moment of sharing and warmth around a meal in which we participate with joy, around 2 p.m. The activity sheets are written in stride, and we suggest that the consultations are not daily in order to allow new patients to be treated. It is also planned that we go to the camp to identify people who may need treatment.
The weather is good for the moment, tomorrow it will be cooler, but we are not enjoying the environment: to tell the truth, I don’t realize that I am in Greece… But in such a timeless place…
See you tomorrow
Day 3: January 19
Yesterday was the 3rd day…the day of fatigue in general. I did not escape it. We received some patients for their 3rd consultation, and some new arrivals.
The results are encouraging, but I think that we should avoid treating certain patients who are too tired on a daily basis. I suggest that the treatments be spaced out for some of them.
We observe the differences in pathologies between men and women: impacted by the dramatic circumstances of their departure, then their life in the camps, the men for the most part will lose weight, present major dysfunctions at the intestinal and digestive level, the women, they will gain weight, develop impressive and deforming edema in the lower body, insomnia…
In the evening we went to a restaurant opened by one with the aim of giving work to refugees and helped by volunteers: delicious meals and a warm atmosphere.
Mytilene is a city without much charm, but it is good to walk after a day of treatment….
Report of the mission
Our mission is coming to an end… Claudine and Anna will take over from the 20 February.
Writing patient files took us a lot of time but is necessary for the transmission of information on both care given and comments on the changes observed for each patient.
We carried out approximately 150 consultations, and treated approximately 25 patients who were thus able to benefit from regular care. For some, every day, for others every 2 or 3 days. Changes are beginning to be visible in terms of joint pain, but also on a psychological level, looks and smiles lead us to think that we have been able to give a little well-being. Stomachs have agreed to eat better without rebelling, aching heads have allowed more restorative sleep. However, there are still recalcitrant ailments, for which it was more difficult to see if they had been even a little disturbed by our care…These ailments that come from afar, from deep, which generate nights of insomnia and nightmares… Those are fine one day, and then we think we’ve found the right path, then the next day it all comes back… well… not quite it seems, because words sometimes convey a slight nuance in the response to our questions.
We are going to leave, but to come back, so much here it is now with these immense hopes of a better life, that we accompany in our own way, by our gestures and our hearts. We are also a part of this humanity, its suffering concerns us, impacts us.
So, with what each of us knows how to do, we can nurture the life that gives this energy so remarkable that it takes us over mountains of despair.