After the hectic adrenaline packed weekend I was shattered!! But I woke up on arrival to Plasitos children's centre when I spied a large Minion hanging from the ceiling (a piñata of course!!) and after a bit of Physio the children had a party in preparation for Halloween that involved lots of sweets, dancing and some children getting fairly wild with a broom handle - but after lots of wacks (and yes maybe some from me - I couldn't resist getting involved!) the minion was down!! And the day continued as normal!!
After Plasitos I headed to the track to help the athletes and take some photos with Edwin that we will use to put together some portfolios for sponsorship for them. The rest of the week seemed to fly by with two very busy clinics at the bodega, days at the children's centre and evenings with the athletes.
In the clinics the first patient to arrive was an elderly man who had a bullet lodged in his spine and had had it there for 40 years!! He had been told he had no activity in his legs and has been wheelchair bound since, however he doesn't have a wheelchair and lives alone - that must be tough!! A friendly family who lived near him had bought him to the clinic in the hope that we could help him with a wheelchair. We had a look through our supplies and because of the busy last few weeks we did not have any of the right some that were self propelling - as he would need that to give him independence because he lives alone. I then had a look at his legs and realised he did have a fair amount of activity in his right leg and some in his left, I developed an exercise plan for him to help strengthen his arms and legs and we gave him a Zimmer frame to practise standing.
Next we met Antonio and his wife and family - this was a tough appointment - Antonio was 41 and had started to get a weakness in his left side 4 years ago - he went to America to try and get better medical care but he rapidly deteriorated and was diagnosed with ALS - a rare muscular disorder that is a deteriorating condition where the person becomes unable to control their muscles due to poor connectors between the neurones and they quickly become totally dependant. Whilst Antonio's wife told his story he cried and then she cried and it was very emotional. I really hoped we could help them but he was so tall - probably about 6ft 6. All Antonio currently has is a standard wheelchair, which is totally unsuitable - he is very slim, so sits at angle, his legs are too long, so his knees are under his chin and he has no head control so his wife had to hold his head throughout the appointment. I had a hunt around the bodega and came up trumps with some of the newly delivered equipment - we had one postural wheelchair with a head support that looked to be quite big, so I got the tape measure out and woop woop it was perfect!! Antonios wife and brother in law helped lift him into the chair and it looked great, however it was fairly mouldy and dirty (that's my weekend sorted!!) I also knew we had a recliner chair amongst the new stuff and Antomios wife thought this could be really helpful in the house as he has nothing he can sit in except the wheelchair or the bed- we made plans to see them next week - I was so happy we could help them out as I feel this could make a real difference to this family. Amongst these appointments, we had a walk in for a knee brace, a family who needed a wheelchair for their son with Leukaemia, and Oscar and Usciel worked through the long list of chairs to be made/ altered!!
The week ended with Halloween - that was mad; in Mexico people make such an effort with their fancy dress and trick or treating is not just knocking on people's doors - the children walk up to random people in the street, people sitting at restaurants, hotels, and shops and ask for sweets - no one gave me the memo though, so no sweets from me!! Lauren and I wandered around town in the evening and got a chance to see the alters that were up all over town for day of the day and check out all the town decorations - and we stumbled across a parade where they give out sweets, not just to kids and not just one or two - people were opening their handbags and shopping bags and expecting them to be filled to the brim with sweets!!
On the weekend I spent some admin time on my list of things to finish before I leave PV- almost got the poster finished that will accompany the postural seating leaflet, got some Physio programmes sorted for the hydrotherapy sessions and for a little boy that recently had a bilateral above knee amputation. And I spent a few hours hand washing the chair covers for Antonio - the water was filthy I do not even want to think about it!!