Friday, February 10, 2006

more travel talk than physical therapy

Late this morning, the physical therapist, a young attractive woman of Indian heritage from England, came in to inquire about my mobility and strength. I explained to her that a couple of days ago my thighs felt a bit weak, but since then they had felt fine. That was quite normal she responded. She, then, asked me if I walked around the BMT unit a lot. Not really I said. During the past few days, I hadn't taken my normal BMT tour and the only times I had left my room was to heat-up a meal in the microwave by the nurses' station. My only movement has been in my room: to and from the bathroom and from the bed to the loveseat.

The conversation, then, changed from physical therapy to world traveling or as Rolf Potts and others like to call it:"vagabonding." Before moving to the US about 1 year ago, she told herself that she'd be lucky to get anything more than 2 weeks vacation whiled employed in America and therefore, perhaps the only opportunity she would ever have for extended travel was at hand. So, she (and I think a companion although it wasn't clear) traveled for 8 months throughout Asia and the Pacific. She visited Japan, Hong Kong, Southeast Asia (Cambodia is the only country I remember), New Zealand and Australia before returing to England. Of the countries she visited, Cambodia and New Zealand were her favorites. When she listed all the countries she had visited, I was all hears of course. I asked her to sit down in one of the chairs opposite the loveseat and a lengthy conversation followed. Knowing my own love for the road, I found her stories to be so entralling and it's no surprise that I found myself at one moment living vicariously through her exciting experience. I shared some of my own travel experiences with her, but I was more interested in listening to her stories of countries, whose lands I had never visited before.

After maybe 20 minutes of conversation, she expressed her desire to see me walk around the unit. Busy talking, I almost forgot to put on my mask and gloves before exiting my room. (Due to our weakened immune systems, BMT patients are required to wear gloves and a mask whenever leaving our rooms). Thankfully, I remembered. I walked slowly through the narrow corridors of the unit pushing my squeaky IV pole with her at my side. We made one lap around the unit and that was it. I think it was clear to her that my mobility was fine.

Like I said, there was more travel talk than physical therapy.


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