Today I did something I rarely do, I rested. Usually, if I "rest" I have at least three pieces of technology (phone, TV, iPad) or a book to read. There is no electricity here except two hours per day during which I charge my phones, ophthalmoscope, etc. My battery for my iPhone wasn't working for some reason, I left my iPad at home (i.e. no books, games or emails), no TV. It was a strange disconnected feeling. I honestly didn't know what to do. I wasn't well enough to venture away from the house. So I sat in quiet or played with the kids, or rubbed the dogs' bellies and tried to just be present. Meditation and quiet reflection are actually hard (for me) to do. I'm always thinking ahead a few steps, and spend very little time in the "now".
I used to watch my dad fishing. Sometimes he would cast a line into the water and only touch the reel now and again out of habit. He would sit like that for hours. My dad is a seriously hard-working guy but he also knows how to be still. I have always admired that about him, but could never understand how he does it.
So, I broke new ground today. I was able to sleep/nap without thinking of the things I "had" to do because technically I couldn't do anything. I wanted to go to an orphanage today to check out the children as a lot of them have cough and fever, but my stomach bug even nixed that idea. I felt that even this experience, or lack thereof, was something I needed to learn while in Haiti.
Summing up Day 8: I always tell my patients to rest, and yet, I don't take days off for rest myself. Physician (or PA), heal thyself...