Today is Azim's 3rd day in Ulster Hospital, Northern Ireland. His day started with a consultant lead ward round. In the ward round, we learnt nothing new. The consultant re-confirmed that they were aiming to bring Azim back to theatre as early as tomorrow for reconstructive surgery including skin transplant. They were aiming to discharge Azim probably on Monday, and after discharge, Azim would require extensive plastics rehabilitation to bring his arms' functions as close as possible to normal.
Azim's left hand in bandage. His left hand is his only functional one at the moment. With it he is able to text message, and attend to some (but not all) personal hygiene. It is still difficult for him to for example, put clothes on by himself or flip pages of a magazine or feed himself.
Azim's right arm, in plaster of paris and elevated. He is able to move his right fingers to a limited extent but so far the arm is of limited function.
Azim is mostly pain free but occasionally complains of cramps and throbbing on his arms. He complains of eye pain too, but on inspection there are no obvious alien particles and the eyes do not appear red. He says today is the first day he could finally feel discomfort and cramps in his shoulders, back and arms. The sites where they inject intravenous antibiotics hurt too, but that is natural.
More than physical pain is, in my opinion, Azim's mental worry - bordering on distress. It is very obvious he misses his wife and three small children back in Malaysia and I always either try to avoid the subject of his family or tread the subject with extreme care. Apart from missing his family, he has many other problems to worry about too...
We try to reassure him to worry only about his present state, and to push everything else to the back of his mind, and worry about them when the time comes.
Seeing him, for someone who is severely burdened by problems, he always seems calm and collected. His expressions would only occasionally break to reveal the sea of worry underneath but mostly, would not even show a slight crease or grimace.
Another non-physical problem, and also a common one among patients is boredom. Who could blame him? 24 hours a day he lies in bed doing next to nothing, unable to watch TV (his glasses were lost in the smashed up car) and unable to read his magazines (difficult to flip the pages). I tried to entertain him with some DVDs I carried and they did seem to help, if only a little.
One thing that touched my heart to see was how much support Azim has received from his friends. Every day, droves and droves of Azim's friends come to visit and he receives torrents of calls from many others, from all around the world (apparently). People has brought him gifts, cards, books, magazines, clothes and plenty of food especially from Jas. Jas has brought food specially prepared from home (some cooked even by himself) daily, and even takes the trouble to feed Azim himself.
All of Azim's friends uttered prayers on Azim's behalf for him to get better quickly, and get over these troubling times.
Today, my jaw almost dropped to the floor when a social worker approached Azim to ask about whether Azim needs more help after being discharged from hospital. Basically, the social worker has offered for special carers to visit Azim at regular intervals daily and assist him with hygiene and any special needs. That is the amazing thing about this country; they think of everything. Care is excellent in hospital and they even provide care after discharge.
It is as if the government is saying; "don't worry, we know you have family and lots of friends but WE will look after you. You are OUR responsibility."
As usual more pictures on my Picasa Web Album.