Saturday, June 8, 2013


My last post was a feeble attempt to describe a “day at the Rehab Institute.” The objective of this post is to give y’all a look around the Rehab Institute grounds. As such, it will be mostly comprised of photos. The Rehab Institute became my workspace, my safe haven, my musical playground, my landmark, my lunchroom, my battleground, and my victor’s podium. The last six weeks of my posting was spent at the Rehab Institute and it seemed that if I wasn’t asleep at home or out with friends, then I was here. Come to think of it, I was often meeting with friends at rehab. The rest of this post will be photos with captions. Enjoy the tour!

Main entrance to The Institute
This is taken from the corner of the Institute grounds, right by the turnstile I passed through every morning and evening. For orientation purposes, the Rehab Canteen is located in a separate little building to the far left in this photo. The main entrance (pictured above) is at the right of this photo.

The Rehab Institute facility has a large courtyard in the middle. You are looking at that courtyard in this photo. You can also see the long sloping ramp up to the first floor. Patient rooms flank this courtyard. 
This is the Rehab Chapel as seen from the first floor (second floor for those of us in the US of A). Every Monday/Friday morning began by quietly slipping off my shoes and ducking into this little chapel for a time of worship. Favorite part of the week. 
The left side of this image shows where the patient rooms are in relation to the courtyard. 

Patient rooms and treatment rooms are to the left in this photo. This is a shot of the first floor hall way (looking towards the First Floor OT gym which is at the end of the hall.) There is an OT and PT gym on each floor. 
Enough said. 
Angeline (OT student) working with a patient. Ang is one of the spirited young OT ladies from Fitch Hostel that taught Charlie and I to tie our sarees. 
This charming lad was one of the SCI patients I had the pleasure of working with. He spoke Hindi and knew less Tamil than I did. Our main communication was centered around the fact that "Emileeeee" is how you say "tamarind tree" in Hindi. I always looked forward to seeing his smiling face. 
This is Samson. He was one of the OTs on the First Floor that I worked with. He has a brilliant mind for creating unique splints and adaptive equipment. Also, he is very tall. It is likely that I had to stand on a chair to get this shot. Really tall. 
This is the First Floor OT gym in full swing. 
This is Ronald. He was a senior intern at the rehab institute. He described his position to me as "someone who has received their training from another institute and has come to CMC for further experience." Upon hearing that, I told him that was exactly what I was doing and therefore we were scholastic twins. We had a special little bond because of that. He is also mischievous. You can see it in his eyes.  
This is Guru. He was one of the attendants that worked at rehab. He also offered to help me learn Tamil. He had the brilliant idea to give me a Tamil tongue twister that included that marvelous "zh" letter combination in every word. Needless to say I haven't mastered it yet, but provided entertainment to many while attempting to perfect it. 

This is Jerome (OT) at work in the Ground Floor gym. Jerome, oh Jerome! Fun loving. Always laughing (especially when around his coworker Thajus). Jerome also has incredible talent for playing the piano. He was often the one who played for the chapel worship time on Mondays and Fridays .
This is Thajus (the one in light blue) a Ground Floor OT setting up some e-stim for one of our patients.  
This is the pediatric OT/physio gym at rehab. This large recreation hall is split in two. One half being the peds gym, the other half (beyond the green curtain) as a multi-purpose space where rounds were conducted.

Pearlin (OT) working with a peds patient. 
One of our favorite peds patients. This kid was always smiling!
This is what lies beyond the green curtain. Many a hot, sweaty afternoon was spent here trying to stave off sleep during rounds as lunch digested and the heat sunk into our bones. 
Anbu. There is too much to say about Anbu, I almost need to devote a whole post to him, but that would only boost his already inflated ego. Anbu was Patient Zero's attendant, so I spent a lot of time with this clown. When Charlie and I first stated working with Patient Zero, Anbu was RIGHT by his side to help him. We were constantly telling him to step back, put his hands in his pockets and let Patient Zero do it on his own. We built up as much fun rapport with this guy as we did with our patient. 
This is the First Floor PT gym. As you can tell, PT doesn't have as much fun as OT does... Hahaha!
The line-up for Ground Floor PT. All the gyms have a board like this that organizes who gets what therapy from which therapist at what time. This board attempts to make sense of the schedule chaos I wrote about in the last post. 
This is the Rehab Library. Charlie and I would often convene here to steal internet after work. Many a blog post was written and posted from this room. 
I mentioned that rehab was also my lunchroom. Although I ate more breakfasts and dinners here than lunches, this little ticket was what had me coming back, regardless of the mealtime. See, the way it works is, you approach the cash counter with you money (5 rupees for a cup of tea/coffee) and the man (or woman) would hand you a little ticket like this to take to the Tea Master. The ticket to my Indian life-blood!
This is the Tea Master at work at his little tea counter.  

He rarely smiled. I was told that he was being teased about having his photo (the one I was taking) put into the America's Most Wanted Bachelor magazine. Hey, at least it got him to smile... or smirk.
This is a shot of the rehab canteen during the 10 o'clock tea break. Second favorite time of day. 
Manoj (physio) and Jerome (OT) enjoying tea break and an animated discussion. 
Sunil (physio)
This man (the one in the stripes to the left)in the one behind the magic that is the rehab canteen breakfast food. Cooking up a dosa, it would seem. 
Mansi (physio)
Elango (social worker) and Sam Sir (head of OT service as rehab)

I trust you have enjoyed the tour as much as I enjoyed working there. Yes, the days were hot and sweaty despite the fans and swamp coolers. Yes, the language barrier was always smacking me in the face every time I turned around. And yes, I often felt like a fish out of water due to the differences in resources and cultural nuances. But I grew to dearly love this place and the people I met there. If I was to be honest, I'd have to say that I think it was because of the challenges I faced here that I became so very fond of this place. 

1 comment:

  1. Emily, thanks for sharing! I know you had a great time here and I can see why!!!! I'm sure that tea was pretty good too - did you have some? Reminds me of what I grew up with!!!! Hopefully you'll make it back sometime! Katanu