A monk’s new socks

Wednesday was an incredibly busy day in clinic. We saw 23 patients between 9a-12:30p alone and then another 10 patients in the afternoon. Apparently it was a record number of patients in one day that the clinic has ever had. At one point we had all four tables filled plus a line of chairs for the knee and shoulder patients. We hit an incredible zone of treating people….and the dance around the small two clinic rooms with eight patients at a time and 5 practitioners was fluid and timeless.
Thursday brought welcome quiet and a more relaxing day with patients. We saw maybe half the numbers as the day before. One of our early patients was a 80 year old monk with severe asthma and joint pain among other things. He walked with a cane and a shuffle, and his breathing is so heavy that it is audible. Dressed in the standard monk wares of robes and slippers, he likes to pat your face as a greeting and every time Honora would ask him a question about his condition, he also liked to share in a dirty joke or two. His breathing is labored but his spirit is light. Jackie and I were busy in the neighboring room assisting treating with Bob as we hear Honora yell across and ask if Bob has an extra pair of socks in his pack. “This man needs socks!” she exclaims. Life is very hard here and add to it that most people don’t have heating. The cold and damp weather penetrates to your bones and it is apparent to us in all the knee pain that we have been treating.
There were no socks on Bob’s pack so Jackie quickly ran up to our room and produced a pair of thick wool socks to the monk by the time he shuffled out to the front door. It was a simple act for her but a great gift to him. A very touching moment for all of us.

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