Helping amputees and phantom limb pain


Treating phantom limb pain with free mirrors and mirror therapy ...globally.

Jaffna, Sri Lanka

Jaffna, Sri Lanka

on Dec 21, 2018

If you enjoyed the read, please feel free to share it
Share on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone

This is my 3rd visit to Sri Lanka, but only my first for my ‘Me and My Mirror’ project.  I’m on a bicycle again, this time, thankfully.  I’m saving work in Colombo until I’ve maybe sharpened up my game again. So I rode 5 days up here to Jaffna on the very northern tip of the island-nation. Jaffna is Tamil heartland and the home of the Tamil Tigers (LTTE). Your Tigers are, I think disbanded; but Tigers can be secretive… they don’t generally announce when they are fucking off.

But the last firefights were not that long ago: North of Trincomalee between 2007 and 2009. Plus I was here in 2007 when the Tigers used 2 home-made airplanes (!!!) to drop a handful of large home-made barrel-bombs on the SL Air Force planes at the Colombo civil airport. They moved around in home-made submarines too.  Do not mess with a Tiger.

So anyhow here I am and it’s goin’ really well. The whole NGO community has basically abandoned Jaffna; it’s not in the news, see. And they’ve moved down to Colombo (where? – see? It’s not in the news, but for the odd Horrible Giant Incoming Wave). So when the media leaves, so, by and by, do the NGOs. It kinda makes me crazy. I mean, when was the last time you read about Afghanistan? It’s not exactly ‘peaches and cream’ there, yet, after all that fucking shock and awe.

But I digress, which is what I do…   Jaffna is a good place for me to work: there is plenty of ordnance still in the ground here and plenty of people mutilated by war.

Sri Lankans also seem to have a genetic pre-disposition to diabetes and other circulatory issues. That might be a naïve thing to say. But I’ve been around. I mean, their diet is not that bad (super-tasty, if you ask me… and lots of fruit… definitely not anywhere near as rich or fatty as N Indian cooking… right?) and the peeps in general do not tend toward obesity and sugar or sweets do not seem to me to be, like, hyper-prevalent and nor do they smoke much… as a rule and in general. Okay, the men can tend towards ‘paunchiness’, and sometimes to a comical degree… but a paunch is a different thing from what we see so very often in ‘Murica, and Canada, eh? So they just got a rum deal, vascular-wise. Cuz I’m treating a TON of vascular lower-limb amps. Go figure. I see people whose limbs are failing, in a vascular sense, absolutely everywhere. But that is someone else’s discourse. I just want to hit them on the head with a mirror if they are so truly unfortunate as to lose a limb. Bang.

Another week or so in Jaffna, then ride my bike down to these tough towns North of Trincomalee, where the weather right now is SHIT … there are, understandably Zero tourists… and where the last of the fighting was and the last of the bombs are.

Hopefully, this time I’ll have a tailwind.

For now, it’s 09h30 tomorrow at the ‘Jaffna Teaching Hospital’, with all the P Rehab Therapists and their #1 orthopedic surgeon. I’m stoked. That hospital, though, man, it’s like a Kafka story… a human jungle and the people are pretty much roasting goats against the perimeter wall. Which makes sense, cuz it’s shaded. And shade can be hard to find.

Urs always, Stevo