Somehow, this week’s story time post ended up being linked to leafleting. Again. It’s almost like I don’t do anything else with my time. Maybe its because most worthwhile stories take place beyond the four walls of our comfort zone. And if I’m not working or studying in clinic, work hours are usually spent promoting our services to the general public. Hence the common factor: leafleting. Though a case of significant sunburn may have been the problem last time, today I’m going to relay how I was struck with a completely opposite issue this time around; the cold!
Before I start on the weather, I’d just like to point out that distributing leaflets in person is waaaay more intense than
shoving slipping them through letter boxes. Obviously, when handing them out to those passing by, one is bound to encounter many more eyeballs and end up interacting with people rather than suspicious felines and guard dogs. Despite the lack of stairs strenuous activity and the relatively close rest room facilities, I think I might prefer door-to-door leafleting over doing so face-to-face. This preference could be related to impatience or introversion. Knowing me, it’s probably both.
Standing in our mutually decided locations, me and the Giant – yes, he was with me again – were exposed to all sorts of people. From students alighting at the nearest bus-stop to local business employees whose faces would soon become all too familiar. From shoppers laden with bags and those casually breezing through the area to mothers walking with buggies and little old ladies pushing quaint little trolleys. We had an equally wide range of reactions to our leaflets – or perhaps to our distribution techniques – that seemed to switch between interested, potential patients and those who cheerfully but politely rejected our leaflets to pedestrians who grudgingly accepted them or else stared sideways at me as though I had insulted their existence simply by smiling at them. I had one fellow avoid my extended leaflet as though touching it would give him the plague! I wonder what that was about? Perhaps he suffered from mysophobia. I think that’s how it’s spelt? Hmm …
So we stood on either side of the road, not quite opposite each other, to inflict our leaflets on as many unsuspecting people as possible. It was a sunny but slightly chilly day – typical British weather – before the sun had reached its highest point in the vaguely grey sky. Meaning that it was in a perfect position to cast a shadow on one side of the road even as it illuminated the other. That plus my lack of road choosing skill dictated which side I ended up working on. If you’ve read the post about my last leafleting adventure, it might be easy to guess which one. In the shade, on a cold UK day, I waited for people to pass by so that I could offer them the chance to relieve their individual pains.
Though I should have expected it, after being in the same spot for hours, I was surprised when I shifted the bunch of firm rectangular papers to my left hand and found the fingers of my right stiff and distantly painful. Unlike those belonging to my other hand, which had been kept busy arranging leaflets into sets of five – so that it was easier to track how many I had distributed – the fingers of my right hand had remained in a fixed position. When I tried to bend them, it was as though they were moving in slow motion. Suddenly, I had an idea of the suffering that my arthritic patients endured daily, though I’m sure that my pain was nothing in comparison to theirs.
To remedy the state of my dysfunctional fingers, I wriggled them around, opening and closing them continuously in the hope that doing so would restore the flow of blood to each one. As you can probably imagine, there’s only so much of that you can do in the middle of a bustling street without seriously scaring off future patients. I also tried to hold my outstretched hands beneath the shafts of sunlight surrounding the patch of shade I was standing in, when there were less people around to walk into them. Again, the duration of such behaviour – and its mild effect on my flesh – was limited for obvious reasons. Though there are many places allocated for praying, footpaths are generally not considered one of them. In short, I froze until we returned to the clinic.
All of which has lead me to ask: How do you deal with hands stiffened by the cold or by being inactive? Do you have any issues with your blood circulation? What would you have done in my place? I’d honestly love to know. I mean, one can never predict when this kind of information could come in handy, right? Something I had to learn the hard way, it seems :-p. If you have any tips, please leave them in the comments and maybe save a life. Or – to be less dramatic – a hand, at the very least.
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With Introverted Interest