I notice people’s hands, I have a weird little quirk about hands, I find them interesting and I think you can tell a lot about someone from looking at their hands.

It has been a running joke with my husband for the 19 years that we have been together – I always tell him he is lucky he has rough manly hands or he wouldn’t be touching me.  He was a tradie for most of the time that I have been with him, I like that his hands look like they have worked, with callouses, skin off and stains on his strong hands. I also work in a hospital, and find Doctors hands fascinating. I look at some hands and they are more feminine than mine but am blown away with the knowledge that those hands save lives every day.

At work last week it was my job to admit to the hospital a patient that was having a right pneumonectomy (removal of right lung). I called the ticket number corresponding with the patient and prepared the paperwork for the admission. There was three forms to be signed and total of 4 signatures needed.

The two chairs in front of me promptly filled I looked up and said “Good morning, I am just going to complete your admission paperwork and get you up to the ward. Ok?” The man spoke softly in Burmese to the 39.3kg woman that is the same age as my Mum and wouldn’t even reach my shoulders. She smiled a beautiful smile that made the skin around her eyes wrinkle and nodded her head. I explained all the paperwork to her, letting my gaze bounce between her and her interpreter, ( I always feel awkward in these situations, because I don’t want to be rude to either person, so end up looking like one of those clowns in side show ally at the show, with my head going side to side).

I handed the petite lady then pen and pointed to where she needed to sign and what the signatures were for. Obviously, me with my weird hand preoccupation noticed this ladies hands.  Her tiny hands, looked as if they had been made of beautiful tan leather, with deep wrinkles, scars, callouses and dark spots on the back of her hands. Her fingers were short, nails trimmed and clean but were thick and  muscled up. These hands had worked hard all of their life. She gave me another beaming smile as she held the pen at a clumsy angle in her masculine hands.  I smiled back as her interpreter instructed her to sign the paper. I continued with my job of admitting her and entering information into her file on the hospital data base, while talking to the ward to secure her bed. The interpreter pushed the paper across the desk to me as I continued to process this ladies details. I looked down to start the paper trail, sending the documents to where they needed to go and noticed that my sweet, happy, hardworking Burmese lady had signed all the paperwork with a circle.

I tried not to let the moisture clouding my vision fall.

I finished her admission, secured her bed on the ward and instructed the interpreter on where to take, this gorgeous soul. The interpreter spoke to her and she stood from her chair, placed praying hands at her solar plexus and bowed to me. I of course had tears, blew her a kiss and bowed my head.

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