After a very relaxing and celebratory weekend, going to work today was highly anticipated. I was eager to get back into the hospital and see how the patients fared over the weekend. I had my fingers crossed that none of the patients I was wondering in the Pediatric or Surgical wards passed away over the weekend. At the morning meeting, we were informed that there were 2 deaths, both new patients who I was not overseeing. While I did have a sigh of relief that they weren't my patients, I was still saddened by their quick deaths (both patients died within hours of their admittance to the hospital).
We went to the maternity and it was the usual slew of pregnant-near-full-term-and-ready-for-labor women. It still always amazes me at how young many of the women are. There are 15 year old having their first and second children. In fact, because the high rate of reproduction among the locals, the doctors regularly perform hysterectomies; however, a colleague informed that sometimes during a c-section, the doctor will simply perform a hysterectomy on the basis that "this is her fourth child... she doesn't need any more children." it won't be until after the surgery that the woman will be informed that she can no longer reproduce. That kind of medicine would be absolutely inappropriate in USA for obvious reasons.
In the maternity ward, I also saw a woman who had just had her right breast removed and a c-section in the same surgical session. She had malignant breast cancer and she was full-term pregnant (meaning that she had been carrying the woman for 38 weeks). The doctor was reviewing the stitches which sprawled across her chest and concluded that they were septic (infected). The situation was unfortunate because there was no way of knowing if all of the cancer was removed from her body but now she has an infection to deal with? I sighed. The only thing covering her newly-stitched breast-less chest was a thin blanket. And there were flies everywhere in the room. And I had just seen a mouse scurry across the floor. The normality of the situation caused no one in the ward to flinch. This was typical.
Soon afterwards, we went to the surgical ward. There was a patient with hemorrhoids and a tibfib fracture but (please brace yourself for this picture): a 40 year old man was riding his motorcycle and he got into an accident. His entire heel was sawed in half, through both flesh and bone. He came to the hospital with the heel having been stitched together with household string and needles; naturally, the wound was severely infected and a surgical toilet was going to be performed on it immediately (a surgical toilet is a procedure in which as much of the infected flesh is removed as possible). There were flies everywhere since his would was only being covered with a little gauze (being held up by the nurse). I sighed again.
I scrubbed in to observe a DNC, in which a mass (of unknown substance, maybe blood or fluid) is removed from a females uterus. Its a quick procedure and simply helps clean out the uterus. Despite the fact that the patient was in pain and needed the surgery and the staff was completely ready, the doctor took his time getting to the theater (the surgical room). Eventually, the staff decided to just go to lunch and see if the doctor comes in the evening. I went to the ward, hoping to see if I could get the gears moving on the surgery, but the nursing staff shrugged me off saying, "the doctor isn't ready yet." I went to lunch also and found out later that the surgery was postponed until later.
Sorry that everything is underlined. I am not sure why it is doing this.
I know, it is gruesome.
Cheesy picture of my in scrubs before scrubbing in for surgery. I took this as a tribute to one of the biggest medical inspirations in my life: my dad. Happy belated Father's Day!
Me after scrubbing in, just before the DNC surgery.
They preserved some abnormal fetuses. You can see that this developed into only half a fetus.
The surgical room. Rather sophisticated technology
relative to the rest of the hospital.
From left to right: a jar of "moles" or under-developed fetuses and worms and parasites in the last two jars. All of the worms in the last jar were recently extracted from one person.
The newborn child which I saw the natural birth for.
Above: I decided to throw in a couple random pictures. Here is a picture of my room where I sleep. The mosquito net makes me feel like a princess.
Left: This is my program coordinator, Joshua Omolo, and I. He has been so caring and kind through this program. I want to come back next year.
Point of information: all these pictures literally took me 4 hours to upload