Thursday, May 26, 2016

Work permit update

Please keep praying for my work permit. It seems nothing can be simple. I've learned this week that my permit request was "deferred" because there is an error on two of the letters that needed to be submitted. I was told that in the letters it states I'm the director which can't be because it is a local NGO. However, I went back an re-read the letters and, even if English is your second language, it is clear I am a volunteer and the person who wrote and signed the letter is the director and obviously Ugandan. (Which he even states in the letter.) When asking for clarification I was told (please ignore the poor English):
The Board members need direct letter that states your position and you are doing and it should be only three paragraphs.So let letter be rewritten and scan and send to us this week so that we can filed it.
Which is EXACTLY what I sent last time, three paragraphs, position, I'm a nurse, etc...... So I need to figure out how to re-write these letters, get them re-signed and sent in to Kampala before the end of the week.  On something that was already done weeks ago. Ugh.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Please pray for Melda

 The girl in the far right of this picture is 12 year old Melda.  She has had osteomyelitis in her leg for at least a year, probably 2 years. Her family tried to get treatment a few times but every time got sub par treatment or denied treatment all together. So I've been involved for a few weeks now. I took her to an orthopedic hospital yesterday. We'd been told repeatedly that all that could be done was a BKA amputation before it became sepsis. But yesterday's surgeon agreed to try something else, he will attempt to clean up the bone and see if it will heal. She heads into surgery next week Monday. The girl in the middle of the picture is actually her sister. Her identical twin. But she has been sick so long he father (man on the left) said they don't resemble each other anymore.
Will you pray for Melda and her family?  They are in a tough situation and Melda has a tough few weeks ahead of her. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Just more clinic stuff

I seems to spend lots of time at the clinic lately so just a few more pictures....

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Templeton’s Holiday

When I was growing up I remember doing this thing mom called Templeton’s holiday. It was named after Templeton the pack rat in Charlotte’s web.  The idea was that we could pick any fast food that we wanted and we would get it and bring it all home. So if you wanted a frosty from Wendy’s and nachos from Taco Bell then it is fine. Between the brothers and I we could stop at least six different places. I only remember doing it two different times. Once when Dad was in Africa and one other time but I can't remember the occasion. We never got to eat fast food which made it that much more special.  Anyway, the whole point of this silly little walk down memory lane is that today I really wanted a chocolate frosty from Wendy’s. But more than that, getting medical care here felt like trying to get a 12 piece chicken nugget from Arby’s.  Unless Arby’s actually has chicken nuggets.  Then this isn’t a good comparison.   

I had several patients today that I’d encountered over the past week in clinics that needed further testing in town. That meant I was trying to get an ultrasound, blood work , x-rays, Augmentin (very hard to find in Soroti), and a consult from a pediatrician. Today that meant five different places. Turns out the hospital I started at could order the x-ray, I could go to Joint Clinic to have it taken and then took the film to Community Clinic to have it read by an actual radiologist. Then back to the hospital with a definitive diagnosis of Osteomyelitis. But we were told we would need to go to another town to find an orthopedic surgeon.  And that was only one of my patients. Now you see why I wanted that Frosty? 

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Swimming in Soroti

 The kids are now back on school holiday and have been continuously begging me to take them swimming. Last week I caved. I love to swim and taking them gives me an excuse. Though I have to watch them all pretty carefully.
 The pool is a bit aged but functional at the flight school here in Soroti and the kids that I sponsor  can't seem to get enough of it.  None of them can swim but you couldn't tell from these pictures. The shallow is only about 3 feet deep.  Also, none of them have swimsuits but the pool doesn't have any rules about swimming in your underwear or clothes.

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Following up on a femur fractur

Praise God!! I finally managed to find Righard. He is home from the hospital, has all his stitches out and is breathing without difficulty. It took me more than an hour to get all of his stitches out as he seemed to miss the memo that he was to have them removed shortly after surgery and he had more than 20 of them that were rather grown in. He has a fourteen inch rod in his leg now and is hopefully a more cautious driver. Other than that he is back to normal.

The (painfully long) story of his accident here.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

 I wrote on FB this afternoon "I have a patient with a fist sized hole in her leg who chews her dressing off twice a day. She is proving to actually be my easiest patient to manage today."  Unfortunately it was true. 6:45am this morning Betty was at the gate with a little brother who had cried all night. Long story short he had been kicked in the head. The day only got better from there. One patient had been molested for the second time, she is four years old. One patient I put on methadone for palliative care. (Dying.) Ken came this afternoon. I had put a cast on him about a week ago for boxer's fractures of the last two metacarpals. He insists he didn't punch anything but he is an angry 15 year old boy. I'm sure he had punched something. Anyway, yesterday he decided the forearm half of the cast was stupid as it was his hand bones that were broken and it was bothering him.
New ulnar cast
So he took a hacksaw blade to it and removed some of the cast. And today he had the nerve to come to me and tell me to give him a new one because he discovered that yes, now he could move his wrist again and actually that makes his hand hurt. Turns out I do actually know the appropriate treatment, Ken. Probably he should have picked a better day to annoy me.

So, I stand firm on the claim that this was my easiest to manage patient today. She belongs to a friend who isn't around to take care of her. She was pretty lethargic and refusing to eat a few days ago but is up and around and eating everything now. Well, a little less now that she has the lower half of a water bottle on her head. It was kind of nice to have a patient who just needed a few table scraps in order to be happier today. I had a hard time making any of the rest of my patients happy.
She has a nasty wound on her leg and needed some antibiotics and some fluids. But she is going to be fine. I'm really broadening my skill set. If I ever have to leave Uganda and go back to work in the States, clearly I'm now over qualified. 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Call Me Maybe

This blog just would not be complete without a video of village kids dancing listening to Call Me Maybe. I don't know who's piki and radio and pink helmet this was but I feel like I should possibly have introduced myself.....
Sorry the video is so short and I'm so far away but these kids form a mob as soon as I bring my camera out so I just got a couple of seconds. 

Also a minute of real K-jung dancing.

Monday, May 2, 2016


I'm not joining the immunization debate. I see it often on FB and I hate it. But, I am going to write about immunization day in Obulle. Wednesdays, once a week. Any child under five gets free immunizations, vitamin A and dewormers. I happily participate because I've seen too many kids here blind after having measles. I've seen far too many people struggling with debilitating handicaps because of polio.  I've seen too many deaths due to tetanus. All of these things very preventable (and fully prevented in the developed world) with simple immunizations. I've never seen a single child here with autism. But I'm not entering the debate.

The clinic is only three rooms and with all those crying kids it is easier to just keep everyone outside. Cooler too. It gets pretty sweaty we we all start crowding inside. John is the tall guy in red standing on the left side of the picture. He is the government nurse assigned to work out here. He usually does the recording in the books we submit each week to the district. Tony is the guy sitting at the table in white. He is the "manager." He doesn't have any medical training but people love him and he gets all the credit for increasing awareness in this area for how important these immunizations are for kids. He is a very hard worker and acts as my translator for hours on end. He also does all the recording in the patient's immunization record. I mix vials and inject.  Pretty sure I have the easiest job.  We have a great system and do roughly 40 immunizations on an average morning.