Thursday, October 05, 2006

Made it to Shepherd's pie night...

On Sunday evenings I start to wonder what the week will bring. How many patients? How sick? Will I cope?

So last Sunday evening I already felt overwhelmed. When I looked at our menu I noticed that shepherd’s pie was on the menu for Thursday’s dinner. My favorite! Seeing as I have clinic on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays my first thought was ‘I need to make it to shepherd’s pie night because that means I survived another week of clinic’. Well, today is Thursday and I enjoyed some amazing shepherd’s pie. I made it!

To be honest it was a busy week. The hardest was having to send people away.

On Monday morning there were about 90 children outside the gate! This meant I had to turn children away at 830 in the morning already. In the end I saw 60 children which took me until 7pm. On Tuesday there were 60 children outside the gate- I let them all in, and again worked till 7. Today I had to send 14 children away again as there were too many. I ended up seeing 59.

I struggle with the desire to help all of the kids versus knowing I can only handle so many on one day. It is horrible to stand on one side of a locked get, look into a parent’s eyes on the other side of the gate and tell them “sorry, tickets don don”. Some of them really have nowhere else to turn to. It’s hard to send someone away when you know that in many clinics the child will not even be examined and will probably walk away with a couple of random injections and bottles of medication. The health care system here just doesn’t work.

I guess I have to set boundaries for myself if I want to stay here for some time. 40 kids = a good day. 50 kids = busy but manageable. Over 60 kids = hectic, feels like factory work, impersonal. So, I have set my limit at 50. At least for now. Well, 50 plus a few (few usually being up to 10) extras if they are waiting at the gate when the clinic opens.


Jacqueline said...

hey San , wat werk je ontzettend veel!! Lijkt me ook moeilijk om kinderen weg te moeten sturen.
Zorg goed voor je zelf he!! love you! Jac

Anonymous said...

it was good sheppards pie, wasnt it

~ Act Justly. Love Mercy. Walk Humbly. micah 6:8 ~