Thursday, September 20, 2007

A 10 year old, her mother and a stone...

Today a 10 year old girl came to the clinic with her mother.
She didn’t come with the usual complaints of fever and cough.
She came with a single complaint.
She had a stone in her left ear.

When asked how it got there,
She said she put it there.
When asked how long it had been stuck,
She first said a week, no at least a month,
No, over a year was the final answer.

It was about 1030 am when I saw her.
The waiting room was still full with patients.
Knowing that foreign objects can take a while to dislodge,
I decided she would have to wait.
No problem she said (after all, it’d already been a year!)

Finally at 3 pm I called her in.
I showed her the syringe with a little plastic cannula on the end.
I showed her how it worked.
Much like a squirt gun really.
Of course, she has never seen a squirt gun.

The 10 year old sat bravely;
While I started flushing out her ear.
Since one of my nurses was sick, the mom assisted.
Amazingly enough it only took about 10 minutes.
First some debris, then out came the stone.

The girl was relieved.
The mother was thankful.
She asked me what her bill was.
I said, there is no bill,
You already paid 1000 Leones consultation fee.

She then said she wanted to give me a small gift.
I told her she does not need to give me anything.
She was surprised and almost in tears.
I told her that this is why we are here.
This is what we do; we’re here to help.

I was humbled by her thankfulness.
All I did say was to please do these things for me:
Make sure you feed your child well.
Make sure she stays in school.
And make sure she doesn’t put anything in her ears again.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Sandra! It's Kendra from Kenya...well, Canada now I suppose. I was going through old emails to delete them when I came across the url for your blog. I absolutely love this entry! Good to hear you are well and still in Sierra Leone. Take care!

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