Tuesday, February 26, 2008

8 year old talking...

Last week Thursday 8 year old Samuel came to the clinic with a history of fever, vomiting and a cough for 5 days. He really didn’t look well. He looked miserable. And he wouldn’t say anything, to anyone. I examined him and sent him to the lab for tests. I kept my eye on him throughout the afternoon. His tests showed there was no malaria and his urine was fine. He was moderately ill and so I thought he might have typhoid (which is hard to test here) or another bacterial infection. I decided on a strong broad spectrum antibiotic- chloramphenicol. Used often in the developing world but banned from some countries in the West. Despite the possible side effects however, it is an excellent drug; also recommended by the WHO for a number of diseases.

As I was explaining the plan to the mom I saw the child had a coin in his hand. So, in an attempt to get some kind of response from him I asked him for the coin and ‘hid’ it in one of my hands. Presenting my two fists to him, he had to decide where the coin was. He caught on quickly. No smiles yet, but he was playing along. By the time his third turn came along, I closed my eyes as he ‘hid’ the coin. I chose his right hand- nothing. I chose his left hand- nothing. A grin appeared on his face and he produced the coin from under his leg. Smart boy! As he left with his mom I told him that when I saw him for review I wanted him to be well enough to talk to me.

Today he came back. Mind you, he showed up at 4:15pm for his 1pm review. African time! Anyway, he was full of smiles AND he was talking to me! He was much better and had no complaints whatsoever. We joked around again about him making the coin disappear last week. He went to school again today (hence the late review) which was a good sign too. Another child better. And the end of a good day.

1 comment:

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