Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Leaving Sierra Leone...

Need I say more? I think this is when it really hit me that I was leaving my position in the clinic for good. And that I was saying bye to a place that had become home. A moment of sadness followed by a moment of hope. Hope in the fact that God has more in store for me. Knowing that every take off is followed by a landing. I won't be flying aimlessly about. I will land. And I will land well. I will sink my feet into new ground...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bye bye...

Last beach trip. Bye bye Salone.
Many things I'll miss - like the beaches.
Many things I won't - like the dogs.
I'll be back.
And there will be more Salone blogging to come...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Goodies from town...

Today I went to hectic Sani Abacha street and bought 90 packets of cheeseballs, 80 small packets of biscuits, 72 juice boxes and 2 big bags of sweets. Tomorrow I am having a small party for some of my dearest patients and I figured I should stock up for my last time with the Sunday School kids this weekend at the same time. The picture below is of the street. Yes, those are people taking up the entire street. Basically you drive through honking your horn and the people clear away. You just have to mind your side mirrors when passing other vehicles. Fortunately we found two shops that sell bulk goodies. And I now know where most of the street vendors buy their goods. Buy the goods at bulk price and sell them on the street for more. Good business you would think, except that everyone is selling the same stuff!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

From 2 to 0...

No clinic for me today, I left my colleague to it.
I did go outside the gate to help sort out the patients.
And helped with the first one who was pretty anemic.
But other than that, no patients for me; how bizarre.
Fortunately I did not do admin all day either!
Although maybe I should have - so much to do still.
Instead I went out to Emergency Surgical Centre.
That is the hospital I've visited many times since 2005.
It is actually the NGO hospital I modelled 'my' outpatient clinic after.
And it is the hospital I most frequently refer the children to.
I have many fond memories there.
I think I spent every Friday there, working with the doctors, the first 6 months I was here.
The national doctors there helped me understand (to some extent) some of the cultural practices.
They helped me get the hang of treating some of the tropical diseases.
They were/are great!
Today however, I headed out to say goodbye.
It was fun to see people, hang out in medical OPD, visit the ward.
And I finally was able to see their supplementary feeding program up and running.
The program is every Thursday, but seeing as I usually have clinic, I've never seen it.
It was kind of fun to be able to do something different on a Thursday!
I then sat down and chatted with their medical coordinator for a bit.
It's always great to be able to share experiences and frustrations.
And be a part of the bigger NGO world.
It really is a unique experience and I find you quickly bond with others doing similar work.
Strange thought to not go back there again anytime soon.
After Emergency I made a quick trip into town to run some errands.
And then it was back to admin!!!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

2 patients only...

What? I only saw 2 patients today? On a clinic day? What's going on?

Well, I had decided before coming down to the office, that I should really use today to get administrative work done. I knew if I sat in my office I would be distracted and tempted to see kids anyway so thought I should sit in the admin office. However, when I got to work and went out to see the line it made my decision harder. There were just too many children for 1 doctor out there. So it meant that either I had to see patients today and leave the admin, or do the admin and leave the children. Tough call. And I almost feel a little bad to tell you that I chose to stick with my original plan; admin. I have to stop seeing the kids at some point (although I will see some on Thursday and Tuesday) and REALLY have loads of admin to get done. After getting over my guilt during the first hour, I actually managed to get a lot done today. There's still a ways to go, but I'm plowing forward. It's not until you have to write down what you do everyday, that you realize how much it is you really do, and how natural it has all become!

In the end I did see 2 patients today- my two reviews from yesterday. Both were moderately ill yesterday with malaria and so I wanted to follow-up on them. Thankfully they were both doing better today. One is still fairly anemic and the other has some malnutrition but they are on the mend. At least I still got a few patients in today...


Crazy Monday came and went.
As I arrived at the office I already heard it was noisy outside.
I went to the gate and told the moms to line up.
Which for some reason seems like a really difficult task for them.
I suppose everyone wants to make sure their child gets a ticket.
But really, all that yelling, screaming and pushing, is it really necessary?
Once again I had to threaten a little bit.
"If there is no single line in 5 minutes, there will be no clinic today."
It always works.
I go inside, and within 5 minutes the guard finds me to tell me they've lined up.
Unfortunately my next dilemma was the fact that there were 72 kids at the gate.
Oh bother.
Seeing as I was to spend a lot of the day training up a new doctor, we decided on 50.
50 children would be seen, and 22 sent away.
What can I say?
Still one of the worst parts of the job.
But, we did see the 50 kids and gave them the best treatment possible.
We actually saw 55, as there were some reviews as well.
All around a good day, despite the chaotic start.
And Praise God that I was able to do some clinical work with our new national doctor!!

Race against the clock...

1 week to go.
And not counting.
Many people here count the days before they go on holiday.
I suppose since I am leaving for good, I'm not counting yet.
I'll miss this place.
All I keep thinking about is the enormous amount of work that still needs to get done.
Handover report.
Filing of documents.
Writing recommendation letters.
Midterm report to finalize.
June statistics to finish.
Case reports I want to write up.
A powerpoint to make.
Policies to revise.
A national doctor to train up.
A newsletter to write.
People to say bye to.
Teaching my new receptionist some computer skills.
Sunday school to prepare.
Small patient goodbye party to prepare for.
Bible Study desserts to bake.
Packing packing packing.
Lots of things to do that I can't get around to when seeing patients.
And seeing as I spend most of my time seeing patients, the list never ends.
I am hoping the time crawls by so that I can get everything done and finish well.
I feel like it's a race against time.
If only time would stand still and I'd keep running, just for one day...

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