Thursday, April 07, 2011

Breaking point...

You know how you can move at a really fast pace for some time and then all of a sudden you reach your limit? Well, that’s what happened to me. As I was walking in town today I almost burst into tears when a police officer denied me access to a street and made me go another way. I didn’t cry but I was close.

I think this week has not been the best of weeks. It started out a bit strange with an audit starting up, unexpected meetings etc. Yesterday the generator at the hospital as well as the medical records computer broke. And today was just all around crazy.

This morning I had to report at the Ministry unexpectedly to discuss the release of a container that was sent by a link in the UK months ago that still has not been delivered to the hospital. I was just trying to facilitate but I have to say it turned out to be quite a heated discussion. And the conclusion is that the case is not yet solved. We will probably have the Ministry start with the process since the company the UK link used is not managing well. Of course, since I’m on the ground, I am the lucky one to try to keep things moving. So, now I have to figure out the next steps, and figure them out quickly whilst trying to remain at peace with certain people.

After that meeting I went back to the house to meet the landlady. As often is the case, the flat bills were not prepared properly and she has to go back to the accountant with them. Then the cleaner we are thinking about hiring for a few hours two afternoons a week decided that the ‘in my eyes generous’ salary I proposed was not nearly enough. Seriously? Sometimes I hate money.

I then went to town to try and get some color printing done and was charged a ridiculous amount and so left it and continued to the hospital where I was met by another patient asking about screening for the ship. It was an adult with an ‘old’ orthopedic problem and so I sad sorry, but they won’t be able to help. I do feel bad at times that it is so easy to say no to some of these cases. I definitely have a more difficult time saying no to the children.

We then had an informal meeting with a VSO volunteer, which was actually great. Followed by a Welbodi team meeting, which was fine too. I then rushed back into town, this time on foot, to go and meet the only truly trained radiologist in the country, Dr Gordon Harris. I was lucky to be able to set up this meeting with him at such short notice, because he leaves tomorrow for a few weeks. It was great to discuss x-ray issues with him and get him excited about helping with postgraduate training.

It was during this walk to town that I finally had a few moments to think; probably something I should not have done at the time. I was frustrated by how much people blame others for things not getting done, annoyed that some people get amazing salaries for doing such little work, irritated about unnecessary delays and unmotivated staff and disappointed that some things are not really moving forward. And all of the “white girl”, “hey baby” or “I want you for my girlfriend” comments certainly didn’t help matters today. I reached the point where I wondered what I was doing here.

At least I had a good meeting with the radiologist. That made up for some of today’s bad. I later walked down to Savage Street to meet Namina in the hope center. And I have to say that 20 minutes of football with her and all her giggles made up for all the rest. I have never seem Namina and her mother smile so much. They made m me smile. They are both amazing. Namina is doing really well. I didn’t have much time, as I wanted to see two patients onboard and only had 30 minutes before it got dark but I hope to spend some more time with her on Saturday. One of my other patients had surgery onboard on Thursday and is recovering well, the other is still in theater after going in 6 hours ago so I am hoping he does well and recovers quickly.

I’m now back at the hospital seeing as I am supposed to have a Skype business call. However, wireless Internet is not working and neither is the dongle. I am not surprised after a day like today. So, since I am waiting for a driver, I will make good use of my time and go and do a surprise ward check, in the hopes that I will be pleasantly surprised by the work done on the wards. Please please please.

And really, I do know why I am here (for the most part) and I do think that although at times I would rather be on the wards all of the time, there really is a lot to say for strengthening systems, doing training etc. In the end, in the long-run, more patients will benefit from the improved services at the hospital. And of course, I know, everything takes time. Small, small. I think I just need to slow down and take time to enjoy more.

(Note: the ward check was good. Well done nurses.)

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