Saturday, October 31, 2009

sample in a squatty...huh?

Kenli is a very healthy child. The last time she went to the doctor she wasn’t quite two (excluding annual well visits). She has thrown up once in her life…she was still a wee toddler. So, needless to say, when the puke came yesterday we were both caught off guard. She grew sicker and pukier as the day went on. Eventually we ended up at the local clinic. After we entered and took a number, she was weighed and had her temperature taken. Than we sat outside in the back courtyard with all the other waiting patients. Watching the stray kittens and puppy helped pass the time. Our turn came for the doctor, where we were questioned, checked and sent for lab work. Now this is where Ethiopia has the upper hand…..in America you can wait days or weeks for simple tests….not to mention the drive to what ever random place you have to go to get the lab work done. Not here… we just took the gravel path, past the lady doing laundry, and into the last small room. There were two tables, a small refrigerator, three chairs and one nurse pricking fingers. She simply squeezed the blood onto a small slide and handed it to the guy at the next table with the really nice microscope. Than we were off to the “waiting room” again. Back to the doctor… Thank God it is not Malaria or Typhoid. Meanwhile Kenli is as pale as me (now that’s pale) and her fingernails were as white as clouds, as if she had nail polish on them…not to mention she was about to pass out and was burning up with fever. The next logical step….well IV fluids of course. This was taken care of a few moments later in the hallway/exam room/breezeway where others were now being weighed and probed. It was quick, painful as any long needle in the top of the hand, and once you saw past the flies, not that unusual. Than the nurse was off with the IV bottle; Kenli nearly sprinting behind so as not to have the needle yanked back out; back down the gravel path and to the other small room. Here she was put in bed….this particular bed being reminiscent of one you might see in a documentary about Romanian orphanages… we stayed here for over an hour while the fluids dripped and the mosquitoes bit (now we might need that Malaria test). Once the fluids took their course, Kenli had to go (in the worst way)….so we’re off… running down the gravel path to the outhouse… please picture squatty potty… me holding up IV bottle and Kenli’s skirt….her about to pass out….a slippery floor…the unmentionables of course …and the nurse trying to pass me a plastic lid (no lie…like off a water bottle) through the door so I can get a small sample …are you kidding me …there was no time for a sample and my third hand wasn’t cooperating anyway. Eventually we did retrieve a sample and hand it over to the cool guy with the microscope…did I mention the microscope …sorry I was a Biology major in college and I still get giddy around them. A large antibiotic injection later …and we’re on our way home. I should mention the doctor was fabulous and spoke wonderful English…and no doubt all were doing the best they could with what they had. My one regret… no camera …back in my scrapbook days I would have had it with me. What I learned…On the way to the clinic/hospital …grab the camera, OFF and a snack.

5 comments:

The Fab 4 said...

I didn't know when while reading it would be okay to laugh. Thank the Lord she doesn't have something serious, but I bet every germ freak mom (me not excluded) reading this was HORRIFIED at the thought of cats, dogs, mosquitos, and needles all rolled into one story of a child at the doctor's office. At least they were efficient, and I really hope Kenli is on the mend.

Sometimes I cannot believe you are living this life!

misslynda said...

My thought is your child would not appreciate the camera - - - - unless of course, you would be photographing your surroundings and not your pale child as she is going through all this. One of my fears for friends in other countries is for their medical care. Even though it was not the sanitary place we would prefer, it does sound like their knowledge and methods are current even if the environment could use some help. Praying you both are fine today and tomorrow and tomorrow and . . . . . . .

Amy said...

Oh my goodness- you had me belly laughing big time here! Praying she is feeling much better! Amy

jakestum said...

Whereas Merica was afraid to laugh- I was totally cracking up. I am def sorry for Kenli, but your re-telling is too funny. Think and pray for you guys very often!
Jake

Caribbean Cindy said...

I was feeling badly for Kenli AND I was laughing at the situation. Also thankful that the care was pretty good and that you got help so she could feel better. We take so much for granted in the U.S., don't we? However, like you, we have found medical things get faster answers sometimes in other places! I vote for pictures next time, too!