01 October 2011

The day we ran clinic like we knew how to.

[clinic picture]

“Calm down.  
Deep breaths.  
And get yourself dressed.  
Instead of running around.  
And pullin all your threads.  
And breaking yourself up.  

If it’s a broken part, replace it, 
If it’s a broken arm then brace it, 
If it’s a broken heart then face it…”  

Today was another day just like yesterday.

Full of challenges and frustrations.

Frances and I were in ART clinic today.  We were spending this week in all of the preventive health clinics, learning prevention education and some of the specific health efforts taken by the Ministry of Health in Zambia.  We were learning more about what forms were required.  The registration form had a section for income.  The lowest range was <50,000/ month.  That’s 10 dollars.  Feeding a family on less than $10 a month.  The highest category was 500,000+.  That’s 100 dollars.  That’s even a challenge.  And that’s considered rich here.

An income of 100 dollars makes you rich.

I also learned from the form that Mushili is the name of the tribal chief here.  I guess that’s who the center is named after.  Good to know.

Maria, the lady we worked with yesterday, came to ask if one of us could “screen” patients today.  Frances offered because we thought she meant triage, which is pulling their books and recording their vital signs, which is basically administrative stuff, which she loves. 

But no.  That’s not what “screening” patients means to them.

“Screening” a patient basically means seeing them.  Frances was basically in charge of taking a history and physical, gathering an impression of the patient, and creating a plan.

So, basically everything.

Which would be fine if we spoke English and we were comfortable with treating things like malaria. 

Or if we had spend even one day with one of the Nurse Practitioners in the clinic!!

We had NO idea how they do things.  How they record patients.

But with Maria’s condescending help, we figured it out pretty quick.  When someone says to you, “Don’t you know how to write?”  and all you can say is yes, we were trained to write in America, however your system is SO much different, we need an example before we can do anything.

Once we had an example, we were basically fine.  Except for the language barrier and the fact that we’re not used to treating malaria.  But we managed to survive the morning.

Which lasted until 1:30 pm. 

[the view from my desk...and medical records]

You wouldn’t believe how loud my stomach was growling and how bad my attitude was.  There was nothing happy about being insulted and then working overtime to make up for the fact that the clinic is overstaffed.  I think the hunger added to my attitude issues…

Except that this is all for you, Lord.

And I worried I wouldn’t always eat on time.  How the enemy knows my weakness…

We decided, after eating and seeing how empty the rest of the clinic was at 2 (usually people start showing up around 1:30 for afternoon clinic) that we should walk home.  We talked weddings with Rose, the cool Nurse Midwife who we love, then we said goodbye and walked home.

Right after I took a picture of this box:

[mystery box]

If anyone can tell me what is in the box and how many, I’ll give you 500 on my return to America!

We talked wedding plans most of the way home, which was a 2 hour walk.  We've wanted to see what it was like for a long time but no one would ever let us because we're "too fragile."  We talked so much about wedding plans that we resorted to talking about registering places and bedspreads.  When we got home I promptly got on pinterest.

It’s good.  But not the best thing ever.  I like running on the treadmill and ripping pages out of bridal magazines better.  You can hate me for that, I know it’s terrible to talk about pinterest that way.

But I do think it’s a fun site to share ideas about crafts and recipes and DIY décor ideas.  I’m totally in. 

AND, while pinning I saw a pin that let me know that in spring 2012 TOMS is coming out with a line of Ballet Flats.  As if I needed another reason to buy TOMS, now I have 2 more.  New styles and little African feet running around in them.

We made a magnificent dinner of mashed potatoes, chicken, and veggies.  And had chocolate for desert.  We’re adjusting quite well.  George Forman agrees.

[our favorite cookies! and look how legit the key looks!! I want one to take home with me!]

We need a day off.  I vote we take it tomorrow.

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