Thursday, August 23, 2007

bedsheets and hospital food

So this morning as we were piki-ing into town amy was chatting with her piki man and he told her that he knew our piki man from the accident and that he was still in the hospital! So he gave us his name (johnson) and where he was staying so we could go see him. So today after preschool (where we coloured fish and hung them from the ceiling and Steven made up a song called "fish in the water" that has been stuck in our heads all day...) we headed over to the hospital to visit our poor piki man. We looked everywhere and couldn't find him...we couldn't even really remember what he looked like to be honest. We asked all the nurses and no one knew who we meant.

As we were about to leave we passed a man with a bandaged leg. Blood was seeping through the gauze, which was resting on a paper bag to keep his mattress clean - his bare mattress with no sheets. He was laying wearing only shorts on this plastic mattress with blood all over the mattress and all over the floor. He had taken his IV out because the saline was all gone, and when we asked why they said they couldnt give him any more saline because he was bleeding too much and they didn't have any blood to give him. Apparently there is no blood in Jinja...its all in Kampala at Melago Hospital. He had been given some pain killers but was in pretty clear discomfort and wasnt getting any more because of the IV situation.

He was waiting to have surgery on his leg, he had a compound fracture and his bone was sticking out of his leg. All of the operating theatres were full and so they were waiting for one to empty. When one empties up they will most likely just operate on him without any extra blood, which is especially dangerous because hes anemic and needs blood as it is. Oh and theres only one anesthetist for all five theatres - and they have no ventilators, just ambu-bags, and they use ether as anesthetic. (which hasnt been used in north america since like 1492 because there is no way to regulate dosage, other than "oh look hes waking up - give him some more.")

So as were talking to the doctor, he asks us if we are going to help out and bring medication. Then he proceeds to write a list of medication that this man (Moses) needs that the hospital doesnt have. Its a government funded hospital so patients dont have to pay for care, but they do have to bring their own sheets and certain medications. So we went to the pharmacy and for about 10 dollars bought what this poor man with no family needs to fight the raging infection that he would have certainly faced otherwise. We also brought him some food and juice and buns to eat, apparently social workers bring food (another essential service not provided by the hospital), but who knows when or if or what kind of food it is. He was very thankful, he didnt speak a word of english but the nurse conveyed his thanks. We promised to come tomorrow and visit him again.

Needless to say, this was a bit of a traumatizing experience. As soon as we left I just burst into tears, I cant imagine being alone in a place like that, and the best care available to me is a surgery that will quite likely cost me my leg, if not my life. For me, my time so far has mostly been going from amani, to home, and into town to get groceries or email. We live right in the heart of suburban jinja. This hospital looked like it was straight out of the movies or national geographic and it was just a real reality check that there is a lot more need in uganda than we tend to see on a day to day basis.

Anyhow, this is once again too long, please continue to pray for Hope - we got a text from her saying that the judge has called for her file, whatever that means. Her lawyer thinks it will be soon. Were hoping it will be before september 4th when she has to go home. PLEASE PRAY more than ever...Hope needs to go home really badly. And phin needs to go with her.

Until next time - be thankful for bedsheets and hospital food.


Anonymous said...

hey, so you dont know me, but dont think im creapy. i found out about your blog from erin littleton. i was at amani from april - june. my boys wre arnold weiss and bobby, how are they doing, has arnold gained any weight yet, appearntly he ahsnt ganied weight in a year, and how is his tlaking? anyways, your blog is great, u go into a lot of detail, i enjoy it. Ian isaac

Amy and Bethany's Ugandan Adventures! said...

Hey Ian, Arnold, Weiss, and Bobby are just fine. Arnold is as snuggly as ever and loves to sit on my lap and identify all the letters on my t-shirts. Hes quiet but he can talk really well. Weiss always says "auntie! you are smart!" which always makes my day despite the fact that it comes from a 3 year old...and is basically just as cute as ever. Bobby...Bobby is a handful. He requires a little more patience from me mostly because he will use ANY excuse to scream and cry, you know how he stands there with his mouth as open as possible just WAILING at the top of his lungs? Ya he does that all the time. Hes really cute when hes not crying though, and is really into playing frisbee. Or going and picking up the frisbee after I throw it. Thanks for reading our blog and appreciating our detail, haha sometimes we wonder if anyone cares to read so much detail but its nice to know you do! Take care. I'll hug your boys for you!