My eyelids are falling quickly so tonight I will just share a few unique highlights from a wonderfully full and productive day in the life of the Ghana Health Team.
- Kyle performed a very difficult and complicated dental procedure on a woman a number of years ago. He has seen her in Yaara every year since and always worried that she now has a phobia of going to the dentist. Today she approached his station, pulled out a little black bag and handed him 12 fresh guinea fowl eggs to thank him for helping her all those years ago.
- Sheetal was counselling a patient who was receiving medication for neck pain due to carrying heavy loads on her head. The bowl of water she carries is particularly heavy as she has many children. When Sheetal asked her how many children she replied, “I have 7 children … no … I have 8 children because you are now my child.”
- GBP (general body pain) is an official diagnosis here, as is GOK (God only knows).
- Elena, our student volunteer, pulled her first tooth today. (Note to Shelagh: she is drinking LOTS of water!)
- We learned about a neat “Ghanaian find your phone app” today. When Carol lost her phone in a crowd of hundreds, she simply told one local volunteer and in 20 minutes her phone was in her hand.
- Carlye saw a woman who was 11 months pregant. Recognizing there was a miscommunication she asked her translator to clarify. The corrected answer was that she was 12 months pregnant.
- You know you are desperate when you see doctors wiping their brows with lemon scented Lysol cleaning wipes just to try and get a moment’s relief from the heat while asking one another if we think they are carcinogenic.
- Dr. Sue was thanked and blessed by a woman who she treated for an infection that was preventing her from getting pregnant 2.5 years ago. In her arms was her 2.4 year old daughter and she was due to deliver again soon.
- Toylin had some issues with grounding the new laser and couldn’t figure out what the problem was. Nothing made sense until her volunteer, looking at the situation, asked the patient to take off his shoes which instantly solved the problem. He had small nails holding the sides of his sandal to the soles of his sandals so the machine was grounding itself through him. All is well. No defibrillation required.
- Carlye was counselling a patient with a swollen knee only to hear herself suggest he apply ice to it four times a day.
- We left our photographer Erika in Yaara today (on purpose). She spent the night in the village under David’s supervision so she could take more pictures of life in this remote village of Yaara. For those of you who have not read David’s book, this is the village where David was sent to after his father died. The harsh life and maltreatment he received there forced this boy, at the age of 10, to escape on foot travelling over day through the bush to find his mother. The team was privileged to have a walking tour of the village including a visit to the house he lived in. It was a 8×5 foot room.
- I asked Magdi how many hernias were done today and his response was, “We were too busy to even stop and count!”
- Joan and I had a little 7 year old boy Joshua following us around all day. Joan is his Canadian grandmother and I am his Canadian mother because, like Elvis, we saved him from severe pneumonia in 2009.
Oh, and I should mention that Elvis has left the building!
- And finally, I was given a very special gift to take home to Canada: my own personal rooster. Graham … please prepare a spot for him!
Until next time!
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