Another day in the books. Today was very interesting, as always. We spent the morning out in Linda with the caregiver/driver, Andrew. We went by on a lot of the same people we saw last week. The first man had some nasty wounds on both sides of his ankles, the third man fell into the fire and got some nasty burns (which healed, but have since returned) on his outside foot and ankle, and the fifth man lost most of his toes to leprosy and has a major wound on the bottom of his foot. It seems like a lot of the men in Linda are suffering from wounds.
The second, fourth, and last men we visited were new (for Elle and I). The second man was wearing inadequate shoes. After it became a nasty blister, it became worse until a large wound was on top of his foot. Now, African Impact has been assisting him with his wound for months. Its crazy how a small wound can develop into something bad so quickly here. The fourth man was very unfortunate to see. He is 21, but I guessed he was 12. When he was 11, he had a stroke that left most of his body paralyzed. He has regained some motion, but is still confined to bed and a wheelchair (which he cannot move himself). He doesn’t eat well and appears very malnourished. It was so hard to see how much he was suffering. Luckily his mother takes good care of him. Especially when it is not being cared for. The last man was also new to Elle and I. Fortunately for him, his wound has healed over time. From what I understand, he also suffered from a blister, which developed into a wound that dove DEEP into his foot. The caregiver said you could almost see it coming out the other side of his foot. Over time, after proper dressings, it has healed pretty well. When we dressed his foot yesterday, it was almost all the way sealed up. Again, it was cool to see some of our work paying off.
In the middle of all the wounds we were caring for, we were swarmed. We were walking between patients, when we were stopped by a women asking for medications. She explained that her son was having bad diarrhea and needed help. We gave them ORS solution with instructions to help. As soon as we did that, we were swarmed by people asking for help. One person needed medications for her stomach, one person wanted medications for pain, etc. The people here are very persistent. For example, when we were walking back from the store later this evening, there was a man that walked with us for about 100 yards trying to sell us something. This was after us telling him 20 times we were not interested. Finally, we stopped and told him an additional 20 times we were not interested. He eventually let us go. . . once we basically ran away. Anyway, one person insisted that we come over to their house and look at her husband. When we finally got there, I was blown away. This man was the definition of skin and bones. His wife explained that he has had TB three times, has had numb feet, shivers, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and many other things. We took his vitals, gave some vitamins, and told him to go to the clinic. That’s all we really could do. We think his body has built up an immunity to the antibiotics he is on again, and the only chance he has, is to go back and get it looked at again.
Anyway, that was our morning out! The rest of the day consisted of planning for meetings we will be having later this week and meeting the new interns/volunteers that came in today! Backpackers (the hostel we are staying at) also got about 40 new visitors today. . . teenagers from Lusaka. They are VERY obnoxious. . . luckily, they will only be here till Friday, and we will only see them at meal times.
Tomorrow we will be going far into the bush to visit a remote village, we are very excited about that. We’ll let you know how it goes!
Also, Elle’s brownies were great. No matter what she says.