Thursday, February 4, 2010

Carrefour Clinic: Our second day

Despite our good intention of an early schedule we seldom left on time. In order to follow the early schedule I got up earlier each day, around 5:30 am to prepare for my run and I continued to dedicate myself to my training. Haiti must be one of the worst places for running. The sidewalk is narrow and I had to dodge pedestrians, vendors, buses, trucks, cars parked on the sidewalk, hog, goats and chickens and I had to be careful of potholes.

Before we could go to our clinic in Carrefour, we had to drive to Blanchard to pick up our pharmacist, lab technician, interpreters and supplies, in particular medications. This probably would be my last time seeing the Blanchard clinic and the children. We bumped into heavy traffic on the coastal road and Marcelin directed Papi, our driver to go through Port-au-Prince. Seeing streets after streets of destroyed buildings in broad day light hit home for the first time. I cried for the first time, finding it difficult to imagine myself in their shoes. We wound through the garbage choked waterways and by the time we arrived, many patients were already waiting for us.

My very first patient was a 20-year-old woman with a very high fever for 2 weeks and 3 days of diarrhea. She had a very stiff neck and I could not tell if she had cerebral malaria, bacterial meningitis or typhoid fever. Our malaria testing kit was not working. We gave her some advil to lower her fever and she was sent down to a local doctor down the street who was able to test her for typhoid fever which she turned out to have. We had to turn away a couple of children, one of whom told me he passed 7 worms; we ran out of worm medications. Before the day was over, we were out of many medications.

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