Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Medical Problems

Sorry to have been off for a couple of weeks but have been having some medical issues. After months of chronic UTIs I went for an IVP which was normal, no stones and within 12 hours started pain and passed a stone! So much for tests! I had Major drive me to Harare to see my doctor because of the excruciating pain and about at the end of our dirt road felt a lot of pain and then relief! I knew that bumpy road was worth something!
All the way on the road I was curled up in fetal position not talking and Major was sure I died and kept asking if I was OK! I couldn't talk because it would hurt more and so he talked more! Funny now that I look back at it, not when I was using my Lamaze breathing techniques! That pain was something else and the drugs didn't touch it--and let me tell you I tried quite a few!
Now I am feeling better and only missed 1 day of work so that was good timing! My doctor in Harare gave me more drugs which helped a bit but seemed to make me more sick so didn't take them for long!
This week we have been dealing with so many patients who have been mistreated by other local hospitals. We finally decided that they might as well close the other hospitals and refer all people here because no one is going to them. As one of my patients said "I would rather die than go there," which is almost what happened!
Lori is helping me a lot in the work and this week she is being our computer expert as 2 of our computers started to crash! I am glad someone knows something besides how to turn it on and off like me!
We are always amazed that training of nurses and doctors has deteriorated so much due to the brain drain and those who could teach leaving for greener (even just a little less brown) pastures! This week one of my nurses wrote "dislocated diagram (meaning diaphragm)" as a diagnosis for a kid who got knocked out of scotch cart. That was a new one for me! I gave her a short anatomy lesson to tell her how that was an impossibility! The patient recovered so didn't need to google how to treat that dislocation!
We keep having hot weather and expect the rains to start any day--but nothing so far. People are wanting to buy seed and fertilizer but it is costing more than most people can afford!
We were blessed by a local farmer in Karoi who sent word he has 2 tons of maize for us and we can come and get it. After all the farmers have gone through in getting kicked off their land, it is truly a blessing for us to have him share so generously with us!
Today I was thinking I would be nominated and win the Nobel Prize for medicine--and you can say you knew me when! I was counting on how to spend that 1 million dollar prize too! I was counselling a patient and his wife for ART (drugs to treat AIDS) and asked the patient if he had been sick at all. he told me he had cancer. Immediately I began looking for K/S lesions (cancer in AIDS patients) and I asked where and he showed me in his armpit and he had a fungal infection. I told him I could certainly cure that "cancer" and prescribed some Diflucan! Maybe they will still consider me for the prize or at least the million dollars!
Take care and have a good week! Love, Kathy

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Pictures to share

Some pictures from a recent trip to Kariba

Hi from Kathy

Top 10 Reasons for Missing Chidamoyo

Top 10 Reasons to be Missing Chidamoyo

10. You ask someone’s name to write in the Lab test book and he says “I’m Innocent” and you reply “I don’t care if you are innocent or guilty, I just want your name” and then you figure out that is his name—Innocent!
9. Your order an X-ray and when the patient asks how much it is you reply “8 chickens or 1 goat, if it big or 2 if it is small, or 10 Obama dollars, 100 Zuma Rands, 1 blanket or 6 litres of cooking oil.
8. You ask for warm water for a surgical procedure and they call the driver and car and when you ask why they said you asked for “wamotor” (Shona for car).
7. You ask a nurse why this order was not done in the last 24 hours and the answer is “I did not admit the patient” so if the order was not followed it is the fault of the nurse who admitted the patient!
6. As a visitor you are at Chidamoyo the last week of the month and Sister McCarty greets you with “lucky you—you can do the end of the month reports for the next 4 days and you are leaving in 2 days—so work fast”!
5. You go to tea and everyone tells you “don’t touch Sister McCarty’s butt or she will be very upset!” Only after a few days do you learn that the butt is the heel of the bread and that Sister likes that piece best and so you can’t touch it because it is her’s!
4. During tea you talk about patients, their stories, their diarrhea, vaginal discharge, sore and sex life, until one of your visitors says “I think we need to call the chaplain to pray for all of you!”
3. You ask an ART patient why they are late for their meds and they said the river was full. When you point out they live where there is no river to cross to get to the hospital—they repeat “but, there was a full river at Badze”—the opposite direction of where they live!
2. You treat a patient for dysentery and while doing a health education lesson to prevent them from getting this disease again, in the future, you mention that maybe they shouldn’t get their drinking water from the river where cows, goats and people void and poop into it. They then look at you and say “that’s why it tastes so good!” End of health education!
1. As you are catheterizing a 88 year old man who has BPH (benign prostatic hypertrophy) he tells you he can’t void because he used a condom last week and so now it is blocking the urine from coming out!

Non-medical Reasons:
10. The electricity (ZESA) is on for 24 hours straight and you feel guilty you don’t have a phone to call and tell them they forgot to turn us off!
9. You eat a cake with chocolate sprinkles on top and wonder if it is really chocolate or dead ants on the cake.
8. You bake a cake and the gas runs out before it is done and so it is still uncooked in the middle. Instead of throwing it out you frost it and bring it to tea the next day at the hospital, where it is demolished and proves your theory once again “they will eat anything at tea”—even a raw cake!
7. You stop alongside the road where someone is holding up a box of washing powder—you ask how much it is and as you negotiate people come out of the bushes with bars of soap, oil, flour and sugar—the first drive through shop in Zimbabwe!
6. You ask the price for anything in shops and they ask “Obama dollars, Zuma Rands or Brown pounds?”
5. You cross the border by road from Zimbabwe to South Africa and in the toilet on the SA side is a big sign behind each toilet that reads “Do not flush Zimbabwean dollars as they plug up our septic system!” Which proves once again the Zim dollar is worth sh--!
4. Eating sadza and vegetables is now called eating sadza and grass because it is all you have to graze on each day!
3. You are visiting in the US and a stranger asks where you come from and you say Zimbabwe and they want to take you to dinner because they know you must be hungry!
2. You have 100 trillion dollars in your wallet and no one wants to take that useless money—including the Zimbabwe government who has outlawed its own currency as useless and illegal in their own country!
1. You are served communion at church by a youth group young man wearing a T-shirt with a picture of a chipmunk holding 2 acorns and the writing beneath in big letters says “wanna play with my nuts?”

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Hospital prices

This week we reviewed our barter prices and thought you might enjoy this. Maybe I can be an advisor for Obama on his health care agenda?



Chicken 3 30

Cow 100 1000

Goat 15 150

Groundnuts (per bucket) 4 40

Hanga (guinea fowl) 3 30

Maize (per bucket) 2 20

Pig 40 400

Sheep 15 150

Sugar Beans (per bucket) 10 100

Sunflower Seeds (per bucket) 2 20

Turkey 6 60

Soy Beans (per bucket) 4 40

Nyemba (Cow peas) (per bucket) 5 50

Nyimo (Round Nuts) (per bucket) 5 50

We are no longer accepting Manure (mufudze) or Thatch (uswa)!!
Out of Area without referral—Rural x 2 Urban x 5
No prior cards you will be charged out of area!
Urban areas—money only—no bartering.