Nov 17, 2009

“Everyone come look at this blood sample!”


Sunday night I spent the night with the Staffords so I could get up and go to the clinic with Stephanie on Monday.  Pretty much all day long on Monday I was back in the pharmacy moving medicine to a new shelf, labeling them, and stuff like that.  Lindsey Gee came that day and helped out too.

In the pharmacy, they have some small jars of peanut butter to give out for malnourished patients, and it was on the very top shelf.  Lindsey and I had to move it to its new shelf, so she was on one chair, and I had another one.  I would stand on the chair, grab some peanut butter, hop down, run and hand them to Lindsey, then run back to my chair again.  Thankfully Tizo (Tizo is a young guy who works at the clinic who’s almost like the Smelsers adopted son :) ) happened to come in, and stood on the chair, threw the peanut butter across the room for me to catch, then I would hand it to Lindsey to put on the top shelf.  It went alot faster once we did it that way! Monday was a really busy and interesting day, and I even got to look at a stool sample with hookworms, and a blood sample infected with malaria under the microscope!

 Monday afternoon, Stephanie decided that since Tuesdays at the clinic have been really busy lately, that she would come the next day.  Since I was already staying with Stephanie, I just stayed another night, then went with her on Tuesday (Today, that is!). 

Today was a really busy day!  I started out in the pharmacy, moving medicine so there would be more room in between them. They were really crowded together, and we didn’t want to be accidentally grabbing the wrong one!  After I did that, I transferred diagnoses into the log book (that’s one of my regular jobs now).  When I was done transferring diagnoses, Tizo asked me to help him in the card room.  We cut the patient file folders so they’d be the right size, then we filed them into a cardboard box (A box that I won’t mention took us a while to figure out how to put together right!).  Then I helped Nancy work in the pharmacy…getting people’s medicine, figuring up what they owe, writing down medicines, and a bunch of good stuff like that.  Also, sometimes I try to translate the directions on how to take medicine, and whatever else needs to be said.  I think I need to memorize more medical vocabulary!  Sputum? Pus?! I have no idea what that is in Swahili!  So lots of times we need a real translator instead. :)

Sometimes we’ll see some really sad things at the clinic.  Like today there was a young Masai man who came in who had TB of the spine.  He looked incredibly young…we all thought he was maybe around14, but it turned out he was 22.  He’ll most likely die before too long, because he needs extremely aggressive treatment, which he very most likely won’t receive.  It’s very sad.  But working there is so enjoyable, especially when you have a wonderful old woman thank you over and over, and be so grateful, when all you did is tell her how many times a day to take her Erythromycin!

-Next week Stephanie’s going to let me take patient histories! :)


  1. Wow!!! Maybe, if I'm really lucky, do you think I just might get to see a stool sample with hookworms?? ;) No really, it sounds like great stuff!!

  2. Maybe if you're reeeeeaaally lucky you might! :)


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