Today I got up and went to the clinic and what started off as a typical primary care day changed fairly quickly. I had a man come in after having a fight with his wife during which she bit his lip...last week. Now he had a very large infected wound instead of a lip. He was laughing about the fight but I couldn't laugh about the wound. Yikes. Hello antibiotics.
Another man, drove his motorcycle while intoxicated. He crashed with the motorcycle landing on top of him, passed out and burned a large part of his right lower leg...last week. Now, I had to debride a dirty burn wound with bits of God knows what inside. He was in severe pain, but I managed to get it done. He'll be back tomorrow for a dressing change.
An elderly gentleman came in with a lesion on his knee growing for "a long time". He has had nightly fevers/sweats for "awhile". I asked about tuberculosis but he didn't think he had it. Take a gander at the picture and let me know what you think. I even tried to lance it but nothing came out. He was sent to the health department for tuberculosis testing.
Seriously, one weird case after another came in today. Just when you think you got your groove on as a provider, something stumps you. Today, it must have been stump the PA day.
After work, I had an early dinner and Edelin and I took a walk to see the progress on one of the homes being built and swung past one of the water tanks sponsored by Peacework Medical. It reminded me of a baby brought in today by her mother. She had white watery diarrhea (rice-water stools anyone?). We've had a lot of rain lately and this can increase the risk of a cholera outbreak. During the previous cholera epidemic in this area, Peacework worked to install 30 water treatment tanks around the village which stopped the epidemic in it's tracks. There are still occasional cases as people can use other water sources but I am unaware of any recent deaths due to cholera and those cases that crop up now have a chance at early intervention due to the clinic. As Pam Burwell, Peacework's Director and Founder, explained to me, those tanks are just as important in preventing death and disease as the clinic. I see the tanks on my hikes and the life-giving water they provide and am in awe of how much we can do as individuals. Pam's vision for improving Ranquitte's health has saved countless lives.
Summing up Day 10: I have seen so many new things on this trip but one thing is universal: Men wait until a limb is falling off before they admit that it hurts. Why??????