The 8th week
For 7 weeks now every Friday (or Thursday) we would all get up early and hop in the bus and drive to whatever village was scheduled for the week. Well today was the 8thweek though it seemed very solemn and quiet, something was missing. Like the team I had grown to know over the past 7 weeks, now it was me and Roo left for the school. Along with the staff that has been there every week. The bus seemed more spacious yet lonely.
When we got to the location I felt a little like a fish out of water. Everyone seemed to know what to do and had a job and I didn’t know what to do. Pauline then gave me a spot and deemed me doctor for the day, I took a deep breath. Roo saw the panic that I was fighting to not show. She said don’t worry about it the L-rd will lead you, the light went off in my head like “oh yeah that’s right G-d will help me, why am I worrying, that’s why I am here after all” and of course I knew that but we can all use reminders.
I still felt like there was so much I didn’t know, and this time I didn’t have other students next to me to pick their brains. How many times I forgot and had to ask silly little questions, oh how humbling it was for me. I am still learning, the more time I have out there the better I will get. I am still working on changing my mind set. I am thinking too much with my western mind. A majority of our patients come in with a cough and cold, I don’t know how many times I have said in my head, really they came for a cough and cold. We never go to the doctors for a little cough and cold (unless it gets bad). Then I catch myself and say “of course we don’t, mom just reaches into the medicine cabinet or drives to the store and gives me pills or syrup. Most of these people can’t afford medicine even, a dollar cough syrup. Something that really surprised me is how easy it is to get medicine here. You don’t need a prescription for a lot of things. Being that going to a doctor is too expensive, people just go to a sary,and get some amoxicillin and just take it when they have a cough. Like you would take Paracetamol (Tylenol). I know we have a problem in the states with people not finishing their antibiotics because they feel better, not realizing that when they don’t finish their body builds up antibodies and get what we would call immune and it no longer works and its just all around not good for you. The more I work here the more I realize that education is important, informing people how to take care of themselves. Sometimes I find myself back in my western mind, saying ” how can these people not know……” but how would they? Has anyone ever told them?” A few times during the school I was asked a question that I did not know, when I said I did not know, I was asked how come you don’t know that, you should know that. Well my response was simple, I never learned it. Well just like I should of known so should they, now all we need is someone to teach them.