Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Many injuries in Belenpampa, Centro Qosqo del Arte Nativo

I ran my furthest yet during my time in Cuzco.  20 minutes one way, over 4 miles.  Using times to gauge my training is easier than distance, although I can use google maps to calculate distances.  I felt good, but I was tired afterward.  I’m trying to figure out my goal time for the 25k River Bank Run; I know I need that to motivate myself in my training.  It isn’t always easy to wake up before 6 for a run. 

Belenpampa was pretty wild today.  There were 3 major, interesting injuries in addition to the typical injections and removal of stitches.  First was a lady who looked like a nun, but her husband was with her so that was clearly a temporary misunderstanding on my part.  She was walking in a street, when a dog walked by her.  Once past, it turned around and bit her in the ankle.  That’s scary, since that could happen to anyone and it’s a major injury.  She had 4 puncture wounds and major bruising, which made it difficult for her to walk.  All we did was clean the wounds.  The husband was very adamant about wanting a vaccination for rabies, but that required a physician’s approval.  They left the room without getting an injection, and I assume they went to one of the doctor consultation offices to get that taken care of.  I don’t want to imagine that they left with nothing but a wound cleaning, because that would be unsafe.  Julia also told them that if the dog is still alive in 10 days, it almost certainly doesn’t have rabies and she should be fine.  I suppose that makes sense, although I’m not sure that anyone wants to just let the dog run wild in the city for a few more days to check diagnosis.  Second was a man with 2 large wounds; one on the inside of his thigh, one on his foot.  The vocab describing this one eluded me, but I know that the same cause resulted in both injuries.  Of course, I was again asked by the students if I wanted to handle this one.  I was foolish enough to say yes, although the nursing student was there helping me.  We had much difficulty removing the bandage on his foot because of all the seepage from the abrasion; it required a lot of water to allow it to move.  Once it came off and I saw what was underneath, I was 100% aware that this was beyond my training.  I let the other student handle this one.  It was still an open wound, roughly circular with a diameter of about 2 inches.  Even if all the techniques don’t translate, the ability to tolerate gory wounds will certainly help me in my further medical training.  Lastly, a woman shut her finger in a car door.  Just the tip was crushed, so instead of fracturing a bone it gave her a nasty, deep cut that required suturing.  I am shocked at the power of circulation in the hands, that ¾ in. long cut bled everywhere.  Julia used anesthesia to silence the pain, then went to town.  Five stitches later all was well, but that would be a horrific wound to have because of the hypersensitivity of the fingers.  I felt bad for the poor woman.  Toward the end of my shift Luis came in and asked me if we could meet this weekend so he could practice his English!  I’ll spend some time to spend with Carlos as well, but I’m very happy with the friendships I’m developing in and outside the clinic. 

For the afternoon I went to ProWorld, where the internet decided to work today.  It seems to be safe when other people are there to reset it when it misbehaves, but without that it can be hopeless.  I encourage you to look at the pictures I put on facebook of Quiquijana; the scenery is incredible, and the town is far removed from anything we’d experience in the US.  It is one of my favorite experiences thus far, and hopefully the pictures communicate that to you.

Instead of the class tonight, I went to the Centro Qosqo del Arte Nativo, where dance performances occur every night.  These dances capture the essence of Cuzco, as one of the most authentic dance groups of the region.  The performance was interesting, involving a large, live band and the dancers.  The outfits were excellent, embodying the colorful textiles of the Cuzco region.  Dresses usually had at least 3 layers, and were always an integral part of the dance.  I must admit it seemed a bit chaotic to me, but I suppose that is very much consistent with my experience in this city, especially with public transportation.

I then returned home, where I was asked to buy pan chuta, which is a particular type of bread that originated in a pueblo we passed through on the way to Quiquijana.  It looks like an artisan bread, with the circular shape.  This is smaller than the artisan breads in the US, but it only costs 1 sol; under 40 cents.  That’s crazy.  The family immensely enjoyed my reaction.  I sometimes feel like a burden to them because our schedules don’t always line up, but it’s times like that when I know that they are enjoying having me here and I need not worry about impressing them or being overcautious about the work that I require with food and whatnot.  

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