Thursday, January 23, 2014

Museums and a Drunk Guy

Today was a very eventful day.  When I awoke at 5:50 to run, I realized I didn’t have the energy to run.  I need to listen to my body if I’m going to optimize the efficiency of my training, so I slept a little longer. 

When I arrived at the clinic, the lady with the leg injury was back and Julia was cleaning the wound again.  At the same time there was a little girl in the office who had a fever.  There is a second room that does have a bed, but it’s almost never used.  The room also contains many necessary medical supplies and a desk for doctors and nurses to use.  For the girl we put warm rags on her head and armpits.  The fever broke soon enough so we could send her home.  Most cases were quite typical today.  We had to clean out some cuts to make sure they heal properly and give some intra-muscular injections.  I didn’t actually touch any patients today, but I think I will be able to tomorrow.  I’m very excited about that. 

There were 2 events in the clinic today that stand out.  First, at noon, a guy came in slurring his words and walking a little funny.  Clearly drunk, but he’d just wandered into the clinic and ER is the nearest to one of the entrances.  Everyone else ignored him, which was smart.  We went into the other little room by the doctors for a little while, but they paid him no attention.  Eventually everyone left, and I was left standing in the corner.  I should have avoided eye-contact, but I was too curious.  He walked over to me and we had a basic conversation; where I’m from, names, etc.   I was first of all impressed that I could still understand him despite his slurring.  Then he asked me for 5 soles, which of course I refused.  He then asked for a hug.  That’s weird, I didn’t like that.   But unfortunately I was trapped with no doors to leave through.  So whether I wanted it or not, that hug was on its way.  I was mostly concerned with him trying to take something from my pockets during the awkward few seconds, since I could see that being a common diversion.  He didn’t go for my pockets, but he did attempt to go for a kiss on my cheek.  As soon as I felt his chin moving in that direction, I pushed him away and said “NO” multiple times.  He then decided he’d try to sit on me.  This of course wasn’t any better, so I pushed him away again.  This time he got the hint that he wasn’t going get any money from me, so he gave up and went elsewhere.  I hope to never duplicate this experience, in a clinic or elsewhere.

The second interesting part of the clinic was a patient with a long laceration.  I didn’t know how long he’d had the wound or how it was healing, but when he took his shirt off the bandage was massive.  It stretched from the tip of his sternum at least 6 inches to the lower right.  There were 2 other students today.  Micaela was there along with a pharmacy student whose name is hard to understand.  They both were unsure of doing the cleaning themselves, so they offered it to me.  I hadn’t done wound cleaning yet, and while it looks easy, I wasn’t about to start with a wound like that.  Tomorrow I should be able to practice this technique that I’ve learned through watching the last 2 days. 

Also, I figured out the egg thing.  I asked Julia because I was so interested in it.  Basically, it’s a good way to keep a wound sealed shut without suturing.  It’s especially ideal for kids who don’t sit still well.  Additionally, it doesn’t leave a scar.  If I ever get a cut in a location lacking medical supplies, I can just use this trick.  Julia talked about some creams that did the same from the US, but she doesn’t have access to them.  She wants to find them because she likes them a lot, they help heal the wounds of many patients without scarring. 

For the afternoon, I walked the city with the ProWorld girls.  We visited 5 historical spots, and it was also no easy journey.  There are so many places to go in the city.  Four museums plus a historical site today.  They were all quite interesting, but I especially liked the mix of Spanish and Incan relics.    

Eventually I went home and traveled to Spanish classes, which weren't too eventful.  I talked to my teacher about the Incan ruins near Cuzco, and I think we're going to be able to do 4 of them this weekend!  I unfortunately got drenched in the rain on my way home.  Overall, it was a day to remember :)

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