…they will come. I guess Kevin Costner knew what he was talking about, or was it James Earl Jones? Well, either way… The building is finished and the people are coming! We don’t have equipment or an exam table… technically we’re not even open, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from seeking treatment. We’ve seen lacerations, fevers, vomiting, Malaria, and worms (Filariasis). We’ve been handing out Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen like its candy (thank goodness we bought in bulk), bandaging up wounds with gauze and Neosporin, and telling everyone else they need to go to the hospital in Cestos to get testing and treatment… which never goes over well.
I saw a little boy this morning whose mother had carried him for an hour just to see me. He had been vomiting with a runny stomach (diarrhea) and fever for about a week. He was not eating well and was weak… however his weakness seemed to go away when I tried to weigh him. 🙂 If the clinic was open, and I had the lab equipment, I could have tested him for Malaria. But it’s not, and I can’t. So, I told his mother to give him coconut water, green-leafy vegetables (he was also anemic) and take him to the hospital if the fevers and vomiting continued. In the meantime, Steve and I will buy some children’s vitamins for him next time we’re in Cestos. I just hope she makes the decision to take him to the hospital if he doesn’t get better… the hospital is another 4 hour walk from here (3 to the river and another hour once you cross it).
About a week ago, while Steve and I were in Monrovia, another little boy was brought here. The principal, Sperry, said the boy, about 1 year old, had severe malaria and was even passing out from it. Sperry gave the family money, put them on a motorbike, and sent them to Cestos. However, the parents had waited too long to seek help, the boy died at St. Francis Hospital.
What would we do if we had to walk 3 or 4 plus hours to get medical care? Would we go, or would we wait to see if our sickness passed? Nurses are said to be the worst patients… especially when it comes to seeking medical care. I lived 15 minutes from my doctor’s office, and could drive there, but I still hated to make the trip (especially waiting to be seen). I doubt I would want to walk anywhere, especially if I was sick.
So, the patients are coming here. There isn’t much we can do yet… I do have antibiotics (thanks to a wonderful P.A. from California) but NO ONE has come in with an infection that I could use antibiotics to treat!! (Go figure!) Maybe we’ll end up opening the clinic sooner than we thought…