Published: July 14th 2008July 14th 2008
It’s 3:20pm on Monday, July 14th and I have just returned from taking mini 2. I think it went okay, but we’ll see what the grades say. I’ve been extremely busy over these past couple of weeks, ESPECIALLY last week - it was filled with honors meetings, EMS call, Histology Lab exam, class, and then studying for mini 2 - it was a hellish week. But now it’s Monday at 3:20, which means that mini 2 is done, which means that I am FREEEEE until tomorrow morning at 8am when classes resume again… Freedom is bliss. And what shall I do with my freedom? Well, I will share with you the first thing that I did - got FOOD! What kind of food might you ask? Well, one hand I used to eat my cheese pizza, and the other hand I used to eat a cookies and cream ice cream cone (there was an unfortunate accident with the first ice cream coke - the ice cream fell out, but in good spirits, they thankfully gave me another). Double fisting? Yes. You may be thinking “ew, that’s disgustingly rude” but it was glorious for me. However, two problems arose - 1. I don’t like eating cold pizza and the ice cream was melting, so which do I eat first!?! and 2. Rain was drizzling on me. Well, the answer to the first conundrum is out eat them both at the same time. Cause in this heat the ice cream melts and the don’t stuff it in the cone like the good ice cream scoopers we have at Cold Stones, so you risk losing it, and well like I said, I don’t like cold pizza. Now the second predicament, the rain. I happened to be so delighted by the fact that I was indulging in my long-desired ice cream that I didn’t pay any mind to the rain. Thankfully, I wasn’t put in a position where I had to sacrifice one hand for an umbrella - that would have been a very difficult situation. So now that I am home with a full belly of pizza and cookies and cream ice cream, what shall I do? SSSLEEEEEPPPPPP. For DAYS hopefully.
So what else has been going on? Okay. First of all, I got a barrel from home!!! WOOO!!! Yep! It was a glorious day. And what kinds of goodies did I find? DOUBLE STUFFED OREOS!!! And cheerios, Tostitos, flour tortillas, oatmeal cookies, CLOTHES!!!, cranberry juice (heavenly), body wash, candles, mac and cheese, gum, AND my BIKE!!!! Oh yeah that’s right. My parents managed to disassemble my bike and get it in a barrel and send it all the way down to Dominica. So who put it together? ME!! And let me tell ya, it was NOT easy!!! First of all, I know nothing about bikes, tires, inner tubes, chains, breaks, etc etc, so it was a bit of a challenge. Thankfully, good ole Youtube came to the rescue and taught me how to install an inner tube into a tire and mount the tire and inner tube onto the rim. What they DIDN’T explain was how to mount the tire onto the bike, which I later found out can be done by deflating the tire (yes, after I had inflated and deflated it about twice already - foot pump), or by removing part of the brake system. Then it was on to the chain which is still a mystery to me. So I finally got my bike together, and yes, it does ride, and no, it hasn’t fallen apart yet. I think I actually did a pretty great job. I also got helmet and a bunch of accessories like mud guards and reflectors, locks, and a little stand thing for the back of the bike. So the bike has been extremely useful because, well, as most of you know, I like to be as efficient as possible, and travel by foot just doesn’t cut it. I also got another package filled with more great things like vitamin c packages and a pummel stone and spray for cuts, as your feet get destroyed here and cuts don’t seem to heal as fast. I also got a Celtic’s championship t-shirt, which is way exciting because 1. I don’t have any Celtics parafanalia, and 2. I need to represent! I also got a bunch of food saver bags so that I can maintain some of the produce. So all in all, I have the best parents ever and when you’re away, there are few things that feel so good as receiving packages filled with surprises from home. Oh I should also mention that I got a little device to hook my digital photo frame into, and I was able to upload a TON of pictures onto it, and I have been REALLY enjoying remembering all the fun times I’ve had with all of you. I miss you guys so much!!
Alright I’m getting pretty tired here, but I have one more quick story to tell. So I am part of a organization here called Salybia Mission Project which provides free health care to the “carib” people of the Salybia area of the island. This area is about an hour and a half away and one of the most nauseating trips I have ever taken. So, there were five of us students and one doctor to see twenty-five patients, ranging in age from small child to elder. Now the amazing there here is that these people don’t have “appointments” to see us - they come, and they wait. And they wait for HOURS. And you will not once hear them complain about how long they’re waiting or fighting about who is next to be seen. The children are all exceptionally well behaved and the patients will always refer to you as doctor. For instance, if I were to ask a patient “Did you have a runny nose today?,” the response from the patient is always “No, doctor” - even to me! Even though I’m not a doctor yet, that’s pretty cool. So what did we see? A lot of patients had gastric problems like acid reflux and GERD, as well as skin problems like fungal infections and eczema. I did play one very big role for one patient, which was spreading his buttox cheeks to inspect his fungal infection… ummm… so that was probably one of the most awkward things I have ever had to do… but hey - glove up! Lol So anyways, yeah, that was pretty cool. There’s a HUGE difference as to how things are done here - the patients carry around a composition notebook and that is their medical record. They keep it with them and carry it to the doctor who can read through and get an idea of their history, and then will write his report and write in any prescriptions. The patient then takes their composition book to the pharmacist, who looks at the order and fills the prescription. I also found that prescriptions for things like acid reflux were given for a much shorter time course - just a few days as opposed to the basically “however long you feel you need it for” American style. Also, of the 25 patients we saw, we did not recommend one of them for further diagnostic testing. Astounding. I don’t think that means that the care we provided wasn’t necessarily as good, it’s moreso to get the patient through the next couple of days, when hopefully they will be feeling better and will be able to change their habits to regain their health. Such as changing their diet instead of keeping the same diet and just eating up a bunch of antacid pills.
There is probably more that I could say about my thoughts and observations during my volunteer time at Salybia, but I’m exhausted and it’s time to sleep.
I miss you all and hope everyone is doing well. I will be home in just a few days over a month, and I can’t wait to see you all!! Until then, take care!