Rounding and rounding…

Today I finished my final day of Nephrology. Even though I was quite discouraged before with what I thought was futile medicine, today I saw improvement in the conditions of many of my patients. I didn’t write yesterday because I had many patients die and didn’t think my blog would be that cheerful. I won’t go into the sad details…but it was rough. Today was a bit different because we actually sent home a few patients that no longer needed treatment at the hospital. Yeah! Our patient load lightened up a bit due to nature taking it’s course and discharging a few patients, so we were able to have a few teaching sessions on rounds this morning. I never knew I could stand in one place for so many hours… it was impressive. We rounded on 3 patients from 9 am to 1 pm. Efficiency isn’t there forte here at Mulago Hospital.

After rounds, the nephrologist took a resident from Canada and me up to the DIALYSIS UNIT! I thought that we didn’t have dialysis at this hospital but we actually do. I guess what the doctors meant was that they don’t have dialysis for the patients that we see because they can’t afford it. This ruffled my feathers a bit more. I was finally getting used to the idea that they didn’t have dialysis and we were trying our best with what we had. Now I know that it is just a money issue.

On the lighter side of things, it sounds like Katie and I are going to get to attend a “football” game this weekend with a few local friends. It sounds like the games can get pretty heated and the crowds get really involved. I imagine it will be similar to the games down in Central America. We were told only to bring enough money to get in and buy a drink… otherwise we may end up having to make a “charitable donation” to those in need. I am sure we’ll have a great time. Don’t worry Rob we are following “Rob rules.”

For lunch today we had… yep you guessed it, rice and beans. I actually had a couple samosas as well (ground beef, carrots, and spices wrapped in a pastry dough) and a Mt. Dew. The Mt. Dew definitely doesn’t taste like it does at home. I was told it is because of the sugar they use here is less processed and gives it a better flavor. It also makes everything taste similar… so I’ll probably just stick with the fresh juice they have (passion fruit juice is my favorite).

Yesterday we were told by the Coordinator of International Students here that she has already received emails from DMU students that are interested in coming to Uganda. Hopefully we have started a trend. It would be great to establish a student exchange program with this medical school (we were the first from our school to come here so far).

One last note. I was almost hit by a beetle the size of a sparrow last night while taking a walk. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera. I am sure by the time I get home, I will be describing the beetle as the size of a crow (just as my fish tales end up).

covered with plenty of DEET,



6 Responses to “Rounding and rounding…”

  1. Erin Says:

    Jon, so enjoy all you tell us, know we are reading and waiting for more! I am sure you get frustrated with the medicine and lack of medicine there but the fact that more students will follow must be encouraging. And the students from Uganda going to DMU will bring back knowledge to help their people. One person at a time is how the world gets changed. You are the one person making the change and we continue to pray! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Diane (Mom) Says:

    You sound so busy that it seems like we are standing still here in the USA just doing our same old things – work, watching tv, etc. Well I am helping people, but your work seems much more intense. I’m glad that you are getting some fun and relaxation. I don’t know if I would like the football, but the rafting on the nile is more my idea of excitement.
    I hope that many more medical students will follow in your footsteps. I look forward to reading more of your stories – even hearing about your rice and beans is interesting.
    Love, Mom

  3. Mikaela Says:

    Happy Valentine’s Day to the two of you! Katie, it is was wonderful to hear your voice today and I love you very much! I hope your cold goes away so you get to make new friends…the gorillas. Pick the nice (smallest) one! Have a great week!

  4. rebecca Says:

    hey jon,
    I absolutely ADORE passion fruit juice. I always mix it with seltzer though, as on its own it is a bit too sweet for me… funny, since it’s generally considered tart!
    Anyways, I too am really enjoying your posts… they are anything BUT boring. So you might have to change the name of the blog. You are doing an amazing thing there. So proud of you.

  5. boringstoriesfromafrica Says:

    Passion fruit!!!! Definitely good stuff. We buy it on the street at the market by our house. We may try to buy a bunch of it and make the juice at home but we are not sure if we have a blender. Go Africa!

  6. Korey Says:

    Wow. The stories are so interesting! I would imagine that your days would be so full of mixed emotions. Good and beautiful, tough and ugly, I can only imagine the kinds of wonderful and awful things that you are experiencing. I will continue praying for you! I know that God is working in the people there and in you as you serve them in this way. 🙂

    Wear sunscreen goofball,

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