Sorry I haven’t been as diligent in my blogging as Katie has been. Also, it sometimes seems silly for me to write about our experiences when Katie just did… even though I may have a different view of the situation, it seems repetitive. So… just one thing to add about that patient Katie described that was an alcoholic with hepatic encephalopathy and some other presumed infection… we were able to visualize the process of decerebrate posturing. This is basically the physical exam findings that you get when your brain is not receiving enough oxygen. We watched his arms bend at the elbows as he was dying. I know that it may seem strange for me to mention this but usually you do not see this as an active process (as people often die much quicker or present with this posturing). Katie did a wonderful job explaining our past adventures, so I’ll just talk about what is happening right now.
Katie and I are freaking out because we have 3 hours before we find out where we will be working for the next 3 years (it is Residency Match day today). Wish us luck! In addition to this anxiety and stress… we had a patient today that was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday and we were just seeing him for the first time today (Thursday). He came into the hospital walking and talking and now he is basically comatose and quickly deteriorating. Because he is HIV positive, he has a multitude of diseases that could be affecting him. We have just started him on almost every available medication for his possible infections… but this could have been avoided. We checked on him this afternoon and he is still alive. I hope he makes it through the night.
After he was set up with treatment, Katie and I went to a lecture about HIV/AIDS throughout the world and the various ways countries are attempting to treat this horrible disease process. This was given by a retired Physician from UCLA. It is very interesting to learn about medicine in the International setting. We (being students from the US) are so used to hearing about US medicine and it is very nice to be able to hear about medicine from across the globe and the challenges that other countries are facing. After this lecture, we were able to go to the laboratory in the hospital and learn about blood parasites. We were able to learn how to prepare slides to visualize malaria, African Trypanasomiasis (aka African sleeping sickness,), and Filariasis causing Elephantiasis. All of these diseases are special to tropical climates and we would most likely never see them at home, unless we had a travelling patient presenting in our clinic/hospital. Hopefully we will be able to see a few more slides before we return to the US, as we ran out of time in the lab.
The computer lab is closing now… so I must be going. One last thing, we were finally able to see the monkey that hangs around our house. He is pretty large and has a funny white stripe on his face. I am failing to recall the type of monkey he is, but it is the more common type here in Uganda. I am told that he is a male because the males are the ones that usually travel alone. Maybe he is a bachelor like me, just trying to see what is out there in this big scary world! I hope he finds what he is looking for.
Sorry my blog is a bit disorganized and random today. Hopefully after I find out where I will be for Residency, I will be able to organize my thoughts a bit.
your anxious adventurer,