Tuesday, June 26, 2012

When It Rains...

I never actually thought that monsoons were that common--okay i'm exaggerating on that statement but I honestly was not prepared for today...at all.  I woke up to sunshine and the beautiful Devil's Peak at my kitchen window and thought what a great day.  Little did I know that an hour or so later I would be faced with high winds and a torrential downpour. Luckily we were inside for the majority of the day working with the wonderful doctors at Victoria but we were also not prepared for walking the UCT campus in the afternoon to the point of soaking clothes and sitting through class for 2 hours drenched and cold.  Have I mentioned that South Africa doesn't really believe in central heating?  This includes the UCT campus.  However, I've been doing a great job of keeping my annoyance and emotions inside (for the most part) and kept with the usual comments of oh its so cold and I'm soaked.

Today at Victoria I shadowed internal medicine and was given the opportunity to speak with some patients regarding their admittance, happiness with the hospital facilities and post-discharge counseling. We were briefed on two cases of men with MDR (Multi-drug resistant TB) that had come from a TB clinic because of bacterial infections such as E.Coli and had developed sepsis. Another man had been admitted numerous times for leg and lower back pain but was unsure what was actually wrong with himself--the doctors did not seem to know either.  The more frustrating issue here was that they had lost his chart and were unable to dispense his medicine until they found it.  If that had happened in the U.S. I would sense a law suit in the near future but that is almost unheard of here.  One of the saddest moments of today was a 53 year old man who had just suffered his 3rd heart attack.  When I asked him what he thought it was from or if he had received any lifestyle/ health counseling he said he had no idea and that he had not received any but would in August.  Why would they not give him any sort of indication or counseling prior to leaving the hospital?  The doctor explained that no one has time and no one really wants to do it.  I feel like a simple preventive class or explanation on how to improve his condition after having an MI would improve his quality of life.  We also saw a woman who has suffered from COPD, stroke and was at the time experiencing an MI. She was also obese.

This afternoon as I mentioned we had class and then I returned to my apartment where I turned all the heaters on and bundled into my bed.  Currently I am sitting at Coco Wah Wah attempting to write my first paper of 3000 words on HIV/AIDS and TB but am unable to concentrate--not because the topic is uninteresting but because I am simply not in school mode. 

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