March 7, 2007
What a day! I finally decided that today would be the day to go see a doctor and get some testing. I have been so incredibly exhausted and just feeling generally under the weather. Not sure what it is (but I am guessing there are some parasites from Angola that are hiding out in my body), but we’ll see if they can actually test blood, swabs and stool samples here!
Ok… I took Meagan with me for company, knowing it could take a while! Had no idea how long a while would be. We arrived at the hospital at 9 AM and waited to speak to one of the doctors, and then we went to register and take a number! I was number 56! Then it was off to a line up where they would take you in a room weigh you and take your blood pressure! I sat outside on the cement walkway for a couple of hours and then managed to have my number come close enough that I was able to go into the clinic and sit on a bench. We were the “only” white people there and that made for some interesting conversations and looks! One older gentleman thought that they were trying to move me ahead of the line because I was white… it took a while to convince him that 68 was quite a bit down the line from 56 and that I had been there a long while already!!
Eventually I did make into the blood pressure and weight room! My blood pressure was 110/70 and NO I am not telling you my weight! HA! After being pressured and weighed I was off to another line up to wait for the doctor. I saw Dr. Musasa who is from the DRC and on the board of the Ark. His boy Alex plays with Trevor! He ordered some blood tests, a throat swab and stool samples. I thanked him for seeing me and then it was off to another line up!
Ok… they do not take blood here like they do in Canada! Wow! OUCH! They blew 2 veins drawing 2 vials of blood! I have a small bruise on my wrist and a much larger bruise on my forearm. I will find out NEXT week how I am doing (if they manage to read my blood, swab and stool properly… or if they manage to not get my blood mixed up with someone else… like one lady who they told had AIDS and well it was someone else’s blood that had gotten mixed up with hers). I watched them get the needles out of the sealed packages so we’ll hope that they didn’t give me anything while I was getting my tests! Hmmmm!
Well, what time did we finish you ask… at 1PM… 4 hours, not bad, just to have a regular doctor visit and a few little tests!! We had to rush home, I had a bruised and bloody arm but we couldn’t wait around, Pete needed into the house, and I had the key. Almost considered letting Meagan drive, but thought better of it! HA! Meagan was very woozy after watching me give blood, I am pretty sure she was almost green. She decided that she did not ever want to be a nurse, but I thought perhaps she should be and well… actually learn how to take blood (the right way!!!).
It wasn’t until I was home that the comment the nurse made hit me…(after the first vial of blood had been removed) I said, wow that is a big bruise… she said “IT IS ONLY BECAUSE YOU ARE WHITE THAT IT LOOKS LIKE THAT”! HAHAHAHAHA! Ok… wow… I guess they must bruise everyone, and they just can’t see it on the darker skin! They could use a good teacher to come and show them how to actually take blood without bruising! I am sure it can be done, in fact, I am pretty sure I have had it done a ‘few’ times without the bruising! J It is actually kind of painful, so it would be nice if they could learn to do it the right way!
That was my day. I am still not thinking clearly so I hope that it makes sense! This is life in Africa!