Day 5

PictureToday was another clinic day in a large church in the Bole area.  We expected to see 130 patients, but only about 90 showed up.  This population today was much healthier and better nourished than the previous day’s patients.  Mostly the word was out that the American doctors were here with glasses so many came to receive a pair of reading glasses.  Most of the complaints were eye irritation, which is not surprising as charcoal fueled stoves are used indoors with no ventilation. 

PictureOthers came with various skin wounds and infections.  Some seem to come merely for reassurance.  One very sweet woman came in with complaints of her eye.  I didn’t see anything wrong with it, but clearly the other eye was blind.  When questioned about the blind eye, her story of how she became blind in that eye tugged at my heart.  She was a child and was told to mind the cow, she did something wrong and her uncle beat her for it, injuring her eye so badly that she lost sight in it.  I asked her if she was worried that she would lose sight in the good eye and I could see the light go on in her head and she said, “yes.”  PictureShe works as a maid and needs her sight to continue to be employable, there is no one else to care for her if she is unable to work.  Sometimes laughter is an outlet for stressful situations.  In the bus on the way back to the house the doctor that saw this particular patient said because of the interpretation confusion she thought the cow bit the woman’s eye.  She had to ask several times, “how can a cow bite someone’s eye?”  She then figured out the misunderstanding and we all had a good laugh.

Back at the house, we enjoyed a delicious dinner of meatballs and mashed potatoes with a cake for dessert.  Ah, comfort food!