Sorry for the late email – seems as though some people are following these emails quite closely, and when one didn’t appear yesterday, I had messages asking if all was ok! Well, I’m afraid to report, it’s not been that ok this last 24-48 hrs. Went to bed Saturday evening and unable to get warm. Woke up Sunday with really bad joint aches, extreme weakness which resulted in having to lie down on bathroom floor several times. Checked out my observations, which showed I had a temperature – malaria test proved negative (thank God). Then came the diarrhoea and further episodes of lying on the floor. I was rescued by a passing nurse who helped me to the nearest bed, given IV fluids and reviewed by Doctor. Wasn’t admitted into the hospital, but today I returned for blood tests and submitted a sample. Just need to wait on results now. Needless to say, I have not been at work today (and unlikely to be for a few days yet). My cabin mates have been great, always asking if I need anything and supplying me with a fleecy blanket. I have heard of many people recently who seem to have had the same thing, that’s the only problem when the community is so close-knit, I’ve had to be quite diligent to wipe down the bathroom after I’ve been in, because I’m sharing with 7 other girls!!!
The week prior was as busy as ever. All my usual types of patients plus I had a hand in diagnosing a diabetic patient, giving advice to someone who was taking diclofenc and paracetamol and almost overdosing themselves, and someone else with an extensive leg wound. Also found out that there is some tea that you can buy to lower your blood pressure – this could be worth investing in for most of our patients!
We also had Hannah Mulvihill with us this last week. Hannah is from the UK office of Mercy Ships and supports volunteers. A group of UK crew had a meal out on Tuesday evening to a restaurant called ‘La Fourchettes’ – all different types of food – European, Indian, pizza etc, I had a jacket potato – really enjoyed the oven baked skin! I also went out on Thursday evening as a German girl from the galley was leaving. That was also a lovely meal, fish, plantains and rice – rather expensive, but good company.
I have also joined the Wednesday night Taize prayer group. It is a weekly oasis of Latin/French chants, mixed with times of silence and prayer. Didn’t realise I was so homesick until I started attending.
On Friday afternoon all our Day Crew plus 2 of their family members came to the Ship for a talk on what the Ophthalmic team does, plus they had a tour of the ship. They all seemed to really enjoy it and plenty of pictures were taken.
I’ll end here – watch this space for the medical update …………………………….