Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Another Challenge

We had an accident with one of the children here yesterday morning. A large concrete slab came away from the garden wall while the children were playing . It caught the left foot of Rajeish, the oldest child at the orphanage.The edge of the concrete slab caught Rajeish 's left toes .I was almost ready to leave for the hospital whenI heard a loud wail follwed by cries of pain.

Uma has left for work early (first time ), the helper Nabina was there ,getting the children ready for school. I was called to help. Rajeish was writhing in so much pain that he was inconsolable.I felt quite inadequate and helpless.I know I had to find something firm to support his toes, but I couldn't make Nabina understand what I wanted.

We were both running around like headless chicken, trying to contact Uma, as well as finding something firm while doing our best to console Rajeish.I have a first aid box , as advised by the agency. But what a fat lot of use is the malaria tablets, or diarrhoea tablets are in such a situation. I have no splint nor bamdage. EventuallyI found a packet box firm enough to be used to support the dangling toes All I could acertain was that 2 toes were broken. I could see the white bones sticking out .They were hanging by their skin at a very peculiar angle..Thank god the foot is not too vascular, therefore the blood loss was manageable.

In between trying to make each other understood, and comforting Rajeish who is in considerable pain, I decided that I'll give Rajeish one of my paracetamol, at half an adult dosage. I thought it is either kill or cure. thankfully, it did neither Helpful neighbours came, and we ended up carrying him first to a local clinic (a chemist, I think ). He took one look at Rajeish and shook his head, muttering ' nursing home '. I thought it was strange to go to a nursing home (as we understand by nursing home to be one for elderly people, and not emergency treatment following an accident' .

Nabina then decided to call a taxi. She gestured that I should go with Rajeish, seeing that Uma is still uncontactable. It later transpired that the number I gave Nabina to ring is the home number anyway. It is no wonder that she said its constantly engaged. How stupid can one get , I ask you ? As I got into the taxi, I panicked. I cannot speak Nepali. How on earth am I going to make the taxi driver know where we need to go or myself understood at the hospital ? I didn't know where I was supposed to go or do anyway. At the last minute, Nabina muttered something to a very nice young man, and he came with us . I have to tell you I was very grateful .In the event , we were sent from one hospital to another. A total of 3 hospitals later, Rajeish was seen and treated. He sustained 2 fractured toes , one totally severed, and heavy bruising on the others. Its a question of wait and see if the severed toe will knit back together. Otherwise it will be removed.

I was so relieved to see Uma at the second hospital that I was almost emotional like Rajeish. He just hugged her and cried his eyes out, calling ' mummy mummy' I was very pleased when Uma sent me off to work at the hospital, albeit a little later than normal

The clinic was so very busy that I had to start dispensing immediately.I didn't have a chance to think about the morning's traumatic start. All thoughts and concentration were on dispensing the Anti-Retroviral therapy (ART ). I was counting tablets for the different drugs that the whole morning just flew by. It goes to show that if one adopts a pragmatic approach to some situations, life will just carry on.I was shattered though at the end of my shift

An unexpected call came at midday when I was summoned to meet the new director (= Chief Exec in UK ) of the hospital. I asked sister what could possibly be the reason for wanting to meet a lowly volunteer ? It transpired that it is to do with the equipments which we were able to purchase with the funding from the sponsors in UK. She wanted to do a formal presentation to show the hospital's gratitude.... And this is going to happen on my last working day on friday. Help !

I am not into these grand gestures, and I did not do this to get recognition.I was merely combining my lust for travelling with putting something back with the generosity of all the friends and colleagues in UK. I did try to talk to a Registrar on the quiet, ascertaining whether we could dispense with this formality. I was told categorically that it is going to happen . I have better prepared a speech!

Well, here I am , on wednesday evening with not a word written . I think its important that I find out what her name is before anything else, and preferrably before friday.

With all these excitement , if you can call it that, it is no wonder that I am in bed by 9.30 /10 pm on most evenings. John will tell you that it is unheard of in our book. Oh well, ZZZZzzzzzz

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