On Thursday we continued to see patients and ended the week with a total of 6 people enrolled into the registry! I was very pleased with how the week went and with the difference I saw in the enrollment process by the nurses from Wednesday to Thursday. We obviously have a long way to go until everyone is enrolled but we’re off to a good start.
Twalib saw multiple patients on Thursday and I once again helped him scribe, learning all of the cardiac lingo as I went along. Unfortunately 3 of the 4 patients that we enrolled into the registry were completely new patients, meaning that their RHD was caught relatively late, after they were already symptomatic. Although I see RHD patients almost every day it is still hard to grasp that so many people are affected even though this disease is preventable. Two of these patients were my age and I honestly can’t even imagine being fine one day and waking up a month later with severe chest pain to be told I was in heart failure.
We were also able to see the little boy with the constrictive pericarditis on Thursday. They drained 6L (SIX LITERS!) from his abdomen, which I was able to watch without passing out (giving myself a pat on the back for that one). This poor guy is honestly so uncomfortable and I simply cant wait for him to get his surgery. Twalib was able to get him an appointment at the UHI in August so I have made it my personal project to get him sponsored so that his surgery can go off without a hitch. I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
On Friday I spent the day at the hospital organizing the penicillin books (easier said than done) to make sure that our data is ready to go. I was able to enjoy a Friday afternoon workout on our front lawn, since our homeowners left a bunch of free weights behind. I am 100% positive that our neighbors think I am absolutely nuts. As if a white girl walking around Gulu wasn’t enough…a white girl doing burpees on the grass in the hot sun is definitely something for them to talk about.
On Friday night I had dinner at the Indian restaurant with my friend Emma. It was the first time that we were able to really catch up since I’ve been back and we ended up chatting for about 3 hours. We called it an early night to get ready for our 4th of July festivities.
Jess and I were able to convince our Ugandan friend David to throw a party for the 4th of July. He has a pool and a very large courtyard which is conducive to having a lot of people. Minus the fact that there were people from all over the world and that Europeans and Ugandans outnumbered Americans, it was exactly the type of celebration we would have had in the states. We ordered pizzas instead of cooking out and spent the afternoon in the pool with some cocktails and “American music” -I swear I need to burn all of the Justin Bieber CD’s in this country. David was even able to find us an American flag in the market so that was proudly displayed in the front of his house. There were a bunch of people that I had not met before as well so it was a great opportunity to make some new friends. There is definitely a video of us singing the national anthem somewhere so I can’t wait for that to resurface.
On Sunday I went to the Iron Donkey with Jess and started working on some of my secondary applications for medical school. I only have a few right now but unfortunately all of the schools I applied to send a secondary to all applicants, which means essays upon essays. I should be getting those within the next two weeks and I’m sure that they will take up all my spare time.
Hope everyone has a great week!
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