Tuesday, 22 May 2012

22nd May 2012

There hasn’t been any internet for a couple of days and it doesn’t look like it will return for some time so I’m not sure when this blog will be posted. We’ve also increasingly been having power cuts, probably due to the heavy rain storms that appear most days. It’s still hot for much of the day though so the ground remains pretty dry. The afternoon sun also means that the fruit on the tress continues to ripen but along with this comes ever-increasing numbers of monkeys. I was hoping that our mango tree might give us just a few mangos but sadly, the monkeys got there first.

Despite the changing weather, we are still managing to enjoy morning and afternoon tea on the veranda. However, a couple of days ago, there was a worrying sewage smell wafting past as the regular 4pm afternoon wind whipped up. I am hoping that it wasn’t coming from our cesspit, which by the way, is just a hundred metres down the garden. I have no knowledge about cesspit management and wonder whether the heavy rain is causing some kind of overflow. It is, of course, more likely that the aroma is coming from next door’s latrine, which is housed in a metal sheeting building and adds to the view from our veranda.

I’m pleased to report that the car is on its way back to us tomorrow. Possibly more important, the Ethiopian gynaecologist working with Jeremy will also be on his way back from Addis along with the car. It has been a tough week here for Jeremy as he has had to be on-call for the whole week day and night. At times this isn’t so bad but for some reason it has been incredibly busy, requiring him  to be up for large chunks of the nights. I am trying to help out where I can and so assist in the outpatient clinic by doing the ultrasound scans. Interestingly, the women of Gimbie are much richer than the women I see in the more rural areas. For a start, they all seem to have underwear here and they don’t seem to mind at all when you tell them that they need to come back for a further check up.

I even donated a pint of blood this evening as a woman arrived pretty shocked and near dead, having had a massive bleed after she retained her placenta following her fifth child being delivered at home. She was fitting on arrival, which suggested that she may have had an eclamptic fit, although her blood pressure wasn’t high. Interestingly, she also had sugar and protein in her urine, suggesting that she was eclamptic but that she also had diabetes. To have 3 pathologies (diabetes, eclampsia and retained placenta) at once is pretty impressive and certainly presents a few tricky problems for her management. Her family also donated 2 pints of blood, which was just as well as she had a further bleed later that evening.

Along with our car comes some food supplies from Addis so tonight I shall push the boat out and make some tuna fishcakes and a tomato and avocado salad with balsamic and olive oil dressing. I’ve also just filled the 7-up bottle with white wine from the box and put this in the fridge to chill (fingers crossed for continuing electricity supply). It’s amazing what you can do when the rations from Addis arrive.
I'm feeling more positive about things now, although I am increasingly thinking about being back at home. Below are a couple of pictures of women who both had 2 previous stillbirths but having been brought to hospital, both now have a live healthy baby.  One also had terrible pre-eclampsia and is lucky to be alive. I'm taking them back to Ganjii with me tomorrow so a nice success story to end this blog entry on.

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