Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Monthly Review

I've actually massively failed on the blog front. Posts over the past 2 weeks have been few (none). I'm going to try and recap them all, and attach a few pictures for visual aid ;-)

I think I've now properly settled into my role, I'm now more proficient in Khmer and can just about get myself by speaking (even though sometimes I'll say something in Khmer and people will think I can speak fluently)

Number of abscesses: 3 - One on a man's heel, one on a man's toe (which was quite amusing when we cut into it a blood literally squirted out about 15cm in the air) and one facial abscess.

Number of colds, headaches, weakness: Countless. This is how I've managed to progress so much in Khmer!

Moto accident inj
uries: 15 (maybe more)

Machete accidents
: 1, where the nurse did 7 stitches. (I did half a stitch too!)

Deaths & cremations: 1 cremation. 2 deaths.

Last night another participant passed away in the hospital, he had reoccurring health issues and had been admitted to the hospital a fair few times before, he used heroin heavily and had HIV. When my colleague Vathna arrived he was barely breathing, and was just lying on the floor of the emergency room surrounded by doctors. When the doctors realised that we actually had money to pay them they moved him onto one of the beds, intubated him, put a drip (in his forehead) and then plugged him into an artificial respirator. He was in a coma.

After having paid all the outstanding bills and having seen this participants pulse drop countless times we headed back home. The next day we went back to the hospital, his pulse was stable but we knew that the respirator was the only thing keeping him alive. The bed in the emergency room was costing us $25 a day and the doctors said there was no way that they could move him to a cheaper room. By this point I was pretty fed up with the doctors at this hospital, they really just didn't seem to care about anything but money.

Yesterday evening we went back again to see our particpant, as we walked into where he was the monitor displayed that he had no pulse, he had died and none of the doctors even knew. After we managed to get a doctor to check his heartbeat and unplug him from the monitors, drips and oxygen, we had to transport him to the morgue (I couldn't believe that the patient's family actually had to take their dead relatives to the morgue).

I think the saddest thing about the whole story was the man who passed away had no family, no parents, no children. He lived on the streets and at Korsang. The other guys I work with seemed to be dealing with the situation well: "it's my job, we used to have people like this every other week".

1 comment:

  1. Can't believe I only just found your blog! I can relate to the updating, or lack Mum has to frequently remind me to post. I feel privileged that I got to hear this story in person, it's pretty moving reading it nonetheless. I have added myself to your list of avid readers now, meaning the pressure increases for you to update! Yay! x