Saturday, January 9
Day #8 of the 2010 Jamaica Medical Mission Trip
After a very restless night, I wake up at 4:00 a.m. and assess my condition. My headache is gone - my tummy is feeling better - and I am overall weak - but much better. My weakness could be due to dehydration and lack of food for the previous day. Having the flu and losing everything you eat will do that to you.
I dress for the clinic and head down to breakfast, where my friend, Her Highness Mrs. Williams, makes me some delicious mint tea to soothe my stomach. Sometimes it pays to suck up to the cook. Tea and toast was about all I could handle - but it was a good start.
We worked for half a day on Saturday - and I kept hydrated by drinking some "delicious" (insert sarcasm here) rehydration fluid that the pharmacists mixed up for me. Imagine drinking straight salt water and you can picture the taste. Ugh. But it seemed to work - the more I drank that morning, the better I felt.
Running the "pee & dip" station
Saturday was interesting in that I got to assist in a pap smear. I know, I know - probably too much information - but hey, someone has to do it. It was actually very interesting - and certainly not something you do every day. However, I don't think its something I would want to do every day. The clinic did dozens of pap smears throughout the week - the specimens are brought back with us to the States; sent to a local lab; and the results are then taken back down to the clinic for follow-up, if needed.
We shut down the clinic for good around noon on Saturday. We saw a total of 284 patients during the week; our dentist saw a total of 79 patients. Last year, we saw a total of 260 medical patients - and we didn't have a dentist - so it was good to increase our numbers from last year.
After lunch, we headed to Martha Brae where we had a nice, relaxing raft trip. Before we got on our rafts, I was poking around the grounds and I came across this, which I just thought was rather funny:
Back Row Broads having a delicious Fruit Punch before the big raft ride
We were on our rafts, chilling out - and then the heavens opened up one more time - the rains came down - and we got wet. Very wet. Argh.
I decided my guide wasn't going fast enough so I decided to give raft steering a try - wet shorts and all. And I found out it was a lot harder than it looks, so I quickly sat back down. Guess I'm not cut out to be a raftsman, either. Oh well. I tried.
"Hey - at least I tried. This is harder than it looks!"
After we got back to the dorm, I changed into the only other "dry" clothes I had - other than my scrubs, which were dirty. Some of the girls decided they wanted to walk into town one last time, so 16 of us hiked to town with our guide. Not exactly the safest and smartest thing we could have done - but hey, you only live once, so every now and then you've got to live on the wild side.
We're poking around the market (where I saw this interesting sign:) and some grocery stores, when - you guessed it - here comes the rain. Again. And I get soaked. Again. And I have no more dry clothes. None. Other than my pajamas.
So, guess who wore soaking wet clothes to dinner that night? I really didn't want to wear my pajamas to dinner. I don't think the other 25 people would have appreciated that.
After dinner, we had a thrilling game of "Chubby Bunny" - which was a hoot, as usual - and then - time to pack and head to bed. In nice, dry pajamas. Without any amoebas swimming in my stomach. Sometimes, you've got to stop and smell the roses - and Saturday night in Jamaica was a good thing.