Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

Last Friday was one of the most exciting days ever for me. This in itself is testimony to how little excitement I actually have in my life….
Anyway, I got a message saying that there were three parcels at the Post Office for me. I was busy in outpatients, so I sent my friend Jenny (a Scottish medical student) to the post office on behalf of me. After a few forged signatures and a large amount of money to pay import taxes, she returned with three very large boxes of gloves and face masks.
For those of you who don’t know the story, I will let you know the story behind this momentous occasion.
Earlier in the year, my friends at the Princess Alexandra Hospital got together and donated some gloves and anti-TB face masks for me. I actually had a really difficult time trying to find a cheap way of getting them over here. Eventually, I decided to ship them here via Australia Post. I spent $600 in doing so. I used the money that I had been given for my 30th birthday. (In January, my family organised a surprise B’day party for me and instead of gifts, they asked people to make a donation towards the hospital) and I also used the money that had been collected in the Emergency Department I had been working in.
Anyway, after the drama of my documents taking 4 months to get here, I simply lost all hope of my gloves ever arriving. I was simply overjoyed when I saw these 3 huge boxes filled with 5000 gloves and a couple of hundred face masks.
In Swaziland, if you are particularly happy about something, you do this little dance. I have only done this little dance on two previous occasions and both were when patients tested negative for HIV. I performed this third dance upon the arrival of the gloves. I was just so HAPPY! I ran through the wards telling everyone that the gloves had arrived and my excitement became contagious. The nurses were squealing with delight when they saw the high quality of the gloves. I had gloves in various sizes and we were all so happy that we actually had gloves that fit. As I distributed the gloves throughout the hospital, I felt this overwhelming joy and I know the spirit of the staff members was also lifted. I feel so incredibly blessed that I had this opportunity to provide some much needed medical supplies. Whilst it doesn’t directly impact on patient care, it makes a difference to those of us who work here. About 80-90% of the patients here have HIV. They also have diarrhoea, TB and other infectious disease that put us health workers at risk. It is a huge morale booster to know that for a couple of months we will be protecting ourselves in the best way possible.


The Lemings said...

Yeah!!! I feel better knowing that you have them too.

catngirls said...

Oh yeah! I am so glad to know you have something now. I am also glad to hear you have a Happy dance. Why? This tells me that you've had a few occasions of complete glee since arriving. We love you and send you our loving thoughts!