Today was a fun day although not a hugely productive one. There weren’t many patients coming in so I went to the library to upload to this blog (that’s why three posts all appeared at once) and as I came out of the room, Sunil (the local Work the World manager, he runs our placements) ran over and told me we were going to meet the dean of the hospital. The dean was nice and welcomed us to the hospital but he sneered slightly when he was told I wasn’t a med student. I’m kind of used to it now though so that’s fine.
The rad department was a bit slow, so I went into CT because they have some really interesting books and teaching files as well as a compendium of unusual images that they’ve acquired over the years during scans. After that the Nepal radiologists and I had an Angry Birds tournament on our phones. The atmosphere is so relaxed that it genuinely makes me feel welcome. The staff are always really eager to ask me questions about the UK and equally they get really enthusiastic when talking about Nepal.
At 11am a 3 year old was brought to the department with suspected Wilm’s Disease (kidney cancer, basically) and the intention was to sedate her and then get her in the scanner. However today was the second attempt as yesterday she was still awake after 3 lots of sedatives. Today, after being in the department for 4 hours it became apparent that the two syringes of sedatives were having no effect as she whizzed around the corridors pushing an empty wheelchair. Then after some investigation it turned out that her cannula wasn’t properly fitted and that the sedatives had just been soaking into the bandage round her hand. A new cannula was fitted and at 4pm another sedative was administered, which looked like it had worked until her mother picked her up and carried her to the scanning table, when she started wailing and screaming again. I left without knowing whether she got scanned as I had to get to the orphanage by 5pm.
The Pokhara Destitute Infants Home is a shelter in the shadow of the Himalaya which houses 23 boys and girls from infants to 16 year olds. Some of the children are orphans and some are from very poor families who live too far away from a school. We went along to help the children with their homework, which was really good fun actually- the kids are very clever and speak good English, and the level at which they are studying is probably more advanced than kids their age in the UK. I sat with a boy and a girl, Hazi and Dipti, and helped them with their English homework and when that was finished, they taught me some Nepali (which I’ll admit I promptly forgot!) and they wrote some words and phrases down for me. They were so cheerful and polite, even though they had obviously had a tough 11 years of life, and they were so eager to talk to us. I showed them some photos on my phone and told them about England and they were really excited to hear about London (luckily I had a photo of Big Ben on my phone from a trip to the smoke a few months ago). We talked about what they wanted to do when they grow up and Dipti said she wants to be a teacher, while Hazi wants to be an engineer, which is fantastic! I made them both promise me that they would hold onto their ambitions, and to be honest with the schooling they are getting at the moment, it’s certainly not an impossibility for either of them.
After the orphanage we walked through the really touristy area where all the souvenir shops and karaoke bars are. It’s a pretty cool place and I will go back but it’s not really what I’m here to see. It’s also the place where you go to book activities, so I’ve got myself a place on a rafting trip on Saturday and paragliding on Sunday. I can’t wait!