Today was the second (and last) day of our first clinic site near Shimla. I was in the PEDS tent with Rachel, one of the pediatricians. It was mostly non acute presentations: nosebleeds, coughs, diarrhea, tummy aches... One very stoic boy who was about 11 years old came in with partial thickness burns to his hand and forearm. The burn was about a week old and not healing well, infected and beginning to abscess. Rachel drained it and the lad barely uttered a peep. The way that children handle pain and crisis never ceases to astound me. So many of them are such warriors it seems.
Did see a few interesting things, some shingles, some scabies...scratch...scratch...and THE craziest, boggiest, macerated ear drum...ouch! Thought that my time on Baffin Island had already shown me the worst of the worst in that department. "Baffin Ear" and "Baffin Lung" are euphemisms known by the health professions in the North to describe "nasty-draining-foul-pus-OE/OM-from-hell" and "RSV-happy-wheezer-whose-sats-are-80%".
It was a madhouse in the afternoon because most of our interpreters/drivers/donkey handlers/cooks all vanished to transport supplies and gear to Shimla. The medicine tent had one interpreter sitting in the middle of a 'translating circle' dealing with 5-6 patients and health professionals at once. At one point, Caroline was just taking random blood pressures on people outside.
Implements of dentistry torture....shudder...
All told we saw about 200-250 patients today. Can't help but wonder though...how much of a difference are we really making in the long term? Sigh.