So you’ll find yourself reading two posts for HFH somedays, seeing as the teams were spilt up at 2 locations. The morning began like an ordinary day. Waking up in our luxury rooms at Ilala Crest Lodge and heading to our buffet style breakfast. This morning juice was an option, which was more refreshing than we could have imagined. Flavors although labeled fruit juice and orange squash were unknown. After breakfast we walked down to St. John’s Hospital and half the group waited for Laz to pick us up with the bus. Of course we see Laz talking to some people as we are making sure all the supplies are packed. He knows everybody and if he doesn’t he’ll introduce himself.
Soon we were on our way to Mzuzu Central Hospital with our ABC friends Chico and Blessings. Chico got quite the earful riding in the bus with us as we were signing TLC’s Scrubs in honor of our lovely matching ASU maroon scrubs. We set up our equipment rather quickly into stations so we could begin testing the people that began to gather. For those that are easily squeamish, beware of descriptions to come. After Blessings aided in taking case histories the patients moved onto otoscopy to have a look on what was going on in their ears. Today’s findings included a bean, that has yet to be extracted, infections with pus, fungus, blood, perforations, lots of ear wax, a rock, and a piece of thread. Once otoscopy was denoted they more often than not went to the ear mopping/ foreign body removal station. This allows us to clear out any drainage and remove anything that should not have been in the ear. We even had one man insist on taking home all his removed ear wax, so that he could show his wife how much was in his ear.
From there they moved onto testing. We had quite the crew doing OAEs, Tympanometry and Hearing Testing. Our testing crew worked endlessly to keep the line short allowing people to get in and out in an efficient manner. We saw people of all ages today including a 7 month old baby. The testing crew even had the opportunity to do conditioned play audiometry with Connect 4. A bunch of people were put on the list for needing a bone conduction hearing aid. One mother was thrilled that her daughter could hear her speaking at an average level from behind with the bone conduction aid. When her daughter turned to answer her name her mother’s face immediately lit up and it was evident that she was holding back tears. From testing they got ear impressions taken, so that they could come back and get fit tomorrow. Needless to say we still have a lot of work ahead of us this week, but our patient’s satisfaction is worth every minute.
We reconvened for our buffet style dinner of chicken, beef, rice, veggies, and a bunch of things I am failing to remember. Every plate was piled up, leaving no scraps behind. Sleep soon followed.