Muli uli! (How are you in Tumbuka) The other half of the team is spending the week at the St. John’s Hospital HIV Clinic. We had a busy first day and saw over 50 patients, which is great because only 12 had pre-registered.
We had another interesting day with a ton of fungus, infections, perforated tympanic membranes, and huge conductive hearing losses. Probably one of our most interesting patients of the day was a man who had small pieces of cotton in each ear. He explained that he puts them in himself because they help him hear better. He taught himself how to insert them by “trial and error.” Yikes! He proceeded to take them out right in front of us using a toothpick! We all had a mild heart attack watching him stick that sharp pointy thing in his ears. He also told us a story of how he perforated his own eardrum… Yep, we said it. He said his right eardrum was perforated and his ears were uneven and he didn’t like it… So he took a sharp instrument and shoved it right through his left eardrum! At that point we nearly passed out. Can’t even imagine how bad that would hurt! He seemed very proud of himself for perforating it and even more proud that it made us squeamish!
Tomorrow should be even busier because the St. John’s clinic is open so they will send all their HIV patients to get tested.