Tuesday, November 22, 2011


so you've heard about the U-curve, the rut, the end of the honeymoon
when you can't look at your wife without screaming phase.

the phase everyone said happens to people that sail off to Chad.

well, that phase of course wasn't going to apply to me. just like the
airline regulations and pretty much anything in general doesn't apply to me.

so, even though this is going to put a smile on the face of all the
haters, i may just be there.

I'm exhausted. I feel like I have no time. I feel like the 10 months
stretching in front of me are an eternity. I feel discouraged.

and most of all....i feel like i'm not making a difference.

but, of course, you tell me, you ARE making a difference. you touch
lives every day. blah blah blah. just a smile can change the world.

and yes, i do espouse that theory. I do believe one person can change
the world. I do believe in the one idea. the one stranger. the one
helping hand.

i do believe in the tiny rock that starts a ripple effect. and yes, I
do believe that the world can be changed one person at a time, on tiny
act at a time. I believe that

changing a life changes the world. I believe that one good deed can
make a life worth living.

If i didn't believe that i wouldn't be here.

if I didn't believe that I wouldn't have given up everything to be here.

If I didn't believe that I wouldn't stay here.

But for me, for the people that really believe that, for the people that
wander the earth hoping to change something for the better in their
wake, for them, for us, when we feel like we aren't accomplishing the
one idea we staked our life on, then well, you have the rut.

today is 2 months.

I spend my days arguing in broken french. i spend my days being laughed

news flash.

suggesting that you should actually document when you give a medicine
isn't a comical joke.
suggesting that medications should be carefully explained before the
patients leave isn't a cause for mirth.
suggesting that a medication that is stopped, one that is ongoing and
one that is started should not be jammed up together in one box and
documented with a single X is not a roll your eyes moment.

so, every morning, I ask for the papers (each patient has one paper) and
I say I want to "learn" (which, i do) and then I go patient to patient.
I look at the medicines in their box. I look at what was actually
prescribed. I look at what was actually given. 9 times out of 10, they
don't match up. too much of one medication, none of the other, did they
not buy it? look at the receipt, no, they bought it, well, did you take
it, oh we took it yesterday, no one wrote anything, no one documented
it. If i find one time dose medications just hanging out, i'll give
those. if i find 3 medicines all jammed up together, i'll make a new

i feel like a spend all day arguing about documentation. or not
argueing, per say, but insisting that things be wrote differently, or etc.

and i also feel like thats not my place really, not the best way to make
friends and get respected, not the best way to make my debut. But i am
just doing my best to try to document medications. novel concept.

but then, they all got their meds before I got here. somehow. they all
were treated and went home and may or may not have been okay. is being
so nit picky actually helping the patients? or is it making me feel like
I am helping them? I don't know.

and I've been really sick, well, aggressive flu-like symptoms minus the
fever kind of sick and had this really aweful incredably itchy started
from nothing dark purple bright red skin thing spreading all over my
legs and feet and ankles. i threw every parasite med in the book at it
and today is my second day of doxy and i think its getting better, but
its still frightening.

i had myself developing osteomylitis, cellulitis, being airlifted back
to America. of course, now i feel foolish because today i'm better.
its easy to be cavalier about life until its our own.

and i was so weak on sunday I tried to do my laundry and i was just
sitting there with the bar of soap in my hand and started crying because
i felt like i literally didn't have the stregth to wash my clothes,
which is my favorite thing.

and its all glorious until you have to sleep with rats. or, rather,
until you have to be awake with rats because they scratching and
scuttering prevents sleep.

it was just a rough week i think.

and i keep telling myself, the measure of a man is not what he
does/thinks/says in times of ease and sunshine, but in times of
adversity. but repeating that to myself made me even more depressed
because I wasn't handling it in such a brave and noble manner.

is it selfish to want to make a difference? I think it may be. which
may be the reason i'm in a rut because I don't feel like I am.

i came here so i could be a better person, so it looks like I better
stay a while longer.


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