Well, hello, dear readers. Seems it’s been a while since i posted & the past week’s events would seem to dictate that another post from yours truly is in order.
As most of you are aware, we came to a decision to leave our MCC post in Rumbek, South Sudan at the end of March 2012. (For a bit of an explanation, go here.) Our flight to Nairobi, Kenya was scheduled for Friday, March 30. We left on Wednesday, March 28. Now for the why.
After our weekly movie night at a local hotel & restaurant (we watched Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy; seemed interesting, but almost everyone in attendance felt that they had somehow missed some key points that would have made it more interesting) we went home. I had been feeling the need to go Number One, but there was nothing there. Or at least there was nothing to show for my efforts. This feeling was getting frustrating because it was intense enough that i couldn’t fall asleep. At about two o’clock in the morning i began to feel an acute pain in the lower left side of my abdomen. I thought that now for sure going to the bathroom would help. I went & heather came a long, just in case. Shortly after i arrived at the latrine, heather went to wake our German neighbour who is a trained nurse. When they arrived back, i was doubled over on the steps in front of the latrine. I could hardly walk at this point, but with help managed to make it back to our house & then soon to our Land Cruiser.
We went first to the UNMISS compound to find the doctor that is supposed to be on call for emergency situations. When we finally were cleared to enter the compound, we discovered that the nurse who was attending to me couldn’t reach the doctor on his mobile & didn’t know where the doctor’s room was. The nurse administered a pain killer & suggested that we go to the state hospital to find a doctor who could put a catheter in. It was thought that i was retaining urine for some reason, possibly a urinary tract infection.
Not sure how many of you out there have been in a developing country hospital, but it’s a bit of an adventure. We arrived there between four & five o’clock. We were greeted by someone who was a clinician or a clinical technician or something with one or both of those words in the title in some combination. Not a doctor. There was no doctor. There was also no electricity. This man was able to put in a catheter, so did just that. Heather & another woman held the flashlights while i had a procedure done which i would prefer never happen to me again. Oh, also a bat flew into the room & circled the ceiling a few times, which i assume is part of normal operating procedure for the insertion of a catheter.
After this, in combination with the pain killer, i was feeling much more at ease; able to walk more uprightly & breathe easier. We arrived back at our home at about six o’clock in the morning. I took an antibiotic used in the treatment of urinary tract infections & went to sleep.
When i woke up at eight, i could pee again. Oh, frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!
At this point in the narrative we still had no definitive diagnosis as to what exactly had transpired within my abdominal region, & since we had had no luck finding a doctor, we decided that it would be best if we pushed up our leaving day & see a doctor as soon as possible. We were very fortunate to be able to secure two seats on the Wednesday flight.
It was a hasty departure & we weren’t able to do everything on our list of things to be done before we left, & good-byes were rushed. This was sad & a bit nerve-wracking. But we were confident that it was the right thing to do.
I saw the doctor the next morning. He ordered many tests, one of which was almost as much fun as the catheter adventure. That afternoon we had a confirmed diagnosis: a kidney stone. The little dude is about 2mm. It has passed from my kidney & is just waiting to move into my bladder & continue its journey to freedom. I’ve been told the worst of the pain is over, but i’ve got some heavy duty pain killers, just in case.
As of right now, i’m not in any pain, so no need to worry, friends.