My week in the Surgical Ward
12.07.2010 - 16.07.2010
This week was a very long week. My rotation was on the surgical ward where we were able to see and go into surgeries. Monday was pretty slow. There were no surgeries and we helped admit patients and get to know our surgical team. On Tuesday we actually saw our first surgery. It was a stomach bypass surgery where they had to remove parts of the stomach and rearrange the intestines in order for the system to work properly. The surgery was a success and there were about 15 people in the theater at that time. By the way, the theater is what they call the operating rooms here. For the rest of the day on Tuesday we admitted some more patients while my friend, Stella, drew some blood from a patient. On Tuesday afternoon all of us decided to go to the Victoria Street Market in Durban. Victoria street is your basic market in downtown Durban. I bought some postcards and other souvenirs and then we made our way back home. While walking back to the car, one of my friends got his vuvuzela (the annoying horns you saw during the world cup) stolen. Some guy, probably on drugs, just stole his vuvuzela right out of his hand!! It was really weird. My friend tried to fight back and then decided it wasn't worth the risk. After that weird situation, we all headed home.
Wednesday was a long day. We had two surgeries. The first surgery was a left thyroid lobectomy, which means that the patient had their left thyroid lobe removed. The thyroid gland on the left was too big and needed to be removed. Once the surgeons removed it, we saw it and it was about the size of a baseball. It was huge. After lunch, we saw a closure of a colostomy. It was a basic procedure where the surgeon basically sews up the bowel and puts it back into the abdomen. We went home after that surgery and decided to get some sleep since we would be on call that night. After my nap, we went over to another student's house to learn how to play casino. Casino is a card game that is so confusing that it took me about two hours to actually learn the rules of the game. If anyone wants to know how to play it, I can try and explain later. After that, I got ready for my long night at the hospital. We arrived at the hospital and there was an emergency surgery for a three year old who fell on an iron edging and cut open her guts. It was sad to see but the surgeons did a great job of sewing here back up. The only problem was that there were no surgical staples, because they ran out, so they had to suture her up. The surgeons said that because of this, she will have to live with a huge scar. We all took a 20 min break until the next surgery. It was now around 1:30 AM. We all sat in the doctors room and watched some TV. The surgeons were criticizing every single show that was one. The conversation went from tea to cars in a matter of minutes. It was very entertaining. The net surgery didn't actually start until 2am. It was an appendectomy. It would have been an easy procedure except, the patient's appendix was stuck to her uterus so it was harder to remove. The surgery also took a long time since there were still no surgical staples. After that surgery, it was time to sleep. We really didn't have a place to sleep so we decided to go to the computer lab and do work. As most of you know, I fell asleep, on the keyboard no less and woke up an hour later with keyboard imprints on my face. By 6am, we were done with the computer lab and decided to wait for our ride to take us home. When I got home, I slept until 1pm. It was fantastic!
Thursday afternoon was very entertaining. After my deep sleep, my roommate and I decided that we should do our laundry. The only problem was that we don't have a washer or dryer and we didn't know how to do it by hand. So we asked our host mom to show us and she started laughing. We were given a tutorial, in the bathtub, and then started washing away. Our host mom said that we did very well for our first time but I have my doubts. After rushing to finish laundry, we decided to go to Gateway. Gateway is this huge mall about 20 minutes north of Durban that is the biggest mall in the southern hemisphere, or so they claim. It was a very beautiful mall. Is shopped for a suit case and failed but we then decided to have dinner. By that time, we all decided to go out to Florida road and at least have one drink. We tried to get into one bar that had a cover charge that was way too pricy. We then proceeded down the road to a Mexican restaurant called TacoZulu. No joke. It was good, well the drinks were. By the time we were all done, it was only 10:45pm but we all were fading fast. It was time to go home and sleep.
Today (Friday, July 16th, 2010) will be a slow day at work but if anything happens I'll let you know.