A Travellerspoint blog

Last Week at Eerste River Hospital

Monday was my last on-call day and my first day in the pediatric department. That day we were suppose to go on the mobile clinic but it didn't go out on the fifth Monday of every month so we couldn't go. Instead, we went to surgery and saw the ureathraplasty, Prostectomy and Termination of Pregnancies. We were unable to actually track down the pediatrician until he left for the day. On call that night was pretty busy. We saw a tow year old with menigitis, an eighty-one year old woman with cardia and renal failure who was put on an external pacemaker, a one year old with third degree water burns, a two-year old with acute TB and Devon, a seven year old boy who ran into a pole while getting chips. He had a hole in his head but he still had a smile and the 20rand piece to buy the chips. After Devon left, it was time for sleep. the next morning, we were lucky enough to get a shower in the on-call room and made our way to theater. We had another full day ad saw a hernia repair, a Tb abscess, Lipoma and the removal of a swollen lymphnode. That night, the CEO of the hospital took us out to dinner for about three or four hours, it was very nice. He took us to a wine farm called Asara. Fancy! On Wednesday, I finally made it to the pediatric department. Dr. Stein taught us sooooooo much about pediatrics and the special needs of children and the difficulties of taking care of them when they are sick. I also met some of the cutest kids. One boy, who was two, couldn't stop hugging anyone, he was so sweet. He was being treated for parasitic worms but he went home the next day. After work, we all went to go and get the plates on the rental car fixed since the baboon ripped them off!! Thursday was our last full day in pediatrics. We did rounds and then the clinic. That night, we had our last big group meeting with all seven of us and then we went to karaoke and Abby and I sang Bohemian Rhapsody in front of a bunch of drunk people. Oh Memories! Friday was our last day at Eerste River. We spent most of the day in lecture with the CEO who taught me a lot about examination of a patient. We then spend most of the day in the ER going over other patients in critical conditions. After that, we said our goodbyes to all of the doctors and made out way back home. Later that night, I had to drive Stella to Century City which is basically a mall city. Later, we went out with our host sister to dinner and then made our way to Long street to meet up with the French guys we worked with. Saturday had a mellow beginning. We said goodbye to the three from our group who were leaving. We went to the post office, the market and hung out with the CEO of the hospital. We then had a brie(aka a barbecue) at an friend of my host sisters house. Sunday was even more mellow. We went to lunch at the waterfront and traveled to check out Camps Bay and then went home to rest for our last week in Cape Town.

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Where to begin . . .

The Wine Lands and Cape Point

The third weekend in Cape Town was an experience I will never forget. That Saturday, we all got up early to go visit a few of the hundreds of wine farms only thirty minutes outside Cape Town. We started at 8:30am and went until 5pm. We were pretty hard core. The first wine farm we went to was named Fairview. Fairview offers wine and cheese tasting for the expensive rate of R35 witch is about . . . 5 dollars, give or take. So we had seven glasses of wine and unaccountable amounts of delicious goat cheese. By the time we left, one out of the seven of us was down but we still made out way to the second wine farm. The second wine farm was FREE wine tasting. That's right, eight free glasses of wine, with some olive oil tasting. After that stop, two out of the seven of us were down and I was fading. We then stopped by Waterford Estate which offered a wine and chocolate tasting. It was also amazing. By that time, I had about twenty plus tastings of wine and was ready for a nap but we weren't done yet. After that, we went to J.C. Le Roux which is a champagne place. We tasted some more wine, about eight, and even got one of the employees to open champagne with a sword! AWESOME! For our last place, we went to Spier which is basically like a wine resort. I was not brave enough to endure another eight glasses of wine so I just ate some lunch. By the time we got home, five out of the seven of us were sleeping in the van. I think Saturday was a success despite being done by 5pm.

On Sunday, we all decided to go to Cape Point. Only one of us was truly babilas (hungover in Afrikaans). Our adventure down the Cape peninsula was beautiful. We made our way down to Simon's Town and Boulder Beach where we saw Penguins. The Penguins were sooooo adorable and I have more pictures than necessary. After that, we drove down to the park entrance to get to the point. On the way, we met some baboons in the road. It was exciting yet terrifying. Once we reached Cape Point, we climbed all the way to the very end. That's right, I climbed all the way to the end of Africa!!! Exploring Cape Point took about an hour due to our trigger happy fingers on our cameras. After we made our way down, we realized that some baboons were making our way to our rental car and before we knew it. . . . a baboon jumped on our car. Terrified, I ran away and waited for the vicious monkey to get off our car. Eventually it did but in the process of getting on the car, the baboon ripped off our license plate. That's right a baboon ripped off our license plate. You don't say that everyday. Once we were safe inside of two-door Corsa Lite, we made our way back home. Due to the previous day, we called it an early night and prepared ourselves for our last week at Eerste River hospital.

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My week in theater

It was my first full five day week at work since I arrived two weeks ago. On Monday, we were suppose to leave early for my roommate's 22nd birthday. It was a long day in surgery as well. It was a day that was focused on the male organ, the prostate! The first three surgeries that we saw we TURPS. Trans Urethral Resection of the Prostate in other words, which means in English that the prostate is being blocked so the surgeons go in and cut away the tissue that is in the way of the prostate. The next surgery after our " After that, we had a "turpy" morning was a prostectomy. It was a normal procedure, the patient was given an anesthetic that was given regional so he wasn't fully asleep, and the surgeons were expecting a routine surgery until the prostate came out. The prostate was the size of a baseball and weighed about half a pound. It was ridiculous! After that, we left work to go celebrate the birthday. We were going to go on a pirate ship but the swells were too big so instead, we went to a local bar to drink beer and celebrate. Tuesday was a long day as well. We saw a patient who had TB in their rectum, another patient had their toenails removed and there were about three hemorrhoid repairs. Wednesday was one of the toughest days. An accident happened early that morning near the hospital. A mini-bus taxi was hit by a train and 10 children died. The taxi was waiting for the train but decided that they could beat the train so they past the boons and 10 children died. Many people at the hospital were effected and that night, I had to go on call. None of the children actually came to our hospital but one of the mothers who lost a child in the accident. Before we were aware of the extent of the accident, we were in theater and saw the removal of a Sebaceous cyst. Later, I scrubbed in on the removal of a lipoma on the knee. That night, I was on call and saw even more bizarre stuff. I saw a month old dog bite that got infected, a mass on someone's throat, deep vein thrombosis, boy with epilepsy, and a girl who had a swollen knee. I got to sleep that night for about 6 hours, thankfully, and continued to work on Thursday. Thursday was a slow day, we saw two surgeries total On was an umbilical hernia repair and the other was the removal of a lipoma on the neck. After that, we bonded with the nurses and hung out around the hospital. After work, we went to our weekly meeting to talk about the ongoing civil service strike that was going on at the time. Friday was the day we spent most of the day in lecture talking about the causes of heart attacks. That night, we went to our usual hang outs at long street. It was a long week for me. It was strenuous, heart breaking and tough but it was a week that I won't forget.

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The Garden Route!!

Caves, Ostriches, Elephants and more

The week we went on the Garden Route, we got Friday off of work. We left that Friday at 5am and spent the morning driving until we got to some restaurant where we had a delicious breakfast. We then continued to drive to the Cango Caves. We got to the caves around 1pm. I had no idea how much climbing and crawling I was going to do but I was in for a surprise. The Cango Caves were amazing and all of us went on the adventure which means that we had to climb through tunnels with names like, Tunnel of love, Devil's Chimney and the Postbox. It was fun and I didn't get stuck so that is all that matters. After the caves, we went to an ostrich farm where we got to pet and ride ostriches. They are the stupidest and most awkward animals that I know. I have plenty of pictures To show you how awkward they are. I got a hug, a neck message and I rode one. All in a day's work. We then went to our hotel, showered and went to dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner we were all so tired that we went to bed. Saturday was another early day. We got up, had a nice big breakfast and made our way to zip line! I have never zip lined before and I am afraid of heights so . . . . it was a little stressful. That was until we started. After the first wires or so I was very nervous and then it was an adrenaline rush. I was at the top of the trees and could see a lot of the African jungle. The zip line was only 10 slides so it went by much faster than I thought. We then made our way back, had a fast to go lunch and went to the highest bungee jump in the world. This jump is 216meters off the bottom of a freaking bridge. I was the only one in the group who decided not to go (because I am sane). The other three went and had a fabulous time. I took videos and watched. That was good enough for me. We then made our way to the elephant park which was my favorite part of the day. We went to this elephant park where we pet the elephants!!! I walked, pet, hugged and kissed elephants. It was amazing. I think they are my favorite animal. There was one named Sally who was 21 years old and the sweetest elephants there. I was reluctant to leave the elephants . . . . . but we did and then made our way to the sunset cruise. The sunset cruise went around a bay at sunset, which is self explanatory but the sunset is not. I'll try to put up pictures. It was beautiful. We then went to dinner at an Italian Restaurant, very African and then made our way home. The next day we also got up early to go to a game drive. We were worried that the game drive wouldn't continue because the weather was crappy but it eventually cleared up and we saw everything. Very lazy lions, elephants, rhinos, giraffes, springbok, ostrich, buffalo, wildebeast, and many more. After the game drive, we made our way home and 7 hours later, I crashed into my bed in Athlone. It was a great weekend and wouldn't change it. I don't think I have done so many adventurous things in one weekend.

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Eye Clinic

I know, long time . . . no updates. Do not fear, I'm here to update!!!
I'll start on Monday, August 16. It was my second week at Eerste River hospital and I decided to change departments. What I thought would be interesting would start in the eye clinic to see how ophthalmology works. On Monday, I met with Dr. Lam and Dr. Steven who are both doctors at the eye clinic/ That first day I saw about 10 cataract surgeries which was an amazing procedure to witness. The surgery only takes 30minutes and by the end, the patients can see again. While in the cataract surgery, they told us to check out a urethroplasty A urethroplasty is when the surgeon rebuilds the closed urethra by taking a skin graft from the mouth and placing it in the urethra. I wish I could explain more but that is all I know. The surgeon was apparently the surgeon who came up with the surgery in the first place. So that was impressive. I didn't stay for the whole surgery because I had to go back to the eye clinic. Later that night all of us, including Amy and Randi, went to go see a comedy show starring Sister Mary James. Sister Mary James is a man, dressed up as a nun and makes hilarious jokes. There is no other way to describe it, you just have to experience it. On Tuesday I went back to the eye clinic. There were no surgeries that day so I saw patients with Dr. Lam and learned more about eyes than I ever knew before. When we got out of work that night, we were pretty tired so we just decided to go use the internet but I also decided to go check on the reservation at the hotel where I am staying after the program is over. So just picture, two girls who can't drive stick, peeling out in a two-door car at a classy hotel. That is what happened when we drove up to the hotel. When we were driving out, we saw all the really really nice cars in a row and started staring at them and then Abby says, "Oh My GOD! James bond is in that car!". You can imagine my reaction. I stopped the car, peeled out again, and just stared and in a very nice Mercedes was Daniel Craig. That's right, I saw Daniel Craig. After that, nothing happened that was that exciting. Wednesday was the Diabetes clinic day. I went to some cataract surgeries but I spent most of the day in the clinic to learn how diabetes can effect the eye. I never knew that diabetes could effect the eye so dramatically by causing hemorrhages that could detach the retina. It was very interesting. That night was 18 rand, which is equivalent to about 3 dollars, movie ticket night so we decided to go. We then watched Inception. It was my second time seeing it but I payed more attention this time and it made a lot more sense, well sort of. Thursday that week was our last day at the eye clinic. Thursday is the Glaucoma eye clinic day. We saw a lot of glaucoma patients and also saw some more surgeries. We also saw other surgeries including, an umbilical hernia repair and a pressure ulcer repair. After work, we then went to our weekly meeting with our program directors to discuss our week and preparations for the Garden Route. We also packed that night and went to bed early for our 5am pick up. We didn't have to work Friday because of the Garden Route.

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