Saturday, June 26, 2010

Taking Rahim to the Clinic

Rahim is one of the twins in the nursery and he is about four months old I would guess. He was the first baby I fed in the nursery who had malaria and was quite difficult but he is so cute. One of the nannies noticed that the front/top of his head/brain had some swelling and so we were all concerned. The swelling didn’t go down and he had a fever so I offered to go with Rahim and Susan (the British lady) to the clinic to get him some medicine since Bahtilda the nurse was off. Susan was going to drive and she needed someone to hold Rahim. We went at night and it was her first time driving here. Luckily, being from England she atleast was used to driing on the wrong (left) side of the road and knew how to drive a stick. We barrowed an ADRA car and were on our way. I felt a like Britney Spears riding in the front seat holding a baby. Rahim was not fussy at all and once we figured out how to unlock the car, start the car, and where each gear was (none of the lights in the car work and it was completely dark), we were on our way. Susan did a great job driving considering how crazy drivers are here during the day, much less at night. The clinic was not far away and it was the same one that Kimber went with Ilse to when she got tested for Malaria.

It was decided earlier that Rahim either had Meningitis or a really bad infection that was causing his brain to swell. A blood test was not really an option (given cost, time and resources) and since both diagnoses had the same treatment they just decided to put an IV in his arm and give him some meds. He was a trooper and I held him while they injected the meds. He only cried and tensed up for a minute and I did my best to comfort him. The doctor told the nurse to give him the meds at 20:30 and we were there at 20:00. So she made us wait outside for 30 minutes. The “local” news was on and it was strange to watch for multiple reasons, but they showed lots and lots of dead bodies. I could not understand what they were talking about but the pictures were rather harsh. Susan leaves for the Congo soon and so she assumed they were images from there.

While waiting I looked at the posters on the wall, tried to guess what they were about and looked at a large board that had information about the hospital on it. It is run and owned by some Italians and there are branches in Moshi and Arusha. What drew me to the board was a picture of when President Bush visited a couple of years ago. I have been reading Laura Bush’s autobiography and so I feel very connected to the Bushes now (ha!). Anyways, wish I knew more Swahili so I could have learned more about the clinic.

After Rahim got his meds we headed back to COL and needed to return in the morning at 7:00 for his next dose. I went back with Susan and we stopped for gas and had another smooth trip. I felt very motherly to Rahim since I got to spend so much one on one time with him and comfort him while he was sick. He is very sweet and a tough little man. His swelling has now gone down and he is doing much better.

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