So Wednesday (August 1) I went back to the clinic Kwazakhele and it was not any easier as I had anticipated. My first patient had a blood sugar of 20.1, which is really high as the normal is 5.5-10 or something like that. We measure blood glucose different in the states…confusing to explain. Anyway, so she had to be put on a drip but they used a normal saline drip and not an insulin drip. When I asked the nurse why, she said because they reserve the insulin for true emergencies since they don’t have much of it.

My second and third patients came in for a checkup and a refill for medications which I was allowed to write up. The nursing write up and medical record charting here is very different. Then on Thursday (August 2) we were supposed to go on home visits and perform home care. We went to two different homes but didn’t really perform any care. We learned some about their situations, the government grants they get for not being employed, and how they survive on a day to day basis. It is really a very sad situation they have in some places in this country. So many people are HIV infected and TB spreads because of the close quarters. Pneumonia and flu are rampant because so many people live without heat and electricity and it does get very very cold here (30s-40s some nights). Another very prevalent issue is that they throw antibiotics around like candy. They give everyone amoxil or another that I can’t remember the name of and Brufen which is a pain medication, opioid of some sort.
That night we went out with some of the NMMU nursing students to play trivia. We came in second place…beginner’s luck? On Friday (August 3) we were supposed to go on a Frontier Tour but that did not work out. We did a tour of an African musical instrument factory and sat in on a great jam session. We got close to our destination for dinner and lodging and the road had been bull dozed. Our vehicle was not equipped for off-roading and we had to turn around and come back to P.E. We tried to make the best of a 12 hour day in a microbus. On Saturday and Sunday (August 4 and 5) we were supposed to be on the tour and since that did not work out, we had the weekend free for shopping, sightseeing, fine dining, and some movie watching since we have worked so hard doing nursing here is S. Africa.

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