So today was probably my worst day in Kenya. I am not sure why it was so bad, but everything seemed to bother me today. I think it was just an overwhelming feeling of helplessness that just overtook me today.
My day started with me arriving on the ward at 9am and no one was there. I waited for about 20 minutes and then decided to start rounding without my interns. I was then yelled at by a Kenyan attending because I "talked to loud." It was pretty awful and I felt he was definately picking out the one white person on the ward. The problem is that I am the American visitor and I can't keep anyone accountable. I just want to shake them and tell them to "work" - to show some interest in the patients, to read about the patients, and fight for the patients. I don't think I am in a place to say these things and I don't think they would listen to me even if I did say something.
On rounds I would try and ask people to help by going to find labs or X-Rays and they all just stand there and stare at me. I have to select a specific person to do the task and even then it does not get done 80% of the time. Nothing gets done on the wards. It feels like we do nothing for these patients. Part of me feels like the patients might be better off not coming to the hospital. At least they would be at home surrounded by their family.
Early in our rounds a patient died, we suspect from disseminated TB. It just made me think about the giant disease burden we are fighting against here. TB and HIV are claiming the lives of so many Kenyans. These diseases are so awful because they are slow, debiliating disease that slowly take lives.
I am sorry this is a depressing blog post but I want to be honest and keep you up to date on the emotional lability of Mackenzie :) Please keep me in your prayers that I would be able to see God's hand working in Kenya.