While everyone else is at the school with the kids today I am stuck at home, my ankle bandaged up and my foot so swollen it resembles a fat little Easter ham. On Monday while visiting a remote village it seems I managed to hit a nail with my ankle, so hard it pierced the skin and went to the bone.
It didn't really hurt much, until Wednesday when I felt very feverish and our host family decided it was time I went to the doctor.
Luckily, their family doctor agreed to see me right away, so off I went, a limping, whining Canadian who really didn't want to go but obviously the injury was very infected.
The clinic is nothing like at home. The rooms were dark, largely because the power had gone out and we had to wait for the genertor to click in. The exam tables just had grey sheets and the walls were very dark and grubby looking but the doctor and nurse were wonderful. They used gloves and new, sterilized needles so I felt safe. The nurse gave me a huge dose of antibitics through a needle in the back of my hand and I didn't feel a darned thing.
Before my turn to see the doc, a child of about 6 was in getting needles, screaming, wailing and crying as if he was being tortured. I told Ann that I would be brave and not scream quite so loudly. After all, the reputation of an entire country was at stake. Heaven forbid there would be any sniggering about the big crybaby Canadian.
Did not really need to muster much courage though because the nurse and doctor were very gentle and gave me a local anestheic so there was no pain, despite the doc opening the wound with a blade and poking around in the hole to make sure there were no foreign objects in there.
I have to go back this afternoon for another round of antibiotics and then afterward, a series of antibotic pills.
Having this injury made me realize how Canadians do NOT have the market on saying "sorry."
Everytime someone sees my bandage they immediatly say 'sorry' even if its total stranger. Ugandans have this need to make everyone happy which is also why you often don't get a straight answer to any question.
"How far is the school from here?"
"Oh just behind the house"
Of course the school was 1/2 an hour away, over a very rough dirt road.
I asked about this curious habit and was told it's because Ugandans hate to disppoint you so they tell you want they think you want to hear, even knowing you will find out the truth.
It is a nice little national quirk to have I guess, though it also means it's tough to get as straight answer.