Hospital visit

25 11 2009

“150 dollars a month” she said and giggled. “I am not doing it for the money!” “I can see that!” I replied.
“I have a diploma in clinical neurophysiology, and I need the practice” she replied to my question on her qualification.
I did not say that both of my foremen at the nursery earned more than she did and neither even had “O” Levels.

It has been some years since I was in the Pariranyetwa Hospital in the Central Hospitals complex in Harare. When I was last in the hospital it was still known as the Andrew Fleming and was the main teaching hospital in town and was quite new and very well run. Last year it took a decidedly bad turn for the worse and had to be closed due to staff strikes over abysmal pay and also a lack of power and water.

I had to admit I was quite pleasantly surprised that the place was clean, orderly and functioning although I had come into the Outpatients Department where the less than critically ill waited patiently on benches in the very long corridors that I’d remembered from so long ago. I quizzed the staff I met about conditions and all admitted that it was better than last year but was still sub-standard. “At least we are getting medication and clean linen, but the equipment is very short” said the doctor I’d come to see about a test for carpel tunnel syndrome. The equipment he used was privately owned by the Neurology Department. “The medical school is up and running again after closing last year but there are no lecturers in some courses” he added..

Godfrey, the doctor who did the tests was an affable fellow and quite happy to talk. He’d been in an aircraft crash a few years ago in which the two other people, a neurologist and a urologist had died. The left side of his face is still a bit disfigured and he admitted that he’d changed seats with one of the other doctors just before their attempted takeoff. He felt a bit guilty about it.

The tests cost $200 to tell me what I knew already; I have carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists. I guess the real reason I wanted the tests done was to see what the inside of the hospital was like!



3 responses

26 11 2009
Big Blister

That’s not good news on the carpel tunnel! Before you think about surgery, suggest you Google natural remedies. I found articles on Vit B6 and B12, homeopathic Arnica etc that were pretty interesting…

26 11 2009

I’m not sure that I’ll do anything about it – it’s annoying but not much more. I suspect the neurosurgeon just wanted to find out how much of the problems I have in my hands from the bike accident are due to CTS.

30 11 2009
La Canadienne

i’ll try to find a fax, to send you the pics of exercises the physio here gave me, they really help.

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