Sunday, May 19, 2013

Guest Blogger!

I've been inactive on this blog because I've been at home in New York and no one wants to hear about my boring life here. But now I'm excited to announce a guest blogger, Dr. Katy Rivlin.
Katy is a chief (4th year) resident at NYU, where I am an attending physician, and the Director of Global Women's Health. Katy is spending 2 weeks in Ghana as part of the Global Health rotation. She's working in the Obstetrics & Gynecology department of Korle Bu Hospital in Accra.
I have been really enjoying her daily updates from Ghana, and I thought you all would too. She has been there for a few days now, so I am going to post a couple of days' worth at a time to catch up.

Hello Veronica’s blog followers! My name is Katy, I am an Ob-Gyn resident at NYU who is lucky enough to spend 2 short weeks at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, Ghana. Veronica, or Dr. Ades is my attending and she asked that I guest blog a little. I’ve adapted my daily emails to my friends and family for the blog, so please forgive some of the, well, personal parts. 
Hope you enjoy!

5/13 --> under the mosquito netting
First bucket shower and flush by bucket, already got dirt on my newly cleaned sheets (a perfect black footprint). Bucket shower was a moderate failure, I left filmy residue on the surface of the water and my nether parts are still stinging with Dr. Bronner’s mint. Hot and dirty, full of starches. This is Ghana. 

5/14 --> sort of an honest days work

Woke up with my hair in a fluff of its own choosing and some distant rumblings in the stomach. Unclear which direction these will head (hair and GI motility). 
On my walk to Korle Bu, I got 4-6 honks which seems manageable. My first Grand Rounds was hard to hear and steamy, still learning the language of the land. Everything has a lot of “eh!” and “ay!”s thrown in and often jokes happen without my knowledge until the room erupts in peals of laughter. 
We rounded on a woman with cyanotic heart disease and polycythemia in pregnancy (Hemoglobin of 22) who was pretty and passive, not on oxygen. She’s a florist who was able to recite her usual Hemoglobin level to us (19, normal is about 12.) I don’t know that I’ve ever asked a patient that before. According to Sari (the American ER doctor I am living with), oxygen is very expensive and an ICU is a luxury only for the wealthy. 
Then I scrounged around for new friends and succeeded in luring Mustafa and Sylvia into my snare. Mustafa is a first year resident from Nigeria who kept asking me when I qualify and when I do if it’s as a member or as a fellow. I never quite figured out his meaning and just did a lot of smiling, nodding and wild gesticulating. 
Sylvia was a bigger success. One of two female residents that I’ve seen so far, she immediately became a bosom friend. She has kids, likes the beach and laughed every time a cab driver honked at me. 
On my way home, Evangeline the bean maker convinced me to add a strange red sauce to my purchases of black eyed peas, green peppers and digestif crackers. She wrote down a recipe for me that goes a little something like this: 

1.) Cook beans+salt to your taste
2.) Ripe plantain 
    Fry to your taste +salt
    Put in oil
3.) Put on small red oil

I don’t know what CP stands for (other than cerebral palsy) but Evangeline asked me to return with a report on how it went. I’ll ask her then.

Got home to no electricity or gas on the stove, so instead I ate a can of corn with cut up spicy green peppers in it (sure to worsen the GI distress) and digestif crackers (sure to negate the effects of the peppers). Ending the day feeling net even. 

1 comment:

linda nicoll said...

Yay Dr. Rivlin! I am so excited for you! I'm so proud of your accomplishments, you're an amazing doctor. I hope you are having a great experience. My only question: No Seamless Web in Ghana? Ok. Fine. I'll look forward to feeding you when you're back at NYU. -Dr N