Heartbroken here in Montreal; my third night back since I made the decision to return home in order to seek proper medical care for what has evolved into a pretty serious skin infection. I know that leaving was inevitable and if I hadn’t left when I did, my leg probably would have been lost. But no matter how many people tell me I made the right call and no matter how thankful I am for the Montreal general hospital and my health; I still feel like I left my heart in Gulu.
I spent my first night in the MGH’s busy emergency room. I was feverish, on a strong painkiller, and quite lonesome. I heard my fellow CVAPer’s voices in every room and I wished to be back with them more than anything.
The second day was spent between sleeping in emerge and having tests done on my leg. The good news is that the infection does not appear
to have spread beyond the skin, so there is no muscle or bone damage and no need for surgical intervention. An extremely painful ultrasound on the damaged leg showed no traces on blood clots, welcomed news after 26 hours of travel with an already swollen leg. The “bad” news is that I’ll be on IV antibiotics for at least a month, I’ve undergone a similar antibiotic treatment when I had the septic arthritis on my hip two years ago and it’s quite the pain in the butt.
Today was the first time I started my mobile phone since I arrived and I was greeted by two lovely messages from Danny, while I was in the process of replying, (admittedly I was also feeling my painkillers and ended up sending three replies) my mother’s phone rang and I was pleased to hear Laura on the other end. Though I cried while speaking with Laura about everyone on the compound, communicating with them both was so wonderful. I truly appreciate how much they’ve cared for me since I got sick. Laura was my rock, she took control of the situation and didn’t let me worry about anything; for a few days I was able to observe her and I think her dedication to the volunteers is beyond incredible.
Dan, while a lot less openly concerned with “feelings”, has been that constant dependable guardian of sorts, he made me laugh when I was in pain, got me to eat after 48 hours without, and made fun of missionaries with me as he escorted me to London. I am in awe and so thankful for everything that Laura, Daniel, Jimmy, Carol, and Richard did to get me home as quickly as I did because without them I really doubt I’d be in the same situation. After speaking to Laura, I jumped onto Facebook and contacted a few CVAPers, as I refuse to let this situation end my work with the program, I inquired about the status of a few projects and not surprisingly I learned some slightly disappointing titbits, (ah Gulu business, if this skin thing isn’t the death of me, you might be.) I plan on skyping in to a meeting (once I wash my hair) to help the team as much as possible from this side of the world, I hope it’s as feasible as I’m imagining. Now it’s about 11 pm, I’m in my hospital bed, which is admittedly more comfortable than my turkle bed, and once again I’m going to sleep with the wish that this has all been a vivid malarone dream and that I’ll wake up (late) in my hut with my 3 roommates, and the house will filled with the laughter of the local and international volunteers, and that I will still have another month to spend with the greatest people ever in the best place on earth. Missing everyone like crazy - The toughest Muzungu in Gulu.