Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Very happy - A patient encounter

Today had all of the harbingers of being a bad one. I have some sort of food poisoning, which I blame on the “enchiladas” I had last night at a local restaurant that I will describe as an African Chili’s (or Applebee's, Bennigan's, Cheddar's, etc.). It was my first (and last) foray into Tex-Mex on the continent.

On top of that, my plate (figuratively speaking this time) looks like I just passed through a buffet line with an empty stomach. A feast of activities, it is.

To top it off, I received bad news about a patient. (See below.)

Around 8am, doing my best to feign enthusiasm, I called the first client of the day.

Zamekile was severely wasted when he fist visited our clinic in January of this year. Her weight placed her at the bottom thousandth of her age group.

That was then.

Now, she is on ARVs and weighs in at the 50th percentile.

She likes to give high-fives.

I have never met a more avid high-fiver. Nor have I met a more eloquent reminder of why my job is a dream job, even an a day shadowed by death and diarrhea.

As the gogo shook my hand and Zamekile raised her palm in the air for one more, the gradmother said, “I am very happy, doctor. When I first came here, she is too too small. Too small. Now she is big.”

At that moment, so was my smile.



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