Day 4 reflections
Needless to say, life in Togo is much different than in America. I have spent the last two days working in their outpatient clinic. Patients are required to arrive by 7 am but are given no particular time for their appointment and may wait all day before being seen. Despite this, no one seems upset to be waiting outside all day with nothing to do. Children often are with their parents for the appointment and are surprisingly content sitting and waiting as well. Tropical medicine is much different than anything I have done before and I am learning all I can and asking many questions of the local Togolese PA’s (there is a PA School in Lome and the hospital employs 7–8 of them that work both inpatient and outpatient Medicine). There are limited resources here which has also stretched my brain (no neurology or CT scan to tell you why patient has tremor or altered mental status). It has also broken my heart. By far the saddest case I have seen was actually the first patient I saw independently who presented with a 1 year history of abdominal mass. She is 25 and I thought she was pregnant but it turned out to be a huge spleen with a white blood cell count of 260,000 (normal 3,000–11,000). She has some type of leukemia and there are minimal to no treatments available for her. I had to tell her this (via aqilla the Togolese interpreter helping me). Thankfully she believes in Jesus and has given her life to him. I am grateful to have her as a sister in Christ and fellow believer and cannot imagine how i would process this situation without knowing a sovereign God who promises eternal life for his children after life on Earth has ended. She comes back next week for a bone marrow biopsy and may qualify for a treatment program in Lome (if she has enough money to travel there). Please pray for her: her name is Alna. Thank you for your prayers!
Scott is on call tonight and we are hoping for a quiet night so we can go to the market tomorrow with Kofi (full time driver for the hospital). We are also hoping to go to Adeta church with all the Togolese on Sunday morning!