Bits and pieces since I last blogged

It’s difficult to know what to write about because there is so much I can’t say about the situation in Sudan, about the program. 

I went home on August 16, it was not a relaxing visit, I ended up having 12 doctors appointments and two dental procedures and a colonoscopy.  I had a crown put on and gum surgery.  After gum surgery I almost cried when the Dr. C said I could only eat soft foods for a week.

The good news is I have a beautiful colon; the bad news was that when I was at my mother’s house I received a call from the orthopedic surgeon who replaced my hip. 

“Hi Dr. W,” I said. “I thought we were done?” 

“So did I,” he said. “But unfortunately there has been recall on your hip replacement.”

“What do you mean a recall?” 

“One out of five are failing, so we need to take some x-rays and do some blood tests to determine how yours is doing.” 

I learned that once approved by the FDA a fake hip can have minor modifications made to it without going through the approval process.  My understanding is they cut the socket shorter.  If you think of the socket as a globe previously it was cut at the equator, the modification was to cut it at the 40th parallel.  Oops!

I can’t wait for the next phone call.  “I’m sorry you’ll have to return your liver.  Luckily my hip looks good.  I was the second youngest patient to receive one of these hips, doctors don’t like to do hip replacements in young people because they only last 10 to 15 years and the most one person can usually have in a lifetime is three.  So what happens when you can’t have anymore; good question, but the alternatives are not attractive.

The thing that struck me most when I was home was the anti-Islamic sentiment I kept hearing on talk shows and the unfortunate re-emergence of Daisy Duke shorts.  I saw them all over the place and several girls were wearing boots with them.  Come on girls!  Perhaps it was the influence of the Muslim country in which I have been living, but I wanted to go around covering young girls up. 

As for the anti-Islam sentiment; it was amazing to me, but not really surprising that these jack-ASSESS would get on the radio and go on about Muslims.  I work with Muslims everyday and everything you have heard about them from fanatics is completely wrong.  Please Americans quit talking about things you know nothing about. 

Back in Khartoum I was shocked by the heat, I don’t know why, but I thought it would be cooler.  There were other shocking things I found in Khartoum regard to the program on which I’m working, but I can’t talk about them.

I spent only a week and a half in Khartoum before heading to South Sudan for seven days of workshops, a planning workshop for the program, a “Do No Harm” workshop, a day on Gender and two days on USAID rules and regulations.  I caught a cold on the second day and ten days later am still getting over it. 

The airport in Juba has moved the parking back I’m assuming in preparation for the referendum and there were also more soldiers there. 

On my way out to the plane in the tiny van, one of the passengers in back told me to drop the extra seat, I did, right on my big toe.  I think I might have broke it, but I’m going to try and go to the Doctors without Borders clinic at 4:00 to get it cleaned up and checked. I don’t have feeling in that foot, but it kind of hurts which probably means that if I could feel it I would be in agony.  I guess there are some perks to being disabled.   

Finally today as our ten seater airplane was trying to land in Agok, they had to abort the landing at the last minute because there were people on the runway.  Only in Sudan.

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