Friday, December 10, 2010

Hopping And Hopping

[Belated post]

Thankfully the ankle is still dead set on healing but the trouble is that it wants to heal on its own time. Its own, sweet, prolonged time. Yesterday was my first visit to someone that might actually have something to say about fixing the injury which meant a trip to Hohoe Hospital. I went after classes and my ankle was not feeling very well at all. I spent the afternoon teaching two classes and walking as little as possible which afforded the students plenty of time to do things on their computers that I could not see from my seated vantage point. No problem, if it meant that I didn't have to walk, at least I was talking about things that might help them use Microsoft Word.

After those classes concluded I hobbled over to the statue circle area of the campus where taxis come and go and picked one up to the hospital. Getting to the hospital was easy but figuring out where I should go was a bit tricky. I managed to find the place on the grounds completely opposite of where I needed to be and a kind young lady walked me directly to the records area of the hospital so that I could check in. Ghanaians are always doing things like that; they are not just helpful by telling you the information you need, but will do the work for you if they can. After being escorted to the check-in woman I gave all the information that she asked for. Did I have health insurance? No, I couldn't say that I did have health insurance which they know about, but Peace Corps told me to keep receipts for reimbursement purposes. I was curious what the damage would be for a consultation.

That will be six cedis. That was without insurance. That might translate to maybe 4 dollars, fifty cents in American money. Not too bad. I walked to room 6 and the line was pretty large with many patients in various states of health hoping to see someone for help. Fortunately I brought a book with me to read through whilst I sat down.

Maybe ten pages in and my name, “Daniel” was called out. I gathered it was for me but I waited for it to be said a second time with my real last name used before staggering in. The two white-coated workers checked me out, saw my foot, then said, “Oh, sorry!” Everyone was saying that of course, but hearing it from them made me think that I had a great chance of finding sympathy from the healthcare industry. While they could not diagnose anything they did say I should wait until Monday to visit again when the X-ray machine would be available. Finally they mentioned some pain relievers that I might try and I took them up on the offer. For four cedis I walked away with some pills and called the foraging mission a success.

Before going home I stopped in at a hotel bar where four other volunteers were having a good time chatting and relaxing. It was good to talk to some people and just blow through an evening away from home. One Malta, a whole lot of rice and spicy meat later, and I was quite happy. I even offered a place for some guests to stay if they needed it, then I took a taxi back to the campus to avoid walking any more on the foot. My hope is that in this next week the ankle starts to resemble something more normal in shape and is not so tender. I am still having a good time here.

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