7 September 2019

So this is slow season--the time of year when patients can't make it to the hospital because the roads are full of ponds or covered by rivers. They don't have time for traveling to the hospital anyway because they're busy working the rice fields. In sympathy with the hospital's lack of business, those of us who work here come down with all sorts of illnesses ourselves in lieu of treating outside patients. Mostly we all get malaria, but exciting tropical things like worms crawling out of skin also occur, skin abscesses show up, and strange dermatoses appear. The administrative nurse who makes the hospital employee schedule is probably busier now than at any other time of year, finding coverage for sick employees or filling in for them himself.

So maybe this is slow season not just for the number of patients in the hospital, but because our pace slows to a shuffle, our mental capabilities are a little fuzzy, and the days on quinine seem to last forever.

Malaria is sometimes sort of like this, in case you were wondering:

Malaria haikus

Not sure if headache
Is from the malaria
Or from the treatment

Dreamed of snorkeling,
Woke up still underwater,
But it's just quinine.

Tried to round too soon,
Day two of quinine. Threw up
In the flowerbed.

Just lying in bed
All day, with nothing to do
But write these haikus.