This is our favorite new phrase, bequeathed upon us today by our resident South African, Michelle. According to her instruction, ‘cheeky’ is to be used when describing an abhorrent or otherwise off-color act by another individual.
It’s day 3, and Team One has reached full swing. The jet lag has started to wear off, and the morning runs have begun. Dr. Hisey brought his Texas Back Institute flag with him to breakfast, and we knew he was ready to rock.
The operative cases started with an odontoid screw for a young man who fell off a boda boda, fracturing a portion of one of his upper cervical vertebrae and leaving him in pain and unstable. Although we didn’t have all of the equipment needed for an odontoid screw, everyone came together and made it work. Thus began the theme of the day for me, which was a lesson about resourcefulness, ingenuity and persistence.
Our next patient was a young lady with malalignment of two of the vertebrae in her lower back, causing nerve compression and pain in her lower back and legs. We decompressed the nerves in that area and instrumented the two misaligned vertebrae back into proper position.
An exciting development today: we finally acquired a “dongle” with the help of our Ugandan friend and colleague Stanley. We had to borrow a few shillings from the lovely staff at Mbarara University Hospital (which we will, of course, repay), but after a few meetings between Dr. Hisey and the dongle dealer, we finally have a wifi hotspot. We are still working on setting it up, but are all excited at the prospect of getting email and text messages at the hospital.
According to a 2014 census, some 14% of Ugandans practice Islam, and today was Eid al-Fitr, or “breaking of the fast”, an Islamic holiday to celebrate the end of Ramadan (the Islamic holy month of fasting). The date for the holiday differs annually depending on when a new moon is cited and the beginning of the month of Shawwal begins in any given region. For Uganda, that day was today. We initially had plans to go to a restaurant for dinner, but instead wished our driver a happy holiday and sent him home for the evening.
After devouring 3 or more whole fried tilapia from the hotel restaurant (which has become our standard fare for dinner as of late), we finally made it to bed, ready for another busy day Thursday