So we had our first medical emergency here in Kenya and we have only been here 4 weeks. The most surprising aspect of this story is that our first trip to the hospital had nothing to do with me. I have visited hospitals so often in my life that my father was once suspected of child abuse. Jessica, however, saved her very first hospital visit for such a time as this…in Africa. I must say we are very blessed to have some incredible medical facilities in Nairobi with very skilled and capable Doctors. That being said, we are still in Africa and in Africa you have to be prepared for things to sometimes be done a little differently. So was the case with our initial trip to Aga Khan Hospital.
It was a pleasant Sunday afternoon, August 17th. I was feeling pretty good and walking on the track at Rosslyn. Then I began to get these sharp stabbing pains. They weren’t to bad at first, but as the night progressed so did they. Finally about 11pm I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore, so we got in the car and headed to the hospital. I am 26 years old and this was my first trip to the hospital. I would save an experience like this for when we are living in Africa. We arrived at the hospital and they took me back really quickly which was great. I waited for the doctor about 15 minutes and he was able to quickly diagnosis what the problem could be and ordered the appropriate tests. Jamie was my Knight in Shining Armor. I don’t know what I would have done without him. I guess I would have been doubled over walking through the hospital getting my medication and taking my test to the lab. After a couple hours in the hospital I was feeling a lot better. I was out of work the next day and by the afternoon of the following day I was feeling back to normal. I am feeling a lot better now and hopefully it will stay that way.
I was amazed that within 5 minutes of our arrival Jessica was already in a bed in the emergency room. I was asked to sit in the waiting area, but after 15 minutes or so I decided to go check on Jess. When I arrived at her room I found out that nothing major could be done for her until I cleared things with the cashier. So I went and settled the initial bill, the one that must be paid before you receive services. I then returned to the room to find out that Jessica needed intravenous medication but in order for her to receive it I needed to go settle with the cashier AND walk to the pharmacy to pick up the medication, which would require it’s own bill settling. After chatting with the cashier and filling the prescription I returned to my ailing wife’s side with the medication she needed. In return I was given a tube of her blood. I was told that the very blood I was holding needed to be tested, but in order for that to be possible I must first go settle the bill with the cashier. Oh and of course deliver the blood to the testing lab. So off I went to see my new found friend, John Cashier. After settling yet another bill I was off to the lab which was located on the opposite side of the hospital. When I returned to my wife nearly 30 minutes later I actually was able to sit with her….until the nurse came back. Then we were told they may need to run another test. By this point you know what is coming. I took my wife’s “sample” to John and settled all the bills he could find in the hospital. Then, sample in hand, I was off on yet another early morning stroll to the lab.. When I returned from my journey I found that I was finished with my work, and so were the Doctors. We waited for a short amount of time for the test results and then we were released. Jessica had a parasite and Gastritous which were working together to cause her a great deal of pain. We had a diagnosis and the medication that would bring about her cure. At 2:30 a.m. we were ready to go home. All that was left was for us to go settle up with the cashier and stop by the pharmacy.