WARNING: This post has pretty gross images. If you get easily grossed out, I would suggest hitting the back button now.
The Bad Side of Peace Corps Injuries: You are alone when they get scary.
The Good Side of Peace Corps Injuries: The Peace Corps Medical Team is F******* Amazing
When I went to bed last Saturday night, there was a dull pain in my left forefinger. I didn’t think much of it. I just thought I was getting another kinda-ingrown fingernail. I tend to bite my nails, so I am used to that. But my theory seemed wrong when I woke up four hours later in the dead of the night with a sharp pain in that finger. When I turned on the light, I noticed a black pimple-sized bump had appeared. I was exhausted. So I took some ibuprofen and went back to sleep. When I woke up, the pain was back, and I was looking at this:
I had a lot planned for Sunday, so I didn’t end up worrying too much about the bump. I jammed a baggie full of ibuprofen in my pocket (provided by the Peace Corps) and carried on with my day. It was the first day after getting paid (after a month where I didn’t manage my money very well). So I caught up on grocery shopping. I got myself a Panini. Then I went to a cafe to wait for a friend. From the time that I woke up to the time I was done shopping, my little bump was all grown up. In fact, the skin stretched so far so fast that it couldn’t keep up…
Sorry for the gross picture. But that’s what it looked like as I watched my DENVER BRONCOS kill off yet another team on Sunday night. At that point, I had showed off my finger to the other football fans. I haven’t had a real injury in country until this one. Although I wasn’t worried, there is a strange sense of unease. You don’t want anything to get serious because you don’t want to have to go to a local hospital. I would much rather have the Peace Corps Medical Office help me out–for several reasons. So, before going to bed Sunday night, I contacted the medical office and attached these pictures. By nine the next morning, I got a call telling me I needed to come into Rabat to have it looked at. I jumped on a train and was there by late afternoon.
The cleaned it and wrapped it up for me. They put me up in a hotel and told me to come back the next day. They did everything necessary to make sure it wasn’t serious. They made sure the bone was broken (it wasn’t). They made sure the bone wasn’t infected (that idea kind of scared me). In the end, several cleanings and a bunch of antibiotics were all I needed. It’s rather fantastic to have such a great medical team to put my mind at ease.
I spent my night in Rabat hanging out with other friends with other medical ailments. Also, I go to say goodbye to a friend who had to cut his service short. In the end, my short time in Rabat was great. My finger started getting better and I got to hang out with people who m=put my mind at ease (Plus, Amazing pizza and salad at the German Institute). Anyway, two days later, and I am feeling great. The finger looks gross but it is obviously healing.
Sorry for the gross update. =) Kinda.
Oh my….I bet your parents were worried when they saw pictures of your finger.
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your posts! The Peace Corp has always had an alluring appeal to me. Not being one to step to far outside of my comfort zone I can vicariously delight in your experiences. Thanks for posting your experiences. Pat….friend of your mom:)
I am glad you enjoy the posts. I hope to keep them coming. Before I signed up for the Peace Corps, I wasn’t certain I would be up for it. But then I came, struggled for several month, and made it. I’m sure the same would happen if you joined =)
you are right on Pat, definitely concerned but glad they have such great care for my boy
Paronychia…so glad you are on the mend Richard! Bye the way, I love gross pix like this…! xo Beth… P.S. A worry stone can help avoid paronychias…rub the stone and don’t bite your nails…health promotion!
Hope you get better
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