A list of don'ts when sick in Ghana.
Trip Start Aug 09, 2009
25Trip End Dec 20, 2009
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Where I stayed
Nyaho Medical Centre
Just because you have been in a country where sanitary food preparation isn’t a major concern for four months. Does not.
Mean that after those four months you are immune to everything.
2. Don’t make bad food choices.
Just because you are hungry and the only establishment that serves food is a deserted looking stand along the side of the road does not mean that you should eat there.
For the love of God wait.
Because otherwise you will eat fish.
Fish that may just cause you, 2 days later to be viciously throwing up everything that you have put into your body for the past few days.
Side of the road fish = a clearly a bad decision.
Don’t do it.
3. Don’t try to tell yourself that you are going to be okay only because you are afraid of seeking medical attention in Africa.
The only place this will get you is into an even more uncomfortable position than you were in initially and even more convinced that you are going to die. Just suck it up and go to the hospital. You will end up there anyway.
4. Don’t keep running to the bathroom while you are waiting for the ungodly slow Nyaho medical centre staff to figure out what is wrong with you.
Throw up all over the floor of the waiting room.
This is a much more effective of getting medical attention faster.
5. Don’t receive a malaria test from Kwasi.
I do not understand how anyone could find a person who is holding a bag of her own vomit who is continuing to vomit in this bag attractive. I have a fever and look like death in a wheelchair. Now is probably not the most appropriate time for you to ask me if I will put you in my suitcase when I go home.
6. Don’t accept the phrase “by God’s grace you will be fine” as on okay answer to dehydration.
Clearly you are about to draw blood from me. I have informed you that there is a 94% chance that I will pass out unless you give me some water.
I do not need God’s grace.
I need water.
7. Don’t assume that the plastic bag they have handed you is meant for your vomit.
There may just be containers in this bag meant for a stool sample. Assuming
That this bag is meant for your vomit will result in angering the Nyaho medical staff because you have just puked all over a stool sample container.
8. Don’t be alarmed if someone prays over your body.
Apparently this happens. Obviously I am not dead but if the lady in the hospital bed next to mine’s visitors want to dramatically pray over my body, who am I to stop them.
9. Don’t assume that just because you are in a hospital does not mean that your “there is never a dull moment in Ghana” realization will be put on the back burner.
You may just be awakened at 6 in the morning by a marching band parading by the window.
10. Don’t assume that just because you are in a hospital does not mean that the god awful bug infestation that this country seems to have is going to be non-existent.
There will still be ants in and around your bed and maybe even the occasional moth.
Clearly, still a developing country.
11. Don’t not eat Grace’s hospital food.
Explaining to her that you have been puking all day and really can’t stomach anything is highly ineffective. She will threaten to spoon feed you if you don’t choke down a little beef stew.
12. Don’t be alarmed that the restrooms in the Accra Mall are nicer than the restrooms in the hospital.
Clearly, hospitals should be a little more sanitary and sterile than say malls. Priorities Ghana, priorities.
13. Don’t remember the sweet deliciousness of C-Store chocolate malts.
It will only result in an unattainable craving and homesickness that cannot be cured until December 21.
14. Don’t move your IV hand.
This will result in the flow to malfunction. The nurse will then come in and run her hand down your hand (where the needle is) repeatedly. And hard. almost making you scream it hurts so badly.
15. Don’t freak out if, after having the IV removed from your hand your wrist proceeds to swell up profusely. Apparently its normal for the swelling to take more than 5 days to go down and for your wrist to hurt every single time you move it.
16. Just don’t eat side of the road meals.
Probably never a good idea.