Thursday, September 4, 2014

Uganda in T-minus 1 week.

Welcome, welcome, welcome. Welcome friends.

This is my blog. Because I'm going to Uganda for my OB/GYN rotation in a week. (september 11th- october 10th).

If this looks familiar to you, it's because I'm just reusing my blog from Mercy Ships, because I can't bring myself to think of a catchy new name, because I'm pretty sure you don't really care that much what it's called anyway. So JamesthePA[student] is gonna do just fine.

For a quick "bring you up to speed": I have been dreaming of doing medicine overseas since I pretty much came out of the womb (lol. oh man. get ready for a LOT of OB/GYN references, this blog is gonna be real). For those of you that know me, you know that I love people, I love adventure, I love traveling, and I love medicine. I have most likely told you a 67x more information than you were looking for if you asked me about a rash, why your hands get so cold, or why you think you're allergic to gluten. I can't help it and I'm sorry kind of.

But folks. This is the trip. This is the first time I will be going overseas to specifically learn and practice medicine as an actual medical provider. It is the culmination of high school, college, EMT school, Mercy Ships, shadowing, being an ER technician for a year, and 15 months of the hardest schooling I've ever done.

Am I a PA yet? No. But I am aspiring very much. I just finished the didactic portion of becoming a PA, which many have likened to what they imagine hell being like. But from objective stand point, I don't think that is quite fair. If a gif could explain it, it was more like 15 months of this (just click it):

But alas, we made it through alive and the class has dispersed all over the state to start our clinical year. We are finally getting to put into practice what we've been studying for for so long.

But back to the trip. When we get to [Kabale] Uganda, we will be working with an organization called Kigezi Healthcare Clinic that is run by Ugandans, and they have been serving the people in southwest Uganda for years. They really focus on nutrition in mothers and children, general medical care, maternal health, and HIV/AIDs. We (me, shelby, and lauren) will be going to work with the maternal health portion of the organization. This will include but is not limited to: labor and delivery, HIV/AIDs management to prevent mother to fetus transport, working in the general clinic, nutrition education, and village trips. A new labor and delivery hospital just opened up there, and it looks like we will be getting to spend a lot of time there! (I don't want to end up in OB, but I do want to know how to deliver a baby if I need to). It is really new, so I don't really know what to expect as far as that is concerned. But I will let you know once we're there.

I could go into much much much more detail, but instead I will put up pictures. If you want to get a really clear picture of Kigezi Healthcare Clinic, I'll post a video soon, it is really well done! These are some national geographic pictures of labor and delivery in Kabale.

Midwife, mother and baby post delivery

Using a razor to cut sutures after a c-section


Delivery room

Fetal heart tones

Let's just say it will be different than working in a hospital here.

And this is Lake Bunyonyi. It's the second deepest lake in Africa, and it is in Kabale. I will fish in it and I will look at it and I will go to it and I will see it.

Throughout my life, for as long as I can remember, I have felt like God has been leading me in the direction of international medicine. I feel like the Lord has called me to use medicine to build relationships with people; to bring life, hope, and light to those who have none. All of these trips, all of this schooling, all of this work has been for a reason, and words can't express how excited I am to finally get to use it!

Guys. Thank you for reading this, praying for me, and supporting me. I know so many of you have given to my trips over the years, and I want you to know that I don't take any of that for granted. I am overwhelmed, humbled, and so blessed at the love and support of my friends, family, and even people that don't even know me who over the years have given so generously and supported me. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am so excited for this trip, and can't wait to share updates with you all!

Stay tuned,


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