We're Jason, Beth, Lee Anna, Sawyer, and Sarah Claire, a family of five living, learning, and laughing lots in Northern Africa.
We hope you can learn a little (and maybe laugh a little too) as you read about our latest adventures.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Have Scalpel, Will Travel

You know those get-to-know-you games you play in a new group where you have to tell a strange, unknown fact about yourself? Well, I have a new one: I've had surgery in a hotel room!

It all started about three weeks ago. I chipped off part of my big toenail, and within a week it was ingrown and red and really hurt to walk on. So I called our local medical clinic and explained what I needed. The receptionist told me she didn't understand the phrase "ingrown toenail," so I explained in my best Arabic--my toenail is growing into my toe. "Oh, you need a dermatologist." No ma’am, I think I need a podiatrist. “Okay, you can see the dermatologist tomorrow at 5:00.”

Meanwhile, we had heard about a medical group visiting our town to do some volunteer clinics. So we made a phone call and found that there was an experienced, American surgeon in town who would be happy to look at my toe. Just meet him at their hotel at 12:30. They’d be having an early lunch, but needed to leave at 1:00 for their first clinic.

We met Dr. Bill Bailey at about 12:15. He was kind and friendly, and said he’d done a bunch of toes like this. I lay down on a twin bed, and he started taking medical stuff out of a suitcase!

I have a low threshold for pain. A very low threshold, I think. I generally just try to avoid anything that might hurt. But my toe had been hurting enough already that I was willing to lie down and let him stick the needle into my foot.

In the next picture, you might notice a camera phone really close to the action. A good friend of mine volunteered to hold my hand so that Beth could be free to hold Lee Anna, who was in the room but a little shaken up to see Daddy getting hurt. I think he wanted to be there to hold my hand just so he could be close enough to get a good video!

When it was all over, Dr. Bill wrapped it up real good, and we hobbled on home. It’s pretty well healed up now, though I did enjoy a couple of recovery days in the recliner.

So it wasn’t open-heart surgery or even removing my appendix, but I really have had surgery in a hotel room. Thanks Dr. Bill!

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness--I would have been freaking out! You're pretty brave. And haha yes, now you can say you've had surgery in a hotel room. ;)

    I love your blog! My best friend is spending two years teaching in an Arabic-speaking country as well (Lebanon).