mine: chf

misogyny in medicine

covering digitalis, the teacher tells us about an englishman who introduced foxglove to the herbal community.

When mentioning how the englishman found it, he specifically says that the englishman learned about the herb from a wise woman, who was using it for “dropsy” aka edema related to CHF, in a tea. 

The teacher then goes on to say how we all owe a debt to this englishman for researching the plant.

Fuck yo englishman. A little old lady had been using that plant for years before he heard of it, and I’m sure she learned about it from her grandmother, and that it had been common herbal knowledge in little old ladies for quite some time. The lecture could have just said “This englishman stole a little old lady’s formula and claimed all the credit for use after that”.

You know what sucks the worst about having a heart condition at age 27 (almost 28)?

Besides the 26-ish medications a day?

And the blood tests?

And the difficulty doing anything physical?

And the cardiologist appointments?

And the profuse sweating like a fucking pig because your heart is prioritized blood-flow leaving the gland responsible for controlling such things cut off and unable to compensate?

And the fact that you feel 75 years old because you have a health condition normally only had by people so old?

And the EKG’s and Echoes?

What’s worse than all of that is that, when you get any sort of twinge of pain anywhere in your torso for any reason, you’re mind instantly goes to the “oh crap, heart attack” place, even though you know better in a rational way.

10

Day 2 & 3

Sorry about the lack of posting for yesterday but the internet was down. Yesterday we finished the work we were doing for Godwin at Destiny Ministries with building the volleyball court. We hoed, wheelbarrowed, and shoveled dirt; then we laid down soil and planted grass. The once rocky hill is now calm and ready to be a Ugandan volleyball court. Godwin was extremely appreciative of our work and it is so fulfilling to see the lasting impact we are having on Destiny Ministries.

After we finished the court/hill, Godwin showed us around Destiny before lunch. Destiny Ministries is still a work in progress; because he was forced to relocate, he had to start fresh. The new offices are being worked on and serve to teach sewing, fashion design, computers, and printing. Although Godwin had to pretty much relaunch the career building aspect of Destiny, it is going well so far and he takes pride in his space.

On our way to lunch yesterday we got to ride boda bodas! Boda bodas are Ugandan motorcycle taxis. Although they may seem dangerous, not to worry - the drivers were safe and everyone on the team was okay and excited :) Stephanie and I rode together…. such a cool experience! Mukono looks so different on the back of a motorcycle. Since many Ugandans cannot afford a car, they own boda bodas to transport themselves to work - normally miles away. This was a true cultural experience - I would say I’m pretty much dubbed as an official Ugandan now ;)

After a lunch of fried chicken and ‘chips’ or french fries (totally Ugandan, I know), we set off for Victors. We walked an extremely beautiful trail to Victors which centered straight in the middle of lush green valleys and pastures ornamented with cows, chickens, and sheep. The high hills of Mukono sat pridefully in the horizon; a breathtaking landscape. I skipped down the path, letting the warm breeze engulf my hair matted by the humidity. It was truly a beautiful sight :)

We concluded the evening with quality time at the orphanage. The team and I attempted to entertain the hyped-up children with low key games like 'Sally Walker’ and 'Red Light Green Light’ with little to no avail. However, I did find a large percentage of the kids screaming with laughter as I picked up child by child and piggybacked them while racing the rest of the group across the field. It was great fun, but I think the whole team was pretty much exhausted at the end of the day. We went back to the hotel and called it a night.

Today, we painted a mural in the computer room at the orphanage!! We will be painting another on Monday in the Sunday School room. After talking with the team, we decided to do a theme of “Gods Children & The World” in the computer room and “Noahs Ark” in the Sunday School class. We broke up into two groups - Lauren, Rachel, Bella, and I painted the mural in the computer room while Stephanie & Cole chose to paint the walls (not mural, the whole room!) of the Sunday School room with a base coat. Both groups put in a lot of effort; and luckily, the work wasn’t too difficult. Not to say that we didn’t work hard - hours were spent designing, measuring, sketching, painting, and finishing. However, we got a day out of the sun - a much needed break from our constant toiling in the raw heat of Uganda.

The mural was illustrated as a giant globe with Africa as the center. In the spot where Uganda lies on the African continent, a red heart was painted to symbolize love and patriotism. On the first half of the globe, handprints in the colors of the Ugandan flag surrounded paper doll-like stick figures to symbolize little children of the Earth uniting. The verse Matthew 19:14 surrounded the bottom half of the globe, which states:

“Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, for the kingdom of Heaven belongs to them”“

Both rooms ended up looking fantastic and we were constantly thanked by the staff at Victor’s. It is so humbling and rewarding to see the huge impact we have on the lives of these people and the love and joy that reaps from it. 

Tomorrow we are going to Jinja to see and tour the Nile. However, we are putting a twist on it - every person has selected a child from the orphanage to bring with them as a friend. This will be not only a great bonding experience but a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the children who most likely will or have never seen the Nile despite their close proximity. I am so excited for the day and I will keep everyone updated!

I hope everyone and everything is well at home. Please remember to email me for any specific questions or comments :) -> Maddielovesuganda@gmail.com

In Him,

XO Maddie