Saturday, July 4, 2009

Wednesday, JUNE 17- xrays

Wednesday, June 17 – Xrays and Back to the Clinic – Part 1

Today was my hubby’s birthday and I am sad that I cannot be there to be with him to celebrate. But I am hoping he will have a good day today celebrating his 41st.
I am hopeful today that we will get the kids passports. If we do, and we get the xrays this morning and then get the medicals sent over to the Embassy, we can have our appointment and hopefully get our visas on time.
Last night, I prayed over Allenni and her breathing and gave her prednisone and her usual inhaler. I did the same thing this morning.

The xray clinic opened at 9am and I wanted to be there first thing. I had called them the night before and they were expecting us.
Our driver found it with out too much problem. At first, I wasn’t sure we were in the right place because he pulled into an underground garage where NOBODY was parked. The first sign it was going to be a good day because we had no parking fees. The entrance from the garage was a salon, massage parlor etc. and so I showed the girl the paper with the name of the clinic and she motioned for us to follow her. It was quite interesting as we walked up 3 flights of stairs bathed in purple and blue lights. We emerged upon the street and were led out of the salon and the clinic was pointed out to us down the street. We arrived and checked in at 9am only to be told that the technician would be there later, so “ Please have a seat and WAIT”. Why did I not bring the diaper bag in? Have I not learned anything here in Africa? Now, I had let Isaiah bring his little car in and Allenni had brought her Barbie head.
So we waited. I did walk up to the receptionist and ask her about taking the results with us to the clinic since they had to be there by 12. “Oh, I wished you had told me when you called last night. The doctor who reads them only comes in at 3pm.” My disappointment must have been pretty apparent, because she said, “ Let me see what I can do to help.” And she picked up her phone and made a call. A few minutes later she said, “The doctor will pass by shortly to read the films when they are done.” Relieved and thanking God for favor once again, because I know in Kampala, you just don’t pass by. It takes effort to get anywhere and in short notice it is usually impossible.
Well, about 45 minutes later, in walked a man who was dressed in a very bright orange dress shirt and pinstriped pants that were too short that revealed socks that were black and white diamond pattern. His hair was fixed parted and smoothed. He was looking “smart” as they say here. I was reminded of the James Brown era. He was the technician. We waited probably another 30 or so minutes while he got the machines warmed up.
Allenni went first and got pretty upset when the guy told her toake her clothes off. He got irritated and she compromised by pulling her dress down to her waste. I didn’t think about having her wear a skirt and top. Andrew did fine but Isaiah was wary and wanted his mama when the tech tried to make me leave. The tech had me put on a apron that weight 25 pounds so I could stand beside him. I calmed him down enough to lay still for a few seconds. That done. We were told we could leave but we couldn’t because we needed to hand deliver the results to the doc at the Embassy. So, guess what we did? You are right! We WAITED. Do you see a reoccurring theme here? We sat back down for a while but then Isaiah got restless so I decided to take him for a walk outside down the street. Right outside the clinic, a man stopped me asking if I was caring for the child. I tried to explain that he was my son and I was taking him back to America. The concept here is new and not understood. He really didn’t understand and asked me to take more with me. I told him I could not because I already had 6 children and the government would only let me take the three Ugandan children I had.
I bid him goodbye and finally slipped away.
We returned from our walk and the other kids were restless, so I told the receptionist that we were not leaving, but taking the kids for a walk.
The kids wanted Groundnuts ( a version of peanuts) so we purchased a couple and took them back to the clinic to eat. The two bags only wet our appetite, so I gave Andrew enough money to buy 5 more bags from the street vendor as I watched him from the door of the clinic.
It was a little after 11am and I was beginning to wonder if we were going to make it. Just then, the receptionist brought the films out smiling. I thanked her profusely and asked her to tell the doctor thank you for coming in early.
On our way out the clinic, there stood the man I talked to earlier with a woman, a young girl and two children who were clothed very poorly and were very dirty. Their eyes were very sad and the kids held their hands to us. Though it was hard, I knew from past experience not to get into a conversation or notice this. It was a set up from the man to either get money or try to convince me to take these people with me to America. Maggie of course had no money, but she gave the little girl her bag of groundnuts.
On the street like that it is not wise to give money and open your purse.
Believe me I did not do this out of fear or callousness, but out of wisdom to be cautious when you are a single white woman in a big city.
Anyway, we headed back to the van through the purple and blue stairway and made our way to the clinic. We arrived and I took the films to Joseph who carried them to the front desk and told them to put them in Dr. Pinto’s box. He told me to sit and WAIT. I did. As Isaiah was sleeping, so Maggie and the kids sat in the van as it was parked in the shade.
Finally, a little after 12, the doc came out and called me to his office. The envelopes were not sealed and I had already peeked and had seen that the films were normal! Yeah God! All three were clear as a bell! But I was excited anyway with the doc.
Of course, he had to fill out more on the forms and then told me that he would get copies made of the vaccines for me and get copies of the medicals for their files and then have them sent over to the Embassy by 1pm.
He introduced me to the woman named Jackie making the copies and the driver, named Martin who was to carry them and said, “Now you have seen them and know who they are, so I will leave it in your hands. Good luck. “
I talked to the driver, “So you will get the medicals to the Embassy by 1pm?” He didn’t seem confident, so I really stressed how important it was. And then he assured me that it would be there.

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