Sunday, February 3, 2013

Maggots, Bathrooms, Tigers (Disclaimer: Gross Details)

It has been a Big Week for nasty events which is what you all want to hear about! So, I'll just write about it in great detail so we can all share the same nightmares. I will write a brief description so you can choose if you are mentally prepared to read the story or not. This is your disclaimer.

Event one: Maggots in Leprosy Ulcers

 I went to the colony like any other day with my fellow long term volunteers Erin and Caroline. We don't have any short-term volunteers to manage so we just kind of worked where we wanted that day. This particular colony is pretty large so we stay busy. For some reason that day everyone was cranky. The nurses were on edge, the patients were really demanding and I was just getting frustrated with the whole situation because I was hot/hungry. To make things worse I was stressing out because I was convinced I was going to come home with TB. I was washing out buckets out back and this woman walked out of the clinic and starting coughing/throwing up blood. I had been taking my mask off a lot because it was just pooling with sweat. It's hot and we clean in these old church buildings which may or may not have fans. Yeah, it was kind of disturbing mentally and just watching it was hard. At this point I went up to Erin and asked if she was having the same feelings. And of course, she was, so we were already ready to leave at this point. It also smelled so badly and we both couldn't put our finger on it.

 About one minute later I turn around and go back to my station and I hear Caroline gasp and I watch the social worker's face drop. He starts yelling Tamil to the nurses and I was, of course, confused  like always. I look over and I saw the most disgusting sight I have ever seen in my life; Wiggling maggots falling out of this hole where a toe should have been in this man's foot. And it smelled as bad as it looked, rotting infected flesh. This man had not been to the clinic in over two months and his family doesn't take care of him. He has little control over his hands so changing bandages is difficult and to make it worse he has some form of dementia. He was completely incoherent. I think a neighbor dragged him to the clinic because he seriously smelled like death. The nurse is tough. She scrapes oozing ulcers all day, so if she makes a face and thinks something is gross; it's gross. We just dumped alcohol over his foot to kill as many maggots as she could and then she scraped it, bandaged it, and made him sit outside.

Everyone was a little traumatized from the experience. I had everyone go take a breath outside because the whole room smelled and that was just so disgusting. We didn't go to colony for two days after that. I was at least prepared mentally (a little). During my training I was warned that I would be seeing maggots in ulcers, fingers falling off, etc. I needed to be prepared for the worst so I could help someone who may freak out. Luckily we all survived the situation with little damage. I just feel bad for Caroline because that poor girl did not want anything to do with ulcers when this started and she got the worst bandage possible. Oh well.

Story Two: Chennai Bathroom

For those of you who have been or have lived in India, this probably wont be that disgusting. But I was really disgusted. I went to a public restroom in the city which is the worst idea in the world. I purposely dehydrate myself so I wont use the bathrooms in certain places. Unfortunately, I really had to use the bathroom and we were in a nice mall so I figured it wouldn't be so bad. I walk into a "dry stall" which means it has toilet paper instead of the hose to wash yourself off after you have finished your business. I looked in and it really was a nice bathroom and a nice stall. I get in, lock the door, and then there's something on my hand. It's really wet... before I even look at my hand I look around the stall to see if there was a hose and I had just misread the sign on the door. No hose, and it was out of toilet paper. It then dawns on my that the water must have come from the toilet or from somewhere else. I look at my hand and there's clear water with brown specks dripping off of my hand. I run out of the stall and washed my hands for like 5 minutes. Yes, poopy water, all over my hands. AHhghalgladjlkasdjflaksdfjalsdk. I used another stall and I did NOT pee my pants on the spot but it was a horrible moment.

I'll leave you with something good so you're not throwing up. Here's some cute videos of the kids from the past few weeks. ENJOY!

 I brought out a parachute to play with and this is what I found alone in the grass. Gotta love their accent. 
Another Tiger Video
More to come soon :)

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