As most of my family and close friends know, I have been MedEvac'ed to Pretoria, South Africa for my sinus problems. I've been having a hard time breathing because of so much congestion and for a while, I couldn't even lie on my back without feeling like I was choking on phlegm. I know, gross, huh? My symptoms got worse, to the point where I couldn't breathe even during the day and I was dreading going to bed each night for fear of suffocation. Seriously. Washington finally approved me going to the regional medical area which is where I'm at now, to get further opinions and expertise from ENT specialists here.
South Africa is a very developed country. It really reminds me of any other big city in America: high-rise buildings, traffic lights, paved roads, shopping malls, and of course, McDonalds. haha The medical care given here is excellent and I definitely feel like I'm in good hands. I think the care here is a lot better than America in some ways but I won't get into that. I immediately flew in to Johannesburg to find that I had a driver waiting there for me with a sign with my name printed on it. I've never felt so legit! ha He drove me to Pretoria and I immediately got acquainted with the Peace Corps staff here. The medical officer referred me to the ENT specialist and an appointment was made scheduled for two hours. I couldn't believe it was that fast and easy. I had another CT scan done for sinus x-rays and I got blood drawn for allergy tests. Same day appointment in a busy hospital, everything done within 2 hours...come on America, what's up? He diagnosed me with chronic, acute sinusitis and I am now on antibiotics/penicillin, saline nasal spray, a steroidal nasal spray, other pills, and probiotics to help with the antibiotics. It's pretty ridiculous. haha He says that I have a septal deviation towards the left and that it may be making symptoms worse. He also suspects that the dry environment and other factors at site are making my symptoms worse. So for now, we will see if I get better here and he will be able to clear me to go home when I am doing well. If symptoms occur again while in Botswana, I may have to continually take medications or decide if it is bearable and worth it to stay. Although the idea of going home makes me sad, only time will tell if I could really handle it and bear it. I think I can. :)
So that's the update for now! In the meantime, I will continue to explore the Brooklyn/Sunnyside/Pretoria area and try to take some photos for all of you following me. :) It's a very beautiful city with Jacaranda trees that line almost every single street. Too bad it isn't springtime when the flowers have blossomed and the streets are covered in beautiful purple flowers...oh well! I'll enjoy it while I'm here and make the most of my visit. I've walked around like a tourist, lost, and it's been fun having people stare at me. haha I've met some really cool volunteers from South Africa and may be hanging out with them this week, too. My roommate left this morning but is a really cool older lady volunteering in Rwanda so it's nice to meet other volunteers in the Africa region. I plan to go out and explore and meet more people. I really don't want to be stuck in my room all day despite how cozy this bed and breakfast is. Did I mention I get to eat bacon every morning for breakfast? I'm in heaven.
|My driver to/from the Peace Corps office, guest house, and hospital. |
Lazarus is the man. With that name, he is by default.
|This area really reminds me of San Marino, CA. Beautiful!|
|The Rose. Really cozy guest house I'm staying at for these next weeks.|
|Funniest, most blunt and honest roommate ever. haha|
|Had Thai food for the first time in almost 9 months! YUMMY!|