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Injured on the Job

Whenever I have to get an apartment or a house ready for a new arrival, the place needs to be thoroughly cleaned first. I usually hire somebody to help me do the cleaning. In July, I asked Koumbo to help me with an apartment. She has worked for me in the past and is a good worker.

The first thing we needed to do was to move a bed from one room to another. It had a piece of plywood on it so the mattress wouldn't be so saggy. She lifted up the plywood and I thought she'd be able to move it, but she dropped it on her foot. I could tell she was in terrible pain and it started swelling up.

I took her to the clinic and we saw the doctor right away. He ordered an x-ray and we got that right away. Then he said the orthopedic doctor would have to come. And he was in an operation, but as soon as he got out, he'd come. So we waited a while and then I went back to work. I went to check on her at noon....she was still waiting. I went to check on her at 3:00....she was still waiting. I went to check on her at 6:30....she was still waiting. Finally, around 7:00 p.m. he came. He had been operating all day (not on the same person). He looked at the x-ray and said she had broken two toes. He wanted to put a cast on her foot to protect the toes from further damage and prevent her from walking around much.

So, he told the doctor how to put on a cast and then left. The doctor wrote me a prescription for the stuff to make the cast and I had to go to the pharmacy to get it myself. Then he put the cast on and we finally got to take Koumbo home.

Two weeks later we went back to the orthopedic doctor for a check-up. He said she could have the cast off, but there was no tool at the clinic to get it off. So, he said we'd have to go to his office at the hospital on Monday (it was Saturday) and he would cut it off then.

Koumbo wasn't happy at that news. She was tired of the cast. I wasn't happy, either, because I had a lot of work to do on Monday. Well, I need to tell you that the cast wasn't a very wonderful example of how a cast should be done. It was nearly worn through in places, just from her bending her foot and the little walking she did from her house to the toilet. So, I said, "Koumbo, I do believe we could cut that cast off ourselves." So we went home and we cut, ripped, and tore, and we got it off ourselves! We saved ourselves another trip to the doctor and another office doctor fee!


Beth said…
Sounds like patience is a must with medical things in Niger. I've broken my toe twice and never had a cast on it...didn't realize that was possible. I'm glad that Koumbo is on the road to recovery.

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