Some Random Observations


I am starting this week’s blog with a big shout out to the dedicated team of doctors and nurses at Port Antonio Hospital. When an underweight newborn was urgently intubated in the middle of the night due to severe apnea, the medical team hand-bagged the neonate all night until the transport team arrived in the morning to take the baby to Kingston. Port Antonio does not have a functioning mechanical ventilator. In fact, none of these local hospitals have ventilators.

And here are some of my random observations for the week…

1. Every emergency department (or A&E as Jamaicans like to call them) at which I have worked has always had a Bollywood soap opera blaring from the one fuzzy TV in the waiting room. Who knew Jamaicans would be such devoted Bollywood fans?

2. It turns out that marijuana has a lot more side effects than you’d think.

3. There are no straight roads in Jamaica.

4. I think I’m experiencing reverse culture shock. I was so surprised to see a Caucasian person at the hospital this week that I had to remind myself not to stare and wave.

5. Jamaicans really like uniforms. School uniforms, nursing uniforms, drivers uniforms. And they all seem to be made of the thickest wool you’ve ever felt.

6. Children, especially boys, should not be allowed to wear shoes without socks when the temperature is more than 30 degrees Celsius.

7. Jamaica’s national fruit is ackee. When eaten before it is ripe, ackee will cause severe refractory hypoglycemia that may or may not kill you. Who wouldn’t want a poisonous food to be their national fruit?

8. I feel like I’m practicing hard-core, old school medicine every time I look at an X-ray on real film.

9. Every day, we drive by a little community where the excessive amount of pungent seaweed on the beach results in a game of how-long-can-you-hold-your-breath. It’s like rotten eggs had a baby with a durian. Times a thousand.

10. A nurse was robbed at gunpoint near one of the hospitals this week. Scary stuff.

11. In two days, I will be outside the 14-day incubation period for leptospirosis! Yay! I was exposed at Dunn’s River Falls, but so were all of the other tourists, they just don’t know it. Regardless, it was still worth climbing up a 950-foot waterfall in the jungle!

12. I have not stopped sweating since I arrived here. And I’m not even wearing a wool uniform.

Favourite Food of the Day: Lime panna cotta with tapioca pudding

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *