Bandaged Hand

Shit, I Stabbed Myself

So, as most of you know, I went and stabbed myself while I was on my site visit. I was being pretty stupid and in a hurry while trying to get some raw meat apart and jammed a kitchen knife into my palm under my left thumb. Luckily, it was just about a centimeter deep and a little over that long, so it just needed one stitch. My brother became very overprotective and angry when I informed him, but both my parents just said ouch, don’t let it get infected and I haven’t, but it does bring to mind the topic of health care here.

In Botswana, health care is all free. I just went straight to my health post and said stitch me up and she did and then I got sent home with free pain killers and antibiotics. I’ve also been going in each day to get the wound redressed. It’s definitely not the crazy sterile environment we have in the U.S., but it’s also not a breeding pool for infection and sickness.

There are of course still precautions I should take and try to, but they’re mostly precautions I should also take in the states. I’m below the malaria line, so I don’t have to worry about malaria medication here. The water is not always safe to drink though. My village water source seems to be OK, but it’s always better to filter or boil water before drinking it. I don’t have dental services or regular checkups here, so I need to make sure that I keep myself as healthy and hygienic as I can. Otherwise, it’s mostly things I should be watching for in the states, don’t come into contact with foreign blood on an open wound, don’t sit with someone coughing right in your face, don’t eat raw meat or food that’s been sitting out too long, etc.

If I end up with a more serious medical issue, Peace Corps will handle it. Either by taking me to a bigger city such as Gabs or Joburg for treatment or med-evacing me home. So as long as I’m taking preventative health care measures, I should be grand!