And we spent today screening members of the Upendo HIV Group. I cannot fathom the complicated nature of their illnesses and conditions. While many of them are relatively healthy and functioning, most are suffering from a number of maladies that are not easily described in limited english, and not easily diagnosed without a full laboratory at our disposal. Every patient needs to see a physician after seeing us. But we are faced with the responsibility of only being able to refer some of them. Just some.
There are a small group of us, that by coincidence and poor scheduling, have seen all the patients so far. I think we are all tired, even just after two days. Tired of not knowing exactly what’s going on. Tired of not being able to provide immediate assistance. But, it is impossible for us, even if we were full physicans, to provide all the help that these individuals may require. What is possible is only to do our best.
Yesterday (the start of these screenings) marked the beginning of my strongest “mental” days here, in the sense that I am back in a familiar realm. I feel again at least a slight sense of purpose. A purpose against this disease that seems to hover around my life and beacon me to participate in its eradication (or at least the battle or treatment against it). At the least I feel like a constant observer of HIV and AIDS. Constant observation and confusion. Observation, confusion, and a layer of quiet sadness that this is happening at all.