One Broken Fifth Metatarsal
The event was completely ungraceful and unheroic. I would like to say that I broke my foot as I was leaping to rescue a Kenyan child in danger. But actually I (Heather) just stepped onto uneven grass and fell. With Abi tied to me in the baby carrier, so we are especially thankful that she was not hurt. My right 5th metatarsal was not so fortunate.
It turns out that if anyone has to break a foot, Tenwek Hospital is actually a really good place to have that experience. Here are some of the benefits of living here as an injured person:
Accessible Doctors -
Within a few hours of the injury, I received housecalls from several neighbors: an orthopedic surgeon, a physical therapist, a visiting radiologist, and several other medical specialists just for good measure. Dan the Orthopedic Surgeon also happened to have an orthopedic boot right at his house (across the sidewalk).
Affordable Healthcare -
The multiple doctor consultations were free, and the cost for x-rays was $4.75.
Convenient Locations -
Living at Tenwek, I do not have to drive (which would be impossible with the boot and crutches). I can hobble to the hospital, to church, to friends’ houses, and to the mailbox. Those are all the necessary errands around here.
Kind Kenyans -
I have found that Kenyans here express sympathy frequently and sincerely. Everywhere I go, I hear “Pole, pole” (Sorry, sorry) from Kenyan friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Their kindness makes me wonder whether their sympathy reflects the physical suffering that seems more pervasive here in Kenya.
Helpful Neighbors -
Our friends and neighbors are extremely helpful and kind. I can tolerate six weeks on crutches with such great neighbors.
This is Jessica taking care of her baby and mine.
This is Edna and Anna helping with the dishes.
This is our friend Amy cleaning up my living room.
This is Maggie keeping Abi entertained while a physical therapist was teaching me how to navigate on crutches.
This is the gorgeous weather and scenery (not to mention the fun children) in our front yard that help to keep us all smiling.
For the next 6 weeks, though, I should be spending most of my time right here on this couch, hopefully remembering to feel thankful that we live in such a great place.