Robert is not happy. He is sitting alone scowling. He has “runny tummy” and fever. Morris and I pack Robert on a boda and off we go to the clinic.
The nurses love our kids at the clinic. I’m not sure if its because the kids zone out and fall in the love with the television all over again each time they visit (aka keep quiet and do not disturb) or if they are like me and seeing these former street kids smile pulls at their heart strings.
Three tests later we discover that Robert has typhoid. Morris and I have to look away as the nurse prepares the massive needle for his tiny arm. The medicine makes him sick. The tough resignation on his face is moving and I hold his hand as we walk out of the clinic.
Wait! Before you through him a pity party….What does this mean in Robert’s world? 5 days of injections. Whatever, he doesn’t care about that. It means his own supply of juice at home and sweets every time he goes to the clinic. That’s a guarantee of 5 treats. The world is far more optimistic through his eyes. What can I say…rose-tinted glasses.
Robert is ready to go back for his second round of injections and everyone else is looking for an excuse to come along. Paper cuts, old wounds, dandruff you name it. Why? Well, the sweetie and the motorcycle ride of course!
Jimmy and Jennifer come along. Jimmy has an old wound that has become aggravated and Jennifer has been huddled in the corner feeling sick. We are a sad looking bunch.
Results…Jimmy has a bacterial infection. That means 4 days of injections or as he sees it; 4 boda rides and 4 sweeties. Jimmy is pleased with himself. Jennifer has malaria. She leaves with 2 injections and a bag full of medicine for home and a frown. She’s 19, a sweetie and a juice box aren’t exactly changing her mood.
FAST FORWARD 4 DAYS
Jennifer is feeling better. Jimmy’s leg is looking alright. Robert has no fever and no stomach problems, but….
Morris, Walter, Fred, Francis, Joel, Zubedah all have the flu!
Thankfully the clinic keeps an open tab for us, we reckon we deserve a frequent visitor discount.We may not be at the clinic every day anymore, but thanks to some lab genius the cough syrup is so sweet that everyone feels like they are getting a sweetie!.