Over the last month or so I’ve had a couple weeks where I have 3 days off in a row, not including weekends. Sounds nice, I know, but trust me, by the end of day 2, I’m a blob of slob and haven’t changed out of my jammies.
One of my issues is staying up late watching random television shows. The problem is, they pull me in because the topics are fascinating or pique my curiosity. A couple weeks ago on BBC there was a program that extended over a couple hours. Electric Dreams followed a modern day family going back in time starting in the early 70s. Each new day, it would turn to the next year. They’d get a new modern convenience, learn something new that happened that year or do an activity that would’ve been allowed in that time.
It was so cool because I grew up exactly in those years. I was born in 1969. The only problem, the show started at 1am. Ugh, for real? There was no way I could stay up until 3am.
Well, the catalyst for this post was the show I watched Saturday night, A Walk To Beautiful. I could NOT turn it off. I had no idea this aired almost 3 yrs ago!
It was about 3 girls trying to get help at a Fistula hospital. This was in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. What is a Fistula Hospital? It’s where doctors try to fix obstetric fistulas in women who gave birth at extremely young ages or were in labor so long it affected them internally.
One woman and a tiny hole in the fistula that extended from her bladder so it would leak out constantly. Another gal had TWO tears: one to her bladder and the other to another “area” in that region so she had a double whammy. And lastly there was a girl who had given birth at such an early age her bladder was functioning at about 50%.
These women in are completely shunned by their family and community. One woman said her family built a small addition to her house so that the hyenas couldn’t kill her. And when I say “addition” I mean some small closet size area so she could lay down, basically.
One girl who absolutely grabbed my heart, Wubete, had been married off at 8 years old. EIGHT! She became pregnant and was in labor for days. Because of that, her bladder was beat up and wasn’t functioning well. She had been to this hospital three times, refusing this last time to go home after the treatment. Her choices she said was to be healed or to kill herself.
Dr. Catherine Hamlin, who started this hospital with her husband back in 1974 said there are around 150 gynecologists in the entire country! This is something we in the United States could schedule an appointment to have repaired. There, they are completely shunned if the problem can’t be fixed. In fact, no woman would be in labor for more than 24 hours here let alone 5 days!
Living in the United States we are so pampered, for the most part. Being a single mom I completely understand that it’s not a bed of roses for everyone. I’m just saying for the most part, access to health care is in every town and city. The distances these women had to travel and the scorn they had to face is entirely foreign to us.
Do you ever watch one of these types of shows and are just back to the stark reality of what goes on in the world around us when we sit in the lap of relative luxury? Like me, do you feel helpless to do anything to help out? Have you ever DONE something after being so impacted like I was watching this show?