Hey everyone!! I'm writing again! (finally!). I realise my blogs are WAY too long, but once I get going it just doesn't stop. Blame my brother!
So, this past week was a crazy week! I forget what I mentioned in my last post, but last weekend was spent in preparation for everything that was starting up this week. On Monday the whole place turned right around...we started up ortho surgeries again, opened the prosthetics lab (first time!!!), and the school started up again. It was VERY busy for me and Dr. Cheryl, but so rewarding to see at the end of the day, or maybe the end of the week was the first time I actually got to stop and look back at it all! All last weekend was spent moving supplies, setting up the new patient dome, getting people orientated and setting up the prosthetics lab. It was so hectic, but it all pulled together just in time. It's kind of amusing how often things just seem to work out at the last minute here...it's a God thing I think!
So, Monday morning, the craziness began! We did not stop until 4pm. Usually I'll be busy until just after lunch, then I can sneak away for a bit in the afternoon before the clinic closes down...but not this week! They had me and Cheryl RUNNING! It was all good though! Things went so well this week! We did I don't know how many surgeries, had tons of patients coming through for ortho consult and wound care. In the middle of the week we realised that we had way too many ortho patients that needed surgery, so we've tweaked our plans a little bit, so now we're going to plan to do ortho/plastic surgery for the first 2 weeks of every month, then we'll have one week of recovery in the patient ward where we follow up with the post-ops and discharge them home to have one week of down time before we start up the OR again. And around and around we go!
The prosthetics lab was so exciting to me this week. I'm kind of bummed that I didn't get to spend more time in there. We had our very first patient fitted for a prosthetic leg, and she was walking on it by the end of the week! Her name is Melene, and I remember her from my very first few weeks here in February. She was a below knee amp from our hospital, and it was so good to see her all healed up, and walking again. Seeing her up and walking though, I realised that it's going to take a long time for her to accept this new prosthetic, and she really didn't seem to be enjoying it very much when walking, but in time it'll come, I hope. Its a huge change in her life! I asked her if she could dance with her new leg, and she kind of did a little jig, but it looked like she was close to tears doing it...so I stopped. Jesus be with her!
What else this week...oh. We had two patients come through that were very close to our staff here at MOH. One lady was in a motorcycle accident on her way into work at the mission. She fractured her femur and one arm, but seriously, she was so lucky that it happened when and where it did! This just happened to be the week that we had ortho surgeons here, and OR staff. Seriously...it was the time to have it happen. So she had surgery that day, in our OR. She is recovering really well too! Tonight when I visited the ward she was smiling, had her hair done and was telling us how she got up in her chair today. It's good! The other patient we just called "broken man." At the beginning of the week my friend was telling me about her family member that was in the hospital in PAP, and our medical team was talking about "broken man" that was coming to be fixed in our OR. I think it wasn't till Tuesday that I put the two together. So, broken man came to us, bilateral femur fractures, bilateral wrist fractures, left tib/fib...basically he was broken everywhere and probably shouldn't have made it. But, he came to us and had 3 surgeries in our OR, and now he's here with us still. He's definitely ICU worthy, but he's here in our open HOOP barn tent thing, with two nurses tending to him and 7 other patients each shift. Its amazing what you do when that's all you can do. So, if you think of it, please pray for broken man!
What else can I ramble about? Oh yes. One last thing from the week. Yesterday a bunch of us went to Cabaret for lunch and then just to wander in the market place. While there me and Diana took the group on a slight detour to the Grace House to check up on some peeps. The Grace House is a homeless shelter in Cabaret, and last January when I came there was a little kid, Dalex, that was pretty sick with malaria and who knows what else. In the two weeks last year we saw a huge change in the kid, with him starting to sit up, making baby sounds and holding up his head when at the beginning of the week he had been listless and unable to breastfeed because it took too much energy. In August when I was here with our youth group I had a chance to peak in on him too, but he had digressed again, and was unable to sit up or hold his head up. I think he was about a year old at that point. So now, this time I just really wanted to see how he was doing...but he wasn't there. From what the other people in the Grace House knew, some white people had picked him up and taken him to a hospital in Cazal, another city/village about half an hour from Cabaret, but they didn't know if he was still alive or what. So...my search may or may not continue. We'll see. But it was so good just to see the Grace House again, to smile and talk with the kids and the others living in such dismal living conditions. They continue to get food through the nutrition program here at MOH, but we're just kind of trying to be open and available to help out in any other way possible in these places that are in great need.
So that's life in a nutshell for this week. Sorry for the length once again, but a lot happens in a week! Miss you all!!!!