Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Rest in the unrest 

I’m sure many of you all have seen news articles and posts on social media about the current unrest and protesting in Haiti. It’s not a joke or just a big story.  I can’t promise that everything you saw is accurately presented, but it is real stuff. Real lives and real unrest. We’re very thankful to be tucked away back in the peaceful mountains where we’re basically completely unaffected by everything. Life goes on as normal, for the most part. Recently, as I was think about the “unrest” here I was reminded of the verse in Matthew “Come to Me all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”. It’s a verse that probably most of us have memorized but often forget. Rest, spiritually is a beautiful thing and very tangible and yet it’s easy to live in spiritual unrest and be more worried about the physical unrest around us than the unrest inside. Today, I’m thankful for the beauty of Gods rest in the unrest and his peace in disaster. 

I was on call Sunday, and it started out very “normally”. I had one child who came in before we all went to church. When I left, i told a friend of mine close to clinic to call me if any emergencies come to clinic. Right after church, I got word that there was someone with a machete wound so I went back to find a laceration in a girls hand. She told me her father had been hitting her younger siblings and then picked up a machete and sliced her hand open. I was completely astamished, and once again reminded of how blessed I am to grow up in a peaceful home with a very loving dad! <3 I stitched her hand, and it wasn’t very long before someone else came to the gate saying that someone had gotten injured at the Mollier school fèt (party). I found a young man sitting outside of clinic with a rag wrapped around his head that was completely soaked in blood. He and his friends told me that he’d been sitting at the school fèt when a rock that was supposed to hit someone else happened to hit him. I brought him into our emergency room and did a quick assessment. His vital signs were all normal. I started him on IV fluids and proceeded to take the blood-soaked rag off. He had two lacerations (pictures below) on his forehead. Nothing too serious looking. Skull seemed normal and in-tact. He seemed a bit out-of-it and complained of a bad headache. Shocking, huh?! 

I had just finished putting in my last stitch and was again, checking to make sure his skull wasn’t fractured when I saw his eyes roll up in his head, he turned to his side, started foaming at the mouth. He seized for a minute and I had just enough time to be very thankful for the IV port and grab some meds when he started seizing again. I pushed IV meds and he seized again, I gave more meds. He seized 4 times in that next hour. His friends were convinced that he was dying and Kayla heard their cry’s from out on the street and came to see what was going on. I wanted to transport him to a hospital with higher level care and made a lot of phone calls but there were several problems, the biggest one being that because of all the political unrest, all the roads were blocked. It was dark so I couldn’t request a med-flight, and last but not least, all of the hospitals I called said their CAT scan machine was out of order and they wouldn’t accept a head-injury patient. The one hospital with a working CAT scan said their beds were all full. 

I felt stuck. Absolutely helpless and obligated to keep him and just give the best care that we knew how to give. Kayla and I spent the night with him. Taking turns monitoring him and trying to catch some sleep. By morning, he was responding and answering our questions coherently. Praise the Lord! He’s still at our clinic and we’re keeping a close eye on him but he’s doing much better. 

 

This is a pic I took of his lacerations yesterday when I rebandaged them. 

This is the hand that I stitched right before the head-injury patient came. 

And this is a before pic. 

Pray for peace in Haiti! 

Thanks for all your prayers. They make a difference! -Mis Emma

Sunday, June 17, 2018

8,000 words 

Hi Everyone! Since a picture is worth a thousand words, I’m thinking I already have over 8,000 words written, right? 

Once again, I’m sorry for the delay in posts. I’ve been determined to post photos and have tried multiple times and hadn’t been able to until now. 

Clinic this last month has been very busy. This past Friday was our biggest day with a total of 133 patients. I’m so thankful for Gods strength, grace, and love in our hearts when we feel like we can’t deal with one more patient. Without Him, we’d never be able to do it. 

I’ve got quite a few random photos from the past month. I was having such a hard time uploading them, that I kinda went crazy with the photos once I was finally able to do it. :)

This boy came in one afternoon a week or so ago. His friend had sliced his foot open between his toes with a pick while they were working in their garden. 

These two pics are of a ‘lil boy that spent several days at our clinic. He was very ill. I was thrilled to see him doing so well on Friday when he came back for his appointment! 

This is a baby I delivered a couple weeks ago. She had a long-ish labor and I ended up spending a lot of time with her and build a friendship. I was really happy to see her on Friday when she came for her post-natal appointment. Mom and baby are doing great so I didn’t have a good excuse to keep them. ;)This photo isn’t necessarily clinic-related but it’s of all us nurses and Mim (our wonderful cook and cleaner and much more) and Brea, a girl who’s visiting for several weeks, yesterday when we went visiting a friend of ours. She’s an older single lady who lives all alone and seems quite lonely. We had a really fun and relaxing couple-hours at her house. A definite fun break from clinic. ;) You might recognize this foot. Check out Ben’s post, several posts back. The one with the really nasty wound photos. This is that same foot and as you can see, to our delight, the wound is almost completely closed now.Here is Kayla and Kara with a baby that Kara delivered!We have a “milk program” at clinic for babies without a mother or who’s mother doesn’t have milk for them. We provide the milk and give appointments for every 2-weeks to keep an eye on the babies’ growth to make sure they’re actually getting the milk. Kayla had been responsible for the program but I took it over this month. I’ve been enjoying all the babies. The photo is of me with a set of twins who are on the program. 

Thanks so much for your prayers and support. We feel and appreciate it greatly! -Mis Emma 

 

Sunday, May 13, 2018

     So it's Friday about 3 weeks ago and we have plans to head off to Jess and carols for the weekend (friends of ours) we want to leave as soon as clinic is over and what do you know a beautiful stitch job comes in just as Clinic is about to close, so I sat down and got to work trying to hurry and do a good job at the same time. So how this happened is he was out cutting grass when he slept and fell slicing his hand open with his sepet. (Which is a tool that use to cut grass)
 
Thankfully no tendons were cut and he had movement in all his fingers.
       
     His hand was very stiff so we had him come back to do some therapy



Here's a little guy who came in to Clinic weighing 10 lb 6 oz and he's already 16 months old. Kayla started him off on antiparasite medication and vitamins she plans to see him again next week, pray that he can make up for lost time and maybe grow into his diaper a little.
Here's kara doing a small Stitch job. This man received a cut down close to his foot. He lost a lot of blood so they gave him IV fluids and kept him overnight.
One afternoon about 2 weeks ago a man comes hobbling into Clinic with one leg all wrapped up, you never know what you're going to find under the bandage. Here's after a week of bandaging it.
Here's after 2 weeks he's on antibiotics via IV
This man is not a Christian but seems to have an open heart pray that through loveing and ministering to him his heart would open and that he would receive Jesus as his savior. He will most likely be staying at the hospital here for a while.

(Here's a verse that spoke to me today,)

I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

What love that is he has for us!!! And what a good reminder that the strength we have does not come from our self but it comes from our father who loves and cares for us.  
Keep praying for us and everyone we come in contact with your prayers are not in vain. ~Ben~


Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Time flies saver each moment.

    Wow time is flying! Have I already been here 5 months? seems like time is going way too fast! I've really been enjoying the work here! Today I took our friend with the foot wound home, it almost seemed like saying goodbye to a staff  member since he had been at clinic for so long. We are all happy to see him doing well and to get back to life as he knows it.
  
The other man who was staying in the hospital room with him passed away, after we did everything we could and saw he still wasn't getting better. We talk to them about transferring him to a different hospital because he was in need of cardiac surgery, they couldn't see their way through that, so they just wanted to go home. He lived for about 3 weeks and died. Some of us were able to go to the funeral, It made his madam very happy to see us!
    The past two weeks we've had a dentist team here, they were pulling teeth, (lots of teeth!!!) doing fillings and one of them was making dentures. They were a great team and got a lot of work done!
      Just lately I was blessed by something we as humans might tend to call a smaller thing. One day as going about our normal clinic duties a wrinkled face smiley old man came in to get a bandage for a wound on his leg which was very old and smelly!! Sometimes you're not quite sure how to feel about a person and if I based the way I felt about him off of his smell and the way he looked I wouldn't have wanted to be around him! but the thought hit me what if I got to do this for Jesus? I would love to do a stinky smelly bandage like this for Jesus! I thought a little, I am doing this for Jesus, how different it is seeing things through that light! I noticed his feet were very dry with deep cracks in them so I got some lotion and lathered him up. He sat on the bed with the big smile on his face and then he looked at me and said "Dr I'm very happy". It made my day. I pray that I never see people as insignificant. We see patient after patient, I want to see each one as special and unique and help them to the best of my ability. (Ben)

Monday, April 9, 2018

First of all, I apologize for the late blog post. But, in my defense, we haven’t had WiFi for several days now, making posting impossible. There, I feel better now. :-)
We had the dentist team here again for the last almost-3 weeks and they were very busy pulling and repairing people’s teeth. It was really fun watching them work together on other people’s teeth...HUGE emphasis on the word “other”. :-) I’m no dentist but by all appearances, they’re doing a fantastic job!
They left this morning and things are feeling pretty empty. A huge thank-you to them for all their hard work and the fun times we had together.
I’m posting a couple photos. The first one is of me, removing a 6cm piece of a coffee plant from a mans leg. He said it’d been there for 3 years. Seems like a mildly stretched story to me but from the way it looked, I’m awfully tempted to believe it. I love removing splinters and this was the most enjoyable one to date. So, if you ever need a splinter removed, come over and I’ll be happy to take it out. Don’t wait 3 years and I probably won’t have to use a scalpel to do it. :) The second photo is of the dentist and an assistant working. Enjoy. :)



Until next time, Mis Emma.

Friday, March 9, 2018

Be thankful 

There are so many things to be thankful for! As I think right now, I'm healthy, my body is intact, I have enough food to eat, I have clothes to wear that aren't worn out and on top of all that I have lots of friends. I look around me and see neighbors who have much less than I do and yet are very happy and grateful for what they have. It reminds me to be thankful. We have so much to be thankful for. I want to always keep this in mind and never be unthankful.                          
     For the last 3 weeks we've had a man staying in our hospital room with a big open wound on his foot. He’s a very cheerful man, despite his malady and keeps the people in the hospital room upbeat and laughing. he's healthy and it seems a ‘lil different having a healthy person staying in the hospital room, we're really enjoying having him around!
     His wound started from stepping on a large thorn that grows on trees around here. He tried getting help from another clinic but when his foot was not making any improvement, he showed up here. His foot was very infected and beginning to rot. He showed up here approximately 12 days after stepping on the thorn.    
Here’s a photo of his foot the first day after we’d already done some debriding.
     We’ve been debriding and rebandageing his foot once or twice a day and have been seeing lots of improvement! It’s been really exciting watching the foot grow back and see new life form.
    The man's name is Remy and has become a good friend to us. He would profess to be a Christian. If you think of it, pray for him, his life has had lots of changes.
     If I can get the story straight, he was planning to get married and then someone in his family died over the same time they had planned to get married and the wedding was put off. Also, his girlfriend had their first baby the day he arrived here. Two days ago, his girlfriend came to visit for the first time. He was all smiles and super proud holding his baby for the first time. We were too. 😉 He doesn’t plan on going home until his foot is healed completely. I am thankful for that! Pray that it would progress quickly and that infection would not set in. God has been so good and so faithful in giving us the patience we need and I've really been enjoying bandaging his foot. Please keep us all in your prayers. We daily need God to refill us with his love. until next time, Ben😉

Here’s a photo of all of us clinic staff with him and his girlfriend and their child along with his girlfriends sisters.

This is what his foot looks like currently.

Here he is a photo of him helping do his own bandage a week or so ago.

This is a week after he came. Every time we’re tempted to feel discouraged about progress, we look at photos like this one. :)

Saturday, February 24, 2018

Our miracle from God

   It started out as a normal gate knock- if any gate knock at 3 in the morning can be considered normal. We walked down to clinic where we found a lady who very much looked and sounded like she was ready to have a baby. After getting them inside in the clinic and checking the lady out we found the baby would not be born quite yet. Her blood pressure was alarmingly high so we gave her something for that and continued to monitor her as a new day dawned sunny and beautiful here in the mountains. We did decide to go back to the house for a bit to get more properly ready for the day and to eat a bite.
   Clinic started as usual for the day and I for sure thought we would soon have a baby! Her blood pressure was not coming down like we had hoped it would so we continued medication for that and also gave something to increase contractions. The lady was not being overly cooperative with us and so much of our time was spent coaching her and trying to get things to move along more quickly.
   We were grateful to have Dr. Shepherd there with us, a doctor who had come on a team to work at clinic for a few days. His experience was extremely helpful and we would later find out, invaluable. 
   After what felt like hours- actually it was hours- of coaching and attempting to get this baby to be born, the baby was here- but with the cord around the neck. They quickly removed the cord but instead of a crying, flailing baby there was only silence. The doctors immediately started chest compressions and mouth-to- mouth. Time seemed to stand still... they worked on the little dear for a good 15 minutes trying to get a heartbeat. The room felt tense as we waited for a breath, anything to know she was going to make it. Finally after what felt like hours,  the baby did start to take some breaths on its own and hope filled our hearts as our prayers continued to ascend to the Heavenly Father. I cannot describe the feelings that were going on in that tiny room. I only know that God looked down on our clinic, heard the prayers of our hearts to please bring life to this child and help her to live! God answered our prayers with a miracle right before our very eyes.
   But that’s not the end of the story. They had moved the baby to another area in the room to continue oxygen and monitoring. I happened to glance over at the mom only to see her having a full blown seizure. It was another very scary moment... but God once again brought her through ok!
  Once the baby was more stable, I sat and held her. I held the oxygen to her and listened to her little gaspy breaths. She still had not cried at all so every now and then we would try to get her a little upset:) We also put an IV in her to give her some fluids and she even sucked some on a bottle which amazed us all!!
We continued to monitor both mama and baby for a few days and we are so happy to say that they are both doing extremely well! She acts like a normal baby and has a wonderful set of lungs!:) God is so good! Today we watched them leave and I can’t describe the joy of seeing the happy parents with their beautiful baby girl... the Dad is so proud and the mom is the perfect picture of happy first time motherhood. And the baby...well I don’t think you could get any cuter!!:)
  The dad had asked Kayla and I to name the baby and so we chose the name, Jiana Hope. Jiana means God is gracious. 
  Friends, God does answer prayer and He certainly did for us! It also amazes me to think that God knew all along that those doctors would be at our clinic on February 20 and how much we would need them here! 

If you don’t believe in miracles, well I hope you do now, because God gave us a miracle that day right before our very eyes! 


Rest in the unrest 

I’m sure many of you all have seen news articles and posts on social media about the current unrest and protesting in Haiti. It’s not a joke...