Saturday, August 27, 2016

Pictures.

Sorry... It looks like my pictures somehow weren't on my post so I'll try again.

Here they are in the same order that they should have been on the post. 

The baby that was born on Monday morning...

Kayla with one of her blood pressure patients...

Ellamae and Makayla with one of the babies that were born at clinic...

Janell... Your presence is greatly missed!!!!

A nasty wound...

A smile for the nurse ๐Ÿ˜Š

Alyssa & Frรจ. Noes

And... an extra one of Kayla and I with a set of twins that came in one day this week...













Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass...

 

....It’s about learning to dance in the rain on the way home from clinic! =) 

It’s a rainy Thursday afternoon… I woke up this morning and heard something that sounded like a fan blowing nearby. ‘I know it’s not a fan, but what is it???’ I thought to myself. ‘Oh yes! It’s raining!’ I never thought I’d wish for rainy days but after a week like we’ve had at clinic, a rainy day with not so many patients was a very delightful thought. But, in reference to my opening thought, along with rain comes the mud and the path between here and clinic can be really muddy. So, we slosh through the mud and forget about trying to keep our feet clean!

 Our week started out with a bang with a crazy Monday. Long before daylight, there was a knock at the gate. A crowd of people were chattering away and you would have thought it was midday. But, it was only 2 o’clock and they had brought a lady that was in labor. Ellamae, Kayla, and Hans dragged their sleepy bodies out of bed and went down to clinic. The baby wasn’t going to be showing his face anytime soon so they came home to get some more sleep. The gate rang again at 6 o’clock with the news that baby was born already. A midwife had come in with the lady in labor so clean up was nice and easy for Kayla and Ellamae.

 This is the little guy that was born Monday morning.

A little while later Alyssa went down to clinic for a sick child that had come in and Kayla went down to help her. When I got down to clinic at 9 o’clock, the girl was not looking well at all. Pretty soon her heart had stopped beating and her life on earth was finished. The father nearly went hysterical. I put my hand on his shoulder to show him that I cared and was immediately smothered in a big hug. They carried her body away… such a young life. But, her time on earth was complete.

There were lots of people to be seen… I was busy with all of the bandage patients that needed their bandages changed and keeping the pharmacy stocked. The stack of dossiers by the window kept growing bigger and bigger and I was very curious to see what the total was going to be at the end of the day.

 Here's Kayla with one of her blood pressure patients. Gotta love the shirts they come around with! ๐Ÿ˜„ If only they knew what they said, they might not wear them...

I was busy in the pharmacy when all at once you would have thought an angel walked through the doors with a little miracle in his hands. The miracle was Iced Coffee (thanks to Hans) and it was just what we needed to give us a little boost till clinic was over. 

Here are Ellamae and Makayla with one of the babies that were born at the clinic.   

 I counted the dossiers at the end of the day and the total came to 83!! That was a lot but then I counted the blood pressure patient cards and there had been 35! That's a lot for one day! I figured that with all the bandage patients and everyone else, we had seen at least 130 people. And you have to remember that before clinic ever started there had been a birth and a death. Needless to say, we were all happy to call it a day and go home when we were finished. 

Tuesday was another busy day at clinic... Wednesday looked like it wasn't going to be quite as big and we were hoping to be finished with clinic early. Around noon all of us Blans went back to the house to say goodbye to Janell. Till we got back to clinic most everyone was through and we thought we'd be able to go back to the house soon.



It so happened that neither of the cleaning ladies were there so Alyssa grabbed the broom and started sweeping. I got the mop and Ellamae went out to burn the trash. We were hardly halfway with the floors when a child was brought in with a badly wounded hand. She was wild and nearly uncontrollable. They told us that it had only been two days since a rock had fallen on her hand but from the sight and smells of things, it looked like it had been a lot longer. Ellamae and I held her down while Alyssa worked at getting her hand cleaned up and removed whatever was dead. 

Not a pretty sight!!

This girl is staying in the hospital room for now and I think she's finally realizing that nurses aren't such bad people after all. ๐Ÿ˜Š 

Much to our delight, Thursday was a rainy day and there were only 20 people sitting out front when I got to clinic. More people trickled in but we still had a small day and were able to finish up early. 

Alyssa and Frรจ. Noes having a little chat before the day begins


Friday was a more average day... I stayed busy most of the morning with bandage patients. Mis Zitha was complaining of a headache and saying that she didn't feel well. Before I went home, she told me to take her blood pressure and it was good. I noticed that she was limping pretty bad and asked her if she was in pain but she said that she just wasn't feeling well.

That afternoon I went down to clinic to do the weekly restocking in the pharmacy. Alyssa popped in. "Rachel, I think Zitha had a stroke!" 
"What?! Are you serious!?" 
"Yeah, it looks like she had a stroke." 
So, Mis Zitha is in the hospital room right now. She has some movement of her arm and she has been able to walk some but it is with much difficulty. 

So, that's a little overview of what our week was like.... It's Saturday afternoon now and I want to get this blog posted. Thank you all so much for your prayers for the work here! 

Just a little one in his service,
Rachel

Sunday, August 21, 2016

  Last week Donavan and I made the trip in to Port au Prince to pick up supplies and make an airport run. We dropped off Darwin and his son Delavon at the airport along with Alex, our mechanic guy. Alex is returning to Tennessee after an all to brief three month stay here at the mission. Thank you Alex for the many ways you blessed us all here in Haiti! You will be missed! One of the rough things about living and working closely with a team like we have here at Alegue is the continual staff turnover. It's like having close family leaving every several months never to come back.
 
During the time that Darwin was here for the teachers' conference we had a rare opportunity for all the clinic staff to come together for a meeting and discuss some issues and encourage each other. Listening to stories of years past and hearing how long some of our Haitian workers have been faithfully helping out was an incredible inspiration to me. I am tempted to get feelings of burnout and compassion fatigue after only 22 months of dealing with the problems and frustrations that we face and yet our one nurse, Miss Leda, has been working at the clinic since 2000. That's 16 years of service! I want to express my heartfelt appreciation for all of our staff  both past and current that have shouldered the burden and continued to show the love of Christ through some of the most trying and difficult circumstances.
Miss Leda, consulting one of the many patients that she sees each day
  
Miss Joselaine with a patient and a young nursing student that volunteered for a couple weeks and Bridgette in the background cutting gauze.
Doc consulting a patient
Zitha, Rachel, and Mdm Leger keeping up in the pharmacy
Direk at the front desk is very pleased to finally have a mic hooked in to the PA system so he no longer has to shout above the noise outside to call people to the window.
Ellamae and Alyssa busy at their respective jobs. ( I know, not a great photo but it's what I had!)


counting and bagging meds in the gazebo, one of our favorite evening pastimes!
  Among other news, we've had the regular flood of patients this last week with their sniffles and coughs and hypertension and the occasion seriously ill or injured among them. While Donavan and I were in Port au Prince on Wednesday two babies with femur fractures arrived at the clinic within an hours time. I don't understand the frequent occurrence of broken femurs in children around here but I'm guessing it has a lot to do with a lack of basic nutrients and vitamins in their diets. It's not something that is seen very often in US hospitals. Poverty indirectly causes many health problems that we are not able to fix simply through medical treatment.
   During one of our clinic mornings last week a very pregnant lady strode in saying she was in labor. Approximately an hour later she delivered a very alert little girl who rolled over on her side within 10 minutes of birth and was scowling at everything around her. I had to get a couple pics of the faces she was making!
5 minutes after being born, this little gal doesn't seem impressed by the world

A better picture of the same baby


  There is still a nationwide doctors' strike going on in many of the state run hospitals in Haiti. I hope and pray that once the presidential elections have been accomplished the government will finally turn it's attention towards it's broken healthcare system. Until then, we will continue to try to fill in the gaps along with the other charitable and non government organizations here.

  Please keep us in your prayers!

Friday, August 12, 2016

Wear Your Shoes!!

Are you filling your shoes, completely? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself that question? I pondered this question after seeing the row of shoes outside on the clinic wall. Some large, some small, some old others new but all had been worn by someone. 


God has given each of us a pair of shoes to fill. Some big and some small but no two pairs are the same. At times in life, we wonder what it would be like to wear someone else’s shoes for the day. We assume if we would be in their shoes, we would make different choices etc. BUT would we? The question remains unanswered because it is impossible to wear another person’s shoes/walk another person’s path. We need to be focusing on God and fill the shoes that He has given us. Each one of us has the correct size we need for right now. At times, they may feel too big or even at times too small but God knows what He is doing.

Clinic has been picking up again this week. The locals are finished planting in the garden and have time to go to the clinic. Many times, I have to call on God for wisdom because I don’t have the answers or it is hard to get help in Haiti.

Monday afternoon Hans, Rachel, and I transferred a strangulated Hernia out to TG, a case that needed much wisdom. Transfers are not easy and we need to ensure that it is an emergency. At times patients have ways of complicating situations and we need much wisdom to discern the root of the problem. Thankfully, he started having definitive signs that we could make a decision.

Wednesday evening, we had two injuries come in due to a soccer game. The first was complaining in a lot of shoulder pain resulting in a broken collarbone. 

The other was more complicated a broken femur. The leg was stabilized and the boy was able to be flown out in the morning. 

       Ellamae and Hans Transfering A pt

We have to thank the Lord for performing yet another miracle for us. The sky was over cast and much faith was needed for the helicopter to land. While circling the second time, there was a break in the clouds. The helicopter was able to safely land and by the time it was ready to depart, the sky was almost clear.

This week has also been filled with births. It has resulted in some sleepless nights but thankfully; all the babies have been healthy PTL!

 It is so wonderful to see each miracle that God has performed so much more when you have had babies that were not healthy or were taken away from us!

Thanks for your prayers!!

~ Mis Alyssa 

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Peace, Perfect Peace

There are two little boys who come to see me quite often. I call them "my boys". :) Recently, they wanted me to come visit them and their Grandpa. So, one afternoon a bunch of us went to visit them. We had a wonderful time talking, and listening to the little old man talk. His hearing is very bad so we all had to smile when we had to repeat ourselves a couple times, getting louder every time. :) They thanked us over and over for taking the time to come visit them, and sent us home with lots of fruit as a gift.

The very next morning the little Grandpa came to see us at Clinic. We asked him if he needed anything, and he said "My head hurts, can you control my blood pressure?" We checked it, and it was normal. The smile on his face got brighter and he said "Thank you Jesus, Thank you Jesus!". After talking a little more, he was soon on his way home, and very happy!
  Sometimes we have patients come in who don't need more than a listening ear. They don't have any medical problem. May our lives be shining Christ's love to each person we come in contact with.

After 3 weeks without any baby's born at clinic, I woke up Thursday morning with this feeling that that was going to change. I was the one scheduled to be in charge of the next birth. Clinic had just gotten going good when I was told a laboring mother just showed up. She was pretty far along so I guessed that the baby would arrive in the night. We had just finished supper when we got word that our 2nd laboring mother was on the way. After arriving at clinic, I knew it wasn't going to be very long till the baby was here. Soon a little girl was born! Shortly after she was born I knew something wasn't normal. Her stomach was huge, and her lower extremities weren't normal at all. I prayed that God's will be done in this little girls life, even if it meant taking her home to be with him. I had such a peace. She lived for just over 12hrs and then God took her home. My hurt heart so bad for the parents, it was their first baby.

  If you keep track of how births around here work, you've already guessed this but...we got our 3rd laboring mother this morning! We always say that when you get one, you might as well expect that the second and/or third one are on their way! ;)
On Friday, just after clinic was finished, Alyssa ran into the hospital room just in time to deliver the baby of laboring-mother-number-two!

Kayla, Rachel and I delivered the 3rd baby just after 5:00.
All three little girls. 1 was a little angel, the other 2, beautiful little girls to stay!

-Mis Ellamae