Friday, November 29, 2013

A beautiful little Miracle...

  I bent over a massive bundle of blankets to see little Andeline's itsy bitsy face. She was perfect. Mama's first baby. Her parents proudly told me how she was born at their house, 2 months early. I unwrapped her and just stared at her tiny preemie form. Everything was perfect. Her heart was strong, her lungs were clear, and she nursed beautifully. Thank you God! What a beautiful little miracle.

 Madam Leger peered over my shoulder and gasped...then smiled. " This is God's gift to you because little Samuel died." I smiled at little Andeline. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Thank you God.

                                                   

                                                            Happy Parents



 This poor women came in with a terribly rotten foot. She sat in her house for months before she came in on a stretcher this week in terrible pain. She moaned and groaned as Ro cleaned away dead tissue. One of her toes was dead-black. We sent her to town for an amputation. She had such a cheerful attitude, smiling and laughing through all the pain.



                                                         -Mis Katie

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Bitter and Sweet Changes

A lot can change in a few weeks' time!    Some things for better, some for worse.  We see a lot of both here at the clinic.   It's always a special encouragment to get to see good changes-   like babies gaining weight, wounds healing up, and pain going away...
And then- there's the disappointing changes.  Like a tiny baby that you helped, hoping and praying that he'd live, and he didn't. 
A couple weeks ago we sent out two very sick little boys to the hospital in Laogonne.   We hoped they would make the trip there.  Today one of them came back.
"Whit! You have to come see this baby! The one we sent out with Samuel..."    Kate was very happy to show me the now healthy, happy baby boy.    We were all amazed seeing how much better he was! 
A couple weeks ago...   Notice the flaky skin on his hands, and the sores all around his mouth.
 
Today, looking much more like a baby should!
But what about the other baby?  Our cute little club-footed Samuel...we learned today that he died last Saturday.  It brought a bittersweet mix of emotions to see the one baby thriving, and hearing that Samuel didn't make it.  But we know that we did the best we could and God had other plans for him.  It's a comfort to know that he's safe in the arms of Jesus! 


On another note, last Thursday I had a very shocking and exciting suprise show up here.  My brother Aaron! :)
He came down for a week and worked as a handy man- helping with a painting job, fixing some wires, and getting in on some various clinic work. 
On Wednesday it was pouring rain and we had quite a few patients come anyway and not as many staff, so he helped fill in by weighing patients, taking blood pressures, and then mopping up all the muddy floors after the day was done. 
We really enjoyed having him here! ;)


Sunday, November 24, 2013

Everybody's and Anybody's

      ... But God loves everybody. And wouldn't He be blessed looking down on this sight? There was dear Miss Katie, bathing and combing this poor deserted lady. It was such an angel's work. Clinic had just finished, but Miss Katie was not finished yet. She could not stand to see this poor little lady go home with ripped up feet and dirty clothing. But it couldn't be done without a fight. All the Haitians were saying, "Don't give her the shoes. She will throw them away. Don't give them. Someone will steal them." But...
    God loves everybody. So Katie kept at it.




     The two doctors came today.  It sure helped get the people floating through our doors faster on a full Friday. And we were sure glad they were here when a man came with a broken wrist. The only problem was that we didn't have the right casting supplies. So that meant we had to rip and tear up a few odd things we found in the depot. It was fun to watch the doctors create something that would work until they got out to town to give him an X-ray. It was also amazing to see them trying so hard to keep the man in his chair. The pain was almost more than he could bear. And I can only imagine what his swollen wrist was saying to him. "Ouch and stop. Stop and ouch."








    Nate is working on getting our ultrasound machine ready for locomotion. It was so fun to see him diligently measuring and stitching up a sturdy vinyl cover for it, to keep it safe and clean. Now one of these days we hope to move it into our clinic and make some good use of it.
   
   
         Have a good week-end, everyone!
 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Of a Strange Growth and a Sliced Ear...

 It's a cozy, rainy, afternoon. Ro and I ran through the rain to clinic this morning, with big mugs of hot coffee. Due to the rain, numbers have been down... but since the rain makes the steep trails more treacherous we've been seeing ugly gashes. And today- a sliced ear.

 This poor little girl was trembling from head to toe when she came this morning. She was petrified when she saw all the blood, and cold from the rain. I wrapped a blanket around her and cleaned her up while Ro stitched her ear back together again. She was so relieved and actually smiling when she went out the door.

 I was in the middle of the normal morning scurry when Mis Joseline called me to take care of
an abscess. I called the man into my room and opened his swollen mouth with an applicator, fully expecting the normal pussy, bloody drainage. Instead, I saw a whole mouth full of a strange growth. He told me a thief in Port au Prince elbowed him in the face 2 months ago. I couldn't see HOW he left it so long without seeing a doctor. It was a huge 'gummy' mass totally filling his mouth and only attached to the side.
-Mis Katie

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Good-morning, World !

     I had heard the knock, and it didn't stop. I figured I couldn't lie myself out of this one. Even if it was before six o'clock on a Saturday. I got up, and started wandering around looking for my wits.
     And then, I heard Nate at the window, saying that someone had a fairly serious gash on  his arm. "I'm thinking maybe stitches," he said, in his sleepy voice. 
    "Okay," I replied in my even sleepier voice. "We will be out to check on it." 


    So that was the beginning of our wonderful Saturday. It took about an hour or more to get his long cut back into shape enough that he could go home. Most of the mission staff appeared, one by one, some still toting coffee cups. And then, they were off to TiGoave, leaving us to clean up and wrap up our little old man. He left, cheerily, promising to return with a gift of peanuts for us. 
    It was now getting close to 7:30, and since we were hoping to get out to town, too, we locked up the doors, and said good-bye to our Haitian friends.
    So, then, we ran off. Off the map...but only as far as TiGoave. You haven't been hearing much from us for a few reasons. Sure, I could write about ten other stories about our week and ten excuses for not telling them to everyone. But I will just say that God has been good, and we have been blessed. 
    One little piece of news about Club Foot Samuel, that you all have met on another blog. He had a close call with death last week, when he came in for an appointment in preparation for his operation. We haven't been able to hear news on his health yet, since we sent him out to Laogane eight days ago. So we are still praying for him. 
     That same fateful day we also sent out a tiny, malnutritioned baby who seemed to have pneumonia REALLY bad. He was getting fed about once a day, because someone had told his mom that was the way to work the mom/baby thing. It obviously wasn't working...at all. Yes, we are still praying and waiting to hear if he is still alive, too.
 
   Have a great Sunday, you all! And thanks for joining us in our prayer burdens. God is so big!

Thursday, November 14, 2013

The Smiles and the Tears...

 Life is such a mixture of joy and pain. Back here in these mountains some days it seems the pain over rules the joy as we watch stooped, withered grannies hobble in the door... or wide-eyed children with tiny ribs poking out of translucent skin...or screaming babies with terrible, flaking, skin infections...or screaming little boys with oozing abscesses.

Some days my heart gets weary as yet another child screams out in pain, " Mis Katie, leave me..it HURTS, it hurts!!"...while pus and blood stream from their abscess. Or, when I see yet another suffering baby, too weak to cry, desperately mouthing around for milk. But, on those days, our kind Father is so faithful to send a joy our way. Sometimes it's seeing gaunt little cheeks fill out with Plumpy'nut...sometimes it's a perfect birth with no complications...and some days it's just the brilliant yellow of a flower beside the path on my way home. There is beauty everywhere. Some days it's just up to us to see it.


 This dear lady came in with her baby a few weeks ago. Her baby was in pathetic shape, with it's skin peeling off in huge flakes. Nowtthe baby's skin is healing beautifully...and Mama came to church on Sunday and gave her heart to Jesus. She is so happy.


 This sweet little boy came in this week...pathetically malnourished. His teeth are literally rotting out of his mouth.

This lil fellow is 6 years old. He came in with a terrible head abscess. His mother died and he's left with a very unsaved, miserable father. He only cries weakly when I clean his abscess and never fights or tries to get away. After I'm done he gives me a hug. Can't get any sweeter then that!
This is one of my very favorite patients. Yesterday he came in and told me his toes were aching and his lungs were crying. :) He's 82 and still hikes over the mountains with his one blind eye and tall walking stick.  



Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Best Yet!

    Thursday morning started with a knock at the gate around 6:30...so you guessed it! A lady in labor. I went and had a quick check on her before clinic, and then came home for a bit of coffee...things seemed normal and progressive at that point.
   When I went back down to do a check-up on the lady again, I was a bit confused. Things seemed a little strange, but nothing really seemed wrong. Her vitals were great, and yet something seemed different than usual. I hardly thought about her fairly big measurements. They weren't extreme.
    Our clinic day continued...a rather hectic day for a Thursday...and then we just stayed on, coaching the mom, and hoping this baby wouldn't wait forever to be born. The mom was getting so tired of the wait, and so was the dad.
   "Can't you just give her Oxytocin?"
    At about 3:50 an adorable little girl baby popped out, just as I had told Whitney to set up the electric suction. The baby looked great. But, guess what! Something was still waiting to surprise us. I looked at Katie, and she looked at me. I said, "I think there is another baby in there!"
    And then the three of us were so sidetracked we hardly knew what to do. We laughed. We told the dad. He shook his head.  He raised his hands to heaven. Tears came washing into his eyes.
    We girls just laughed and watched and gasped and couldn't believe it. We were all going to witness a lovely double miracle. Our day was so exhilarating suddenly! But the mom wasn't sure.
   She had the work to do. So we whispered to the Grandma to speak encouraging words to her. And before long, the second adorable little girl was born, wriggling out from a very twisted cord, and fighting against shoulder dystocia, as she struggled to join her sister in the big, outside, surprised world.
    All I can say is that we couldn't stop smiling for the next 30minutes, at least. And I think I am still smiling now, as I write this. God is so good! What a gift!
 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Right Foot/Left Foot-In Foot/Out Foot

     "Wow, this looks like a nice, healthy baby," I was thinking when I pulled the blankets back. "I wonder why they called me outside."
     "She was just born last night," they told me. 
    I pulled off her socks next. And then I saw them. These feet. Or what are they? They ARE feet. Aww.
    So we are trying to make connections with a doctor in Port now, to see if any one in Haiti can help him. (And yes, this is a boy hidden under the pink dress....)
    And I must mention the bellyache boys. We have two of them in the hospital right now. The one seems to be recovering from an impacted bowel. The other one is still in observation. We aren't sure what he has. He just arrived a few hours ago. 
     And this boy, well, he just fell and really cut up his gum. A loose flap hung awkwardly from above his teeth. Katie lidocained him up, and cut that offending piece off. So don't make fun of his face. It hurts!
     

Monday, November 4, 2013

No More Smell + No More Maggots= PROGRESS!

Hi to you all!   I wonder what your day was like today...:)
It's been very rainy here the past few days, which we've been very grateful for 'cause we needed it!   I don't think all the clothes on the line needed it, but they should be extra clean after getting close to a dozen rinses!  :)   Something that's not so great about so much rain...we've had two cholera patients come within the last 24 hours- one last evening and another this morning.   The guys took both cases out to the clinic in Bases, which is set up for cholera.   Anyway,  hopefully that will be the extent of that!

We had a pretty busy day at the clinic today, especially considering how rainy it's been.   Usually that slows people down, but not today!   We had a good day though, without too much out of the ordinary.
You probably saw the recent blog posted on the older lady with the worm-infested wound...   If not, go back and see it so you can see how much better she is now!  :)     I think the most remarkable part of the progress right now is how much better it smells.  Or that is doesn't smell, rather! :]   
 
All bandaged up and good to go! We're really glad for her that it's healing so well and isn't giving her much pain anymore!  She was profusely thankful today and said she'll be back tomorrow, if God wills!  :)
(Nevermind the dates on the pictures.  They were taken just today!  I'll have to change some settings on my camara. :)
Hope you all have a blessed evening!
~Whitney



Friday, November 1, 2013

Those Little Clubbed Feet

 Remember this little fellow? Samuel is gaining well... going on 6 lbs! We're starting the process of getting the operation done for his tiny clubbed feet. We aren't sure what the exact cost will be but would like to raise support for him. If anyone is interested you can go to our contact page on the blog.

 This is little Samuel Senechal with his Father when they came in for his appointment today.




- Mis Katie