Just as I was putting the blood pressure cuff on the first patient, Fre Dolph said there was a problem outside. He slapped his hand into his wrist in a pantomime of a crash accident, and I went outside to see what he was talking about.
Sure enough, there was a little man, sitting on the end of the bench with a knotted up cloth around his foot. I told the people to unwrap it, and saw a sensible, bleeding gash in his left leg. By now, Mis Anita was heading inside for a big, absorbent pad to catch the blood.
After the man was safely transported to the bed in the room. Anita went to work cleaning up all the dirty debris in the wounds, and making sure no other overwhelming issues were affecting the man's well-being. He seemed to be swollen around his eyes...
Poor man. He was slightly crippled and his feet were all broken up and calloused. The man who brought him in seemed to love him, though, and when he crawled down gingerly from the table for a break between stitch jobs the other man looked at us joyfully and said, "He's walking!"
It was a bit difficult to piece the whole story together, but it seemed like the little man was a servant to the other man who brought him, and that he had gotten his wounds when someone tried to rob him last night.
Anita stitched shut the biggest slash in the man's left leg and then she looked at me with a look that I was afraid I understood. "I think you can do this one," she says.
I can't believe the day has come that I actually put the needle through human flesh, and not just a piece of practice foam. My favorite part, though, was covering up the finished cut, and putting salve and a bandage on. It feels better to not look at the pain.
Thanks especially to Anita's patient help with teaching us beginners how to have enough courage and knowledge to proceed. Bless her! And hopefully the Haitians will reap the benefits, too.
Do you see any more bloody bandages dripping in the courtyard??Or is it time for a three minute walk out the door for some fresh air and sunshine?