Saturday, January 31, 2015

Farewell Haiti

  After eight month of living in Haiti I will be leaving the 24th of Febuary. I have really enjoyed my time here and will greatly miss all my friends. This has been a wonderful and stretching time for me. 

  I don’t know if you all remember Wilfred…  He stayed in our
hospital for months with an distended stomach. We had done a couple
paracentesis on him in hopes of making him more comfortable. The poor
boy had to live with immense pain for days. I think the last time we
blogged about him was when he prayed and gave his heart to the Lord.
We still rejoice over that, especially since we got the call this
morning. Our hearts were saddened when  the news came that Wilfred
died.  I still remember the times I stood by his bed side .It  hurt to
see the terrible pain he had to go through. Many times he would call
for us and ask us to pray for him, that always made him feel better. I
often prayed that God would just take him, it hurt too much to see him
suffer.
…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
 This is another one of Rho and I’s runs to the hospital in town with
a lady in labor. This lady came in just as clinic was starting. I was
working in the pharmacy when I heard Rho’s frantic cries. I qucikly
grabbed some gloves and hurried to her side. “ I feel a foot” said Ro
anxiously. “Oh, no,” I thought,”Not a  breech baby”. That means we’ll
have to make a trip to T-Goave and right in the middle of clinic.
After going to our medical books to actually see what we were dealing
with, and talking with the other nurses, we decided , never even
giving it a thought that there might be twins, a trip to town was
needed.
On arriving at the hospital we put the lady on a wheel chair and sent
her in. The Doc checked her out.   In about 10 minutes a screeming
healthy baby boy arrived. We were shocked when the doctor said that he
thinks another baby might still be in there! In another three minutes
a beautiful baby girl was born, feet  first.
Two very happy, shocked  nurses rode back up the trail each holding a  baby!

…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
   It’s very  frustrating  when people come in with wounds that are
neglected  for months. Like this man, I don’t know how long he’s been
lying around but its been long enough that he got a bed sore and his
family just let him lie. Now he has an awful infected wound on his
hip.
As soon as he was brought in the hospital room we could smell rotting
flesh. We immediately put him up in the  little house because the
smell was so bad.
Ro and Mali did their best at cleaning out the wound, sadly the bone
is starting to rot.


    Miss Marcile

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Icing On The Cinnamon Rolls and Such

     Marcile and I look at each other. It is Friday morning. We have been up with a laboring mother for hours. 
     "I can't do it anymore," she declares.
     "That's why we kept telling you not to yell so loud for the last three days, Dear," we reminded her. "Now you are wishing for energy, and you are tired."
     "We will give you an IV," we try to sweetly tell her. But that doesn't help a bit. 
     And then awhile later we added labor inducer to the dripping fluid. Still no results.
    "I think the baby's heartbeat sounds weaker," Marcile stated. That was when we decided to head for TiGoave with the tired woman. 
     As we bounced through numerous market places with lots of onlookers, we hoped and prayed that the baby would not decide to be born there. Needless to say, the lady's continual ear-splitting yells made a wonderful siren for us, and donkies and humans alike scuffled to the side of the road to let us past.
    Dust flew. Julian was driving like a racer, and we hung on hard. "Go Julian!" we yelled. 
    We arrived in TiGoave, where we placed the lady in the hands of some Haitian nurses, who later pursued a Cesarean section delivery. We breathed a happy half sigh, as we mounted the little Husquavarna, and waved good-bye to the family. 
    "Thank-you so much!" they called to us.
    We bounded back up the trail. Four of our normal white staff were gone already, and we felt the responsibility drooping down on our shoulders to hurry home, especially on a busy Friday. Whitney had gone home short notice to attend her grandma's funeral, and both Mali and Kindra were needed to help step our five seriously ill patients through their paperwork in Mirebalais. 
     After trying to help stabilize the patients in our own hospital room, which was filled to the brim, we got news that another pregnant lady was on the way. Marcile and I looked at each other bravely. I think she laughed. And then a girl threw up on the floor. And then another hospital patient's IV ran out. 
    That amount of drama meant another broken up night. Two of our patients were pronounced as fainting out, so we tried to rejuvenate them, between checking on our new pregnant lady. She was not progressing too well, so we decided we all needed some sleep. 
    Daybreak dawned. No baby. Oh, no. Not another trip to town. By now, the dark circles under our eyes were becoming shelves. I guess to catch the tears we felt like crying. 
    We went home for coffee. We came back. We put her on IV. We waited. We cleaned up filthy beds. We gave meds to patients who were waiting on the beds and outside on the benches. Then. we mopped the floor. We took the woman on a huge walk, around and around. 
    "Let's go home," we said. 
    "I am dreaming of a cinnamon roll. Wouldn't that be so nice?" 
    "Exactly," EllaMae said. "And your dream is coming true..."
    That was the beginning of the miracle. I had hardly finished my final bite of that gorgeous pastry, when they called us to the hospital again.
    This was for real! The baby was born. An ugly little thing. Stuck too long in the birth canal. But we didn't care. Hop, skip, jump! It was alive. The bruises would go away. And the shape of a baby's head, can't ruin him forever.

     Then,. off to Laogone with another sick lady. Why? Maybe because we are addicted to the bouncy trail?!
     This poor lady's diagnosis is not quite clear to our doctor. It seemed like she had some sort of whole body infection, along with anemia, and fluid retention. She had arrived with fevers, at times. Her blood pressure held high, for the most part, and she was in a lot of discomfort. We are hoping that she can find a specialist in the Saint Croix hospital in Laogone.
     Please pray for her and her partner. He is not a believer, and seems to be very full of fear. She really loved when we prayed with her, and seemed to relax after we spent time with her. 
  
    After a day like this, we were all thrilled when Donny and Thea got the gift of a gorgeous handcrafted bread. It means so much when the Haitians are thankful like this!
  Have a good week, everyone! We appreciate all that you do for us. God bless you!
    -Rhoda for the crew


Friday, January 16, 2015

A Long Night


​                                                                  
         
It was Thursday 
​evening ​
when we got the call, the second lady in labor. T
​his would be our second​
 baby in 2015! 
 The first baby
​ boy​
 was born 
​​
around 
​9:00​
 in the evening. We radioed down to clinic to see how things were going, the only reply was a baby crying! Ro
​,​
 
​Ellamae ​
and I grabbed our stuff and head
​ed​
 down 
​to
 see what was up with our lady. After seeing the new baby boy we checked 
​the laboring lady
 and decided that we could go back home and get some
​ much needed​
 sleep.  
​T​
o my 
​great ​
disappointment my sleep was interrupted abruptly
​ by insistent​
 banging on the gate.
Off to clinic we 
​hurried​
 not realizing that this 
​would
 be a long night
​,​
 
​i​
t was 12:
​00​
Figuring by the looks of things
 this baby would come fast. 
​W​
​decided to stay and wait things out
​but  unfortunately​
 the baby 
​didn't want to make its appearance into the world quite yet 
​After talking and laughing loudly, and waking up Hans with our rendition of  "Thumbody Special",  we decided that it would be well worth it to try and get some sleep even knowing it was highly unlikely . ​
​Surprisingly ​
Ro and I 
​slept while Ellamae was kept busy ten​ding to the laboring mother. 
​Suddenly Ro and I 
were awakened by Ella
​mae's ​
 frantic 
​yelling​
​"​
It's coming
​, the baby is coming​
!
​" Ro jumped up and ran into the room so fast, she forgot her glasses and shoes leaving her running around the room in her socks. 
I got up so quickly that I felt very dizzy, running into the
 room 
​to find
 every thing was 
​in a chaos
​. 
      Praise the Lor​d a healthy screaming baby boy was born at 5:45 am.
Three weary but silly, tired, happy nurses walked home ready to get cleaned up and rested before the busy day got started.
 Mis Marcile 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Another Bonjour

A good day.

I sighed as Rho and I walked together down to the clinic this morning.   Rho wondered aloud what it meant.   I laughed, "Oh, nothin' really, I just don't really feel like going to clinic today."   She laughed too.  What else can you do? :)
   
When I'm actually working in the clinic, I'm usually loving it, but sometimes looking ahead at it from the morning's perspective, it looks like more socializing than I think I'd love for my day. :]

But, as usually goes, by the time I greet each familiar friend en-route there, the normal handful of return patients, along with a general greeting to all the rest of the patients filling the benches, I've also greeted the day's work and let go of my little morning anti-social grudge.  

That was me this morning.   Enjoying the quiet, beautiful morning at home, lost in a jungle of thoughts while scrambling eggs for breakfast.

Maybe that's why eight o' clock came  more quickly than I expected, hurrying us over to Donny's house for devotions.    

We had quite a chucklesome song-service.  Most of us have colds and coughs cinching our vocal chords together right now, making our singing voices sound more like swelling squawks.

 It wasn't too noticeable 'til we got to the soprano's solo refrain of "When Peace Like A River".  I caught Marcile's smiling eye one too many times and that was the end of trying to be proper.  I think it was the first time I've burst out laughing during that song!  I was just glad I wasn't the only one who did. ;)

But peace like a river had pretty well ran off my mind as we walked through the clinic gates this morning, greeting more people and sizing up the crowd ahead of us.

I wondered if Mali would have to use some more pro-active crowd-control tactics again.   

Monday had been crazy, thirty blood pressure patients trying to crowd in all at once 'til she finally somehow shut the outer grated door, climbed up its rungs, and used it for a podium to preach to her patients about patience.  

And no wonder, there were 100 people that day!  Four of those were brought in on cots, thankfully none of which were critical emergencies. Later that night, Mali and I attended our first birth of the year- a chunky little boy!   And later the same night, actually early the next morning, Rho, Marcile, and Ellamae delivered another baby, a girl.

I guess that's what makes working here both exciting and stressful, the not knowing who may show up and how many may come and what they may have...:)

***
So back to this morning, now in the clinic and through all the staff greetings, I headed to the hospital room to visit the couple of patients who were still there from Monday, along with a couple new ones from yesterday.

First there was 30 year old Luckson, way too young to have a stroke.  But with a history of a blood pressure up to 230/140, and not taking meds faithfully, we're pretty sure that's what he's had, leaving his whole right side completely limp. 

Across the room is 12 year old Daline.    Her mother says she hasn't slept for two weeks, and won't talk or eat.   Other than a slight fever, she seems to have nothing else to help us determine the cause.   But then her mother tells us that she has some kind of evil spirit on her, and that the dad put something on their house.   

We asked Pastor to come pray for her, and after he did, she fell sound asleep.  These are the hardest cases to deal with, when healing is a choice they have to make.   A choice to repent from sin and accept freedom from a God who delights in freeing us!  

Please pray for this young girl and her family!   We had a nearly identical case awhile back that ended in the girl dying, but we- and they know that it's a problem beyond our power. 

 That's why we're praying and asking for your prayers too.  Satan loves to steal and kill, and as long as they refuse to choose the protection of the blood of Jesus, they're left vulnerable to demonic attacks like this...


Occupying the last two beds there's 80 year old Joseph (above), a sweet little sick Grandpa, and 33 year old Benadette (below) who's right foot suddenly opened into one big rotten sore that Kin so gallantly addressed despite the stench and sight.  


After Fre Noez ended his morning devotional and we started our normal clinic day, it ticked right along and by 2:00 Rho was mopping us all out the clinic doors.

Back home over lunch, I remembered 24 year old Cilene, a first-time expectant mother who came in nine months pregnant today.  I first noticed her belly, and then her blood pressure of 170/100.  

When I went to measure her, I jokingly asked her, "How many babies DO you have in there?"  She laughed and told me that there's twins and triplets in her family's history.   
"Oh, really?!?"  I was exclaiming, not asking, thinking that was very interesting, especially as I looked down on her very rotund belly again!  

Feeling more than one baby's worth of bumps and hearing a strong heartbeat in more than one place was enough to send me looking for Rho.  

With our ancient sonography machine, we looked as best as we could, and changed our question from "Maybe twins??" to "Could this be triplets???".  
I'm so excited to find out!  And I know they're eager to know too.  

When she went out and told her husband, he came back in and stood there staring almost speechless, shaking his head telling us he doesn't believe it!  :)  

We told them we couldn't tell for sure, but explained the dangers of them staying and gave them orders to get down to town asap, so hopefully we'll find out soon!  

The afternoon passed washing up lunch dishes, seeing Myron and Delwyn Zook off back to the States, along with Donny and Hans going out to Port to do our monthly meds shopping, dismissing three patients from the clinic, bringing in CLEAN laundry, blogging...and in between just about everything, stopping to greet all those familiar friends along the trail again, this time with a "Bonswa!", which I still usually like better than "Bonjour!" :)
-Whit

Monday, January 5, 2015

HAPPY HOLIDAYS!!!!

 We are basking in the joy of vacation. Of sitting around the table clasping our coffee mugs after breakfast, discussing life and its mysteries. There is no rush to go to work!!
  Out come the scrub brushes, paintbrushes, brooms, mops, rags etc. The spiders flee for refuge against our energetic tearing thru their webbed homes. I am sure the tiles cringed at our scrubbing. The windows are now frames for the Haitian countryside instead of a piece of glass smeared with greasy handprints. The clinic has a fresh, hopeful look. Ready to face 2015!! Three cheers for a new year!!
                             
                                              Marcile scrubbing away with her steady strength that we all love.
                                               Whit looks slightly unimpressed peeking from behind the 02 tanks.
     Manet, our boy that had a  burst umbilicus, nice and plump. Happy to help his 'Mama'(Whit) with the work.
                                                         
                 While I was on call a young guy came in with a dislocated and fractured knee. I cringed to think of the pain that he was in... he had to bounce the whole way to TG. I held his hat over his face in hopes of at least shielding his face from the blazing, tropic sun. He did amazingly well and Hans drove carefully over the crazy trail. The trail was awful, packed with motto drivers flying up in the rat race of money. It was Dec.31 st and family from all over flock to celebrate and bring the new year in. The dust lay thick on everything by the time we reached town. We got him on an ambulance and sent him to P.A.P General Hospital.
I have nothing amazing to tell you all...finally  the time to catch up with all the 100+ misc. we had to do . We have one more day before we launch in to another year of work.
I loved this little devotional I found on January 1st.
"We are entering upon a new year-surely we cannot but believe, a new age. If we have rightly learned from the past, there lies before us a heritage of unspeakable blessing., which none of these vivid metaphors can too strongly describe ;infinite sources of blessing for the fountains and water brooks are but the figures of God's illimitable grace. Let us claim the inheritance in these coming days, and find the hardest places of lifes experience God's greatest opportunities and faith's mightiest challenge."-A.B. Simpson
Wishing you all a wonderful new year
-Mis Mali