Thursday, March 24, 2016

Training, Processing, and Acting!!

Clinic life this week has been relatively slow compared to the past several weeks. Our week has been full though with training and teaching sessions. Brian Evelth, a paramedic and Mary Strubar a Nurse Partitioner/ Midwife came down for a week. Every afternoon is spent at the clinic filling our brains. 




One thing I have been thinking about a lot this week is why are we here? What is our goal for the clinic? To save lives our save souls? Of course, we would all like to see saved lives and souls. How many times do we focus so much in saving the life, we forget about the soul? If we have done all we can do with in our resources am I willing to give that patient over to God? We as humans will never have all the answers no matter how much education we may have. How quickly do I go to the one who has all the answers when I am in various situations? Do I wait until I have practiced all the knowledge/ skills I have before asking God for His help? 
These are some questions I had to challenge myself with. 

I would like each one who is in health care to challenge yourself and do a reality check. I know how easy it is with advanced medical care to get a diverted perspective. It is important to daily do a reality check and ask our selves, what is my purpose? What would Jesus do in these situations? 

As a soldier of Jesus Christ I want my light to shine in the hearts of each patient I see. 

Let's keep pressing on! 
~ Alyssa 

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Smiling through your tears

The last while has definitely been the time for coming into the clinic with cuts. From either falling while working in their gardens or from a Machete. I had the joy of doing my first 2 stitch jobs. The one was a young boy who had fallen down the mountain at School. He had lots of little scrapes and knocked out a tooth as well as two nice big cuts on his forehead. Mali did a wonderful job at telling me what to do every step of the way, and making sure I did it right. The little boy was so strong through it all. When I asked him if he had pain, he tried his best to smile even tho he had tears running down his face. 


 This dear lady was on her way to clinic to have her baby, but she didn't make it. The baby was born at a friends house along the trail. 


One of my favorite parts of taking people's vitals is trying to get the dear little children to smile. As soon as I say "Good morning" and ask how they're doing, some of them reply right away with a chipper "Good morning, I'm fine". Others shyly hide their faces, not wanting to let the Mis take thier temperatures. Others tell me that they are sick. 

"The best way to find yourself is to loose yourself in the service of others" 

-Mis Ellamae

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Battle Belongs to the Lord

  Spring rush is on! It seems that here in Alegue the start of the rainy season in early March always coincides with an increase in clinic traffic. Part of that is due to most of the local farmers having already planted their fields which gives everybody more spare time to do things like go to the hospital or assist family members in getting there. I'll try to highlight a few of the things that have been happening around here in the last week or so.
  Since the first of the year we've been doing some renovation on the little area uphill from the clinic to the fence.  Thanks to several of our local "bosses", Lucien and Auguste, the area that had always been an eyesore is now paved with rough yet tidy stones that help keep the mud at bay as well as discourage the ever present litter. I put a new clothesline up as well to the great delight of the cleaning ladies at clinic who until then had been patiently improvising with a few short ropes hung between the trees.
  Another project that has been in the development stage for quite a long time is renovating the old stone two room outbuilding above the clinic into a medical laboratory. That project so far has involved a new metal roof, reinforcement of some of the old framing, and running electricity to the building. It seems that we are legally required to have a lab to be able to finalize our clinic's registration with the Haitian Government and besides that, with the long distance we have to send our patients for blood work it will be a dramatic boon to our level of care if we can do some more basic tests here ourselves.
  Last Thursday we experienced one of the tougher things that medical faculty have to deal with. A young girl with a very swollen liver and abdomen was carried in in severe respiratory distress. A very sweet and friendly little thing, when we'd ask her how she was doing, she would barely gasp out between breaths, " Pa pi mal!" ( not to bad). However, she was not doing well at all but we elected to keep her at the clinic on oxygen and try to stabilize her and perhaps transport out to another hospital in the morning for a higher level of care. By 22:00 it was obvious that she would have a hard time making it through the night so we decided to transfer out to the Cuban hospital in Grand GoĆ¢ve. Alyssa and Ellamae went along for patient care and we headed off down the rutted trail in the landcruiser. Halfway out to town our little patient´s struggling breaths finally ceased. Her heart had stopped. As I turned the rig around with a heavy heart and started back up the trail towards home the words of that song, ¨Oh Lord Jesus how long?¨ kept going through my mind. ¨How long till death will finally be vanquished once and for all? Why does life seem so unjust and cruel at times? Only God knows the answers to these questions and I am slowly learning to take these things and leave them at his feet and not spend to much energy trying to sort it all out. Dealing with these types of situations, especially when we are at our wit´s end to know what the next step is, forces us to lean on Jesus. He´s promised to take our cares and carry them for us. Sometimes I wonder why I´m so slow to talk to him about stuff. He´s always been there when the going gets rough. He knows his plan. The fight is His. The winner of this war has already been decided.
   Pray for the team here. Pray that we´d have an extra dose of courage and wisdom for the difficult times. Pray that we would through our love and service keep expanding the borders of the Kingdom of God.