Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sweet faces

Here is Mis Anita back again to give you a little glimpse into clinic life from my angle.  

Below is a sweet, healthy 6 month old baby boy with his mama.  He is her only child and she loves him dearly.  Now she seems to have some form of heart failure which makes life an extra challenge for her and her family.  She was going to T-Goave every 2 weeks for treatment.  Also since she's sick, she can't nurse the baby, and they were buying milk.  Both of those made an extra strain for the family financially which is primarily why they came to us. We were able help with the mother's healthcare and and medications.  Also we offered to sell them milk for the baby for less than cost.  That way we can help them without just giving all the milk.  

Happy faces

There are many sweet faces.  Some are happy faces, and they give us a lift for the day.  Others are sad--very sad--but none the less sweet.  This little boy is about 3 1/2 years old.  I don't remember exactly what he weighs, but it wouldn't really be an accurate gauge of how his health is.  When a child gets malnourished this bad, they swell up with fluid.  Once you start them on a good diet, they go down before they go up.  He is one of the worst cases I've seen.  We had given them some supplements back 2 months ago and an appointment to return which they missed by a LONG shot.  They were to return this week, and I've not seen them yet.   

Sad face

Although this lady doesn't have a smile on her face, it puts a smile on my face to see how well her and her baby are doing.  Her baby was born at the clinic on June 1st--the birth I almost fainted at, if you remember.  Then she returned about 13 days after the baby was born, and neither her or baby were doing well.  The baby wasn't nursing well, and she didn't have a lot of milk.  Because of that the baby had lost quite a bit.  With much diligent effort, the baby is now nursing well, and she has milk.  He weighed around 5 lbs 8 oz at birth, was down to 4 lbs something at 12 days old, last week was 5 lbs 9 oz or so, and today, a week later gained around another pound.  It's so exciting to see progress!

Little cutie!

Compare to the blog titled "A Wonderfully Normal Day" and see if you can even recognize him!

Just a little beauty outside my door

Monday, June 24, 2013

Back in Haiti!

   Greetings in Jesus Name, "O, beloved Name of Jesus, Jesus, who changes not nor can be changed, what He says stands sure and steadfast. 
   I am very thankful for the rest the last few weeks back home in Manitoba. Was a great privilege to see family, also just as much the church family. But I'm back safely in Haiti and am looking forward to some months of work yet here at the mission.

Everyone was busy at their posts this morning when I walked into clinic, cheery good mornings and blessings exchanged.

Fre. Direk signing people in.

And my dear friend Frisnell or Joseph, (head guy). Although language barrier don't help we've become close friends.
I came walking to the mission from the clinic and this young man walks up to me gives me a big hug, I thought it was his brother and asked if  Frisnel was at the clinic, he said yes, then back to the clinic we walked together. I couldn't find the head guy, so I asked Anita if she could point him out to me, and she pointed to the same guy who gave me a hug!!!! Little bit embarrassing I have to say, but wow, he really changed the last three weeks, with no bandage on his head, and his cheeks filled out a lot, he really had me. But yes, as you notice his smile is as big as ever. (Jesus does that, right?!!!)

Rhoda was busy with the blood pressure patients.

Anita is checking on a patient in the hospital room, Pastor Levy's brother, is a doctor/student in the Dominican Republic, he came back for some holidays, and is with us here for a week at the clinic, he wants to spend time experiencing working with Haitian people. His name is Dr. Malise.

Pharmacy staff, just opening the windows and starting in on the days work.

Katie came out and asked if I could come help hold down this little girl in the one consultation room, she has a big abscess on her neck, O, what screaming, as we held her and Miss Katie cleaned it and repacked it with sterile packing. 

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Of Clorox and Charcoal...

  I ran to the gate yesterday...and found my friend Juataz in a frantic state of mind with her arms wrapped around her little boy. Tears streamed down her cheeks as she told me he had drank clorox when she wasn't looking. After much coaxing and bribing we got a whole cup of charcoal water into his little belly. I was covered in charcoal...HE was covered in charcoal, and everything anywhere near us was splatttered and blotched with charcoal. But after I scrubbed him off and gave him some sweet juice he was runnning around happy again...with a very rumbly, black-stained, tummy I'm sure!

...And I'll add one of my new bandage patients this week. It's not too easy to hold down a kicking, screaming, 4 yr. old while trying to sterile pack her neck abscess. Poor little dear! 
 Mis Katie

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Welcome Back Mis Rhoda!

After being home in the States for a visit, Rhoda arrived back in Aleg about 9 pm last evening.  It is SO good to have her back!

This little guy arrived about 11:40 pm--like he was just waiting for her.  

The lady in labor came in yesterday morning and made little progress all day, but when things started for real, it didn't take long.

This makes a total of 4 boys and 2 girls born at the clinic so far this month.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A picture is worth a thousand words

Not many words needed  

 She is such a cutie

The Dad, Mom, and Baby, just ready to leave.  
They are the parents of 9 children-5 girls and 4 boys--a very sweet family.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

A wonderfully, normal day

Yesterday the clinic staff had a nice, "normal" day, with no real emergencies and difficult cases. Extreme injuries make for interesting blog posts, but they're unfortunate for the individual and when so many come in so often, it can wear a person out!

So it was great to have an average, uneventful morning at the clinic. It was the perfect way to end the week...

Anita and Megan discuss a few things as a patient looks on, 
awaiting her diagnosis.

Over in the pharmacy, Madam Leger and Madam John Marc were doing what they do best-
Filling prescriptions and talking about the week's events.

A few people in the waiting area, dossiers in hand, preparing to go in for a checkup.

Mis Anita, researching a treatment, while writing out a prescription.

This little one was born about 2 weeks ago. He was very healthy and normal at first, but his mother brought him in because he wasn't getting enough to eat.

His mother and relatives were there, learning how to feed him and take better care of him.
The poor little one had lost about pound since he was born...
It seems like they're on the right track now, so we have high hopes for him!

Mis Katie, taking care of the blood pressure patients.
The people often have a hard time understanding the concept of diet and habit changes,
so it takes time and patience to help and educate each individual...

The waiting line, outside the pharmacy.

Ah, yes, a very fine day it was!

And, on a day like this, one can actually take time to stop and smell the...
Well, they're not roses, but the next best thing, maybe!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

A misdemeanor of the femur

      Today was Mis Katie's day on call. And it was first. The first one and a half hours were spent chatting with random Hatians who passed by on the trail or stopped to talk. Occasionally, conversations were interrupted by the words, "Bon swa, zomi mwen." (Good evening, my friend.)
      All at once, what should we see but a stretcher being carried up the hill by a group of four men. The gate was opened for them and they walked in and placed the injured man on the bed in the mis's room. " A big rock fell on him, and he broke his leg," The injured man's friends explained. His leg was twisted inward just above the knee and it was obviously a couple inches shorter than his other one.
       Mis Anita was called down and her brain immediately started whirling in full speed as she tried to fugure out how to make a traction splint out of materials that we had. First she took a long board from the shop and using a hand saw she had found there, she cut it shorter and formed notches in both ends. One of the men watching exclaimed, " You were you are 'gwo boss'...big boss!"

       After readying supplies to splint his foot and degashaying to make a traction splint, we applied traction to the shortened leg to straighten it. It was painful for the poor guy laying there but by the time we were finished straightening and applying traction, the injured leg was actually a little longer than the unhurt leg!
       His crowd of sympathizers was huge too. The caring and loving attitudes of his relatives and friends were touching. After his leg was splinted and wrapped up, his wife came and fed him Hatian spaghetti.  The smells of sweat and spaghetti and splint supplies all proved to provide an interesting combination.

     It was very interesting to hear the Haitian's opinions on the whole ordeal. Mis Katy had applied an IV and they thought that since the IV was supposed to be empying into his stomach, he shouldn't be fed much food. We all laughed at that as Anita told them how it really worked.

                                        He waited outside then to be taken to the
                                                             hospital in Ti-Guave.


            Mis Megan

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Time to smell the roses

It's been very refreshing the last few days to literally have time to smell the roses!  After 2 months of what seemed an extreme amount of emergencies and births, we're getting a little break.  I'm sure the hospital room will be full again soon enough, but for now we'll enjoy the opportunity to visit friends or get some things done around home.  

I know this isn't clinic, but I felt like sharing it anyway!  

The bud. . .

Then the flower! 

This was actually a rose sent down from the States for my birthday--color especially chosen!  I've sure been enjoying it.  Thanks, Elissa!  

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Red Eye Reduction

This afternoon the nurses were summoned to the clinic to check out a little boy who was complaining about a bad cough and bloodshot eyes. His mother said he had the cough for a long time and had been coughing up some blood- now, however, the blood "moved into his eyes" she said. 
The poor little guy looked worn out and tired. His attitude was very good though!

You can see how severely bloodshot his eyes are!
His cough had been so bad over the last few days that he had burst blood vessels in his eyes and face- 
amazingly enough (though it looks really bad) he wasn't suffering from too much pain.

After the physical examination, Katie gave them medications for his cough
-and some candy!
In a few weeks his eyes will return to normal and he should make a full recovery!
I suppose this could call this "red eye reduction"!

Apparently his mother had a similar condition, because one of her eyes was bloodshot also.
She was pretty much over the sickness, so she didn't need any medications.
They went happily on their way, with the promise to return next Friday for a checkup...

A Glimpse into the life of Miss Katie

 ...A fresh new morning after the rain with an invigorating breeze... AND a big mug of Dominican coffee. Just what I needed after making it to my pillow sometime in the wee hours of the morning. My last week has been full of blood pressure and bandage patients and BABIES. My limited creole vocabulary is being stretched to the max as I try to explain to all the inquisitve elderly folk why they shouldn't consume huge amounts of salt or drink coffee with an elevated BP...ect. I love caring for my daily bandage patients...even if my 'head boy' insists on grabbing a syringe and spraying me with iodine or hides the sterile packing under the exam table. :)

 Last night I hurried down to the clinic to assist Anita in another birth. Poor Mama worked hard and long, but delivered a beautiful little girl around midnight with all 10 fingers and 10 toes intact. :) The miracle of every new little life never ceases to amaze me.

Sweet baby girl

This morning I kinda drug myself out of bed...just in time to hear a rapid knock on the door asking for a nurse to come help another girl in labor. I hurried through the clinic gate and sure was coming and FAST. I flew into action grabbing supplies and getting her on the exam table. Praise God for Miss Leda, who came in the door at just the right time to help deliver baby # 4 in 5 days...a chubby little fellow with big eyes. I love to look into their wrinkled little faces and welcome them into the world.

                          One of the precious little babies on the milk program.

             A feverish little guy who wrapped his arms around my neck...and my heart.

                                           At my blood pressure desk.

                                     A man with a deep neck abscess.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Exciting Saturday

Saturday seemed to start plenty early for the nurses as we visited the clinic first at 1 am and then 4:30 to check on our lady in labor.  After our 4:30 check, we decided we needed stay at the clinic so we settled ourselves in the nurses' room where there is a bed for the nurse on call.  

It was a 2nd time mom, and it was also the first child's 4th birthday!  Just before 7 am a little boy was born.  I told them he was his brother's birthday gift.  

Their house was near by so they soon headed off for home with their little bundle.  

Mama, Daddy, and Baby

A tired but happy nurse

Saturday was Mis Joselaine's day on call, and I was glad for that so we could go home and rest.  I crashed into bed soon after I got home, and was soon sound asleep.  Around 11:30 or 12 I got a call on the radio that Mis Joselaine needed help.  The last thing I felt up to was dragging myself out of bed and back down to the clinic, but I didn't have much choice.  

Upon arrival I found another lady in labor, but this was a first-time mom.  She was hemorrhaging when she came in.  I don't know how badly as I wasn't there to see.  So the situation was a lady hemorrhaging, in labor, and according to her dates she was only 7 months along.  It looked a bit grave for mama and baby, but trusting God for grace and wisdom, I set to work.  

There were a lot of things that needed done all at once--an IV started on mom, oxygen and suction prepped in case we needed it for baby, and mama closely monitored.  Katie started working to get the IV running.  I called for Megan to come down to prep oxygen and suction, and I stuck with mom.  

As I got totally engrossed in the emergencies at hand, I forget that I hadn't eaten anything after working half the night, and by now it was afternoon.  Suddenly the reality hit me when a strange feeling surged over me, that told me I was near fainting.  I started praying, and also asked the nurses to get me glucose (sugar) tablets and water as well as a chair to sit on.  You can just imagine the scene.  There I was with my gloves on, looking whiter than a sheet, just pleading with God not to let me faint then!  I've never been that near fainting without my vision going blurry, but it didn't.  After a little I knew I was over the worst.  Praise the Lord!

Not too long after that the baby was born.  To my relief it was obvious that it wasn't 2 months premature.  Another little boy, but he wasn't vigorous.  There was also meconium staining in the fluid so we did give him blow-by oxygen for a short time until he was headed in the right direction.

It was another one of those times when disaster seemed inevitable, but God had mercy!

Mis Katie, Mis Anita, and Mis Joselaine with baby boy # 2

Surely by now we had enough excitement for one Saturday and would have a quiet afternoon--or what was left of it. . . not so. . .  It wasn't long before dark that two young men showed up at the gate looking rather gruesome--nearly covered in blood.  

The first report was that they had been attacked by a pack of bandits, but the story seemed a bit fishy. At any rate, guilty or innocent they needed help.  One had only minor cuts, but the other had two major injuries.  He had a huge gash in his head which penetrated the skull and a nasty cut on his arm.  The one on his arm had a bone chip hanging out of the wound still attached to tissue.  After a quick assessment, it was very clear that the second one definitely needed further care than what we could give him here and quickly too.  We did minor cleaning and wrapped up the wounds, gave IV and oral fluid and soon had them loaded up and on there way to Leogane or Port au Prince.  

It was Steve and Michael who took them out.  By the time they left here it was 9:30 pm or so.  Because of the head injury, the hospital in Leogane wouldn't take them so they went on to the hospital on this side of Port.  That hospital gives very good care so he at least has a good chance of recovery.  

A quick peek at the head injury. . . 

and cut in the arm
Notice the white in the left side of the wound, that's the bone chip.  

We found out the next day that the fellow who was in worst shape used to be part of this group of bandits and left them.  He came to the area for a funeral, and when he was leaving they attacked him.  It was only the grace of God that he escaped with his life.  

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