Monday, April 28, 2014

And the Three Little Piggys...

...survived! After the gruesome cleaning and cutting away of their two fellow members it was pleasant to see three left standing alive and well. =) This morning Whit and I decided it was time to cut at the second toe. Let's just say it's a unique experience slicing away at spongy, gray, bone and feeling a TOE come off in your glove.

                                          Thank God dead tissue has no feeling.
                         Our patient was a jolly soul, in better spirits then I was. =)

   On a happier note, we had a wonderful time on Saturday, doing house calls! We had planned to go                       do a checkup on a few very old little grannies, and ended up walking the
                              mountains most of the afternoon seeing maladies.

               A dear old lady who survived a terrible bout of Pneumonia. She's 90 years old,
                        and loves Jesus so much she cries when we mention His name.

Mali, with our second house visit, a sweet lil granny who was just suffering the 
normal aches and pains. 

This lady almost died in our hospital room with pneumonia a few months ago. She is very unconverted and hardened to the gospel. Please pray for her!

Hiking with our Friends

We are so blessed with many reminders of HIS love and care for us. After a particularly difficult job or stressful situation, God gives us beautiful moments that give us strength to face whatever comes. Hiking the mountains in the sunshine, delivering a perfect baby, listening to a dying man receive many moments of beauty we can hold in our hearts as we clean rotten wounds and
 pray through intense situations.  

May each of you be reminded of His love today! - Mis Kate 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The Nice and the Nasty

We see a well-rounded share of both extremes here.  And if you don't care to see the latter, I'd suggest you not scroll beyond the the second picture on this post. :]

Below is our (very nice;) new Mis Mali with an armful, holding this couple-week old set of twins, a girl and a boy.  They look just like two little dollies. :)

Yesterday at clinic, this five year old charm of a fellow was brought in by his mother to get a consultation.  He strutted in grinning, with a very big look on his face and really seemed to enjoy all the attention I gave him.  I finished writing down everything his mother told me that he had, from a runny nose to a lack of appetite, and then asked if anything else was wrong.  "He put a seed in his ear," she told me.  And sure enough, looking through the otoscope we could see a small bean in there.

Mali held him while I tried to get it out, but he started squirming too much.  We got more people to help hold him down, but by that time he was screaming and writhing around with more desperation.  I asked Kate if she wanted to go for it, 'cause I was nervous I'd hurt his ear drum.  The little guy's crying turned into growling, he was so upset.  After a few more minutes of the fight, we were all relieved when she finally got it out!

His poor mother burst out, "Mesi, Jezi!" and then sat down and started crying.  She said he was her seventh child, and the naughtiest of them all! :)  He didn't act nearly as relieved as the rest of us.  We gave him juice and a sucker and tried to get him to smile again, but he just sat limply and would hardly even look at us after that. :)

So now for the unsightly stuff.  Today a little old man came in with a dirty cloth tied around his foot. We knew from the smell that it was going to be bad, even before we saw it.   I don't think we expected it to be this bad.

Rhoda started in cleaning it, and then Dr. Felix kindly took over for her, chopping away chunks of black, rotten flesh.  The man said he had blood sugar problems, though it was normal when we checked it.  It seems like it's mostly just another case of neglect.  It's hard to understand how you could let something ever get as bad as this, but many people here do, and the best thing we can do for them is simply educate them on personal hygiene and wound care.

Dr. Felix completely cut off the man's little toe, and I think decided that that was enough for today. Maybe the next will come off tomorrow. ;\  He'll be staying in our hospital room for a little while so he won't need to walk here for a bandage everyday.

  Sorry for ending with such an ugly picture...just be thankful you don't need a face mask to see it.  :]

Monday, April 21, 2014

  It is Easter season! And we have a lot to be thankful for. Especially, when we see and hear so much noise from the Devil parades around us at all hours of the day and night. It feels good to be able to trust an Almighty God whose little thumb is stronger than all the forces of Hell.
Today felt like a NORMAL Monday. A few more patients than last week, and numerous appointments to consult.Our clinic floor looked like a mud rink until afternoon, but other than that, we had a great day.

Kate and Whit had a stitch job patient return today, that they had sutured up last night. We assumed the injury came from some squabble during a Devil parade. The man was so covered in blood, that we figured it would be a terrible wound, but it was only an inch or two long, thankfully.
We have been keeping the new twins in our hospital room for a few days. It is fun to see how much love gets showered down on those two babies. Monique, the mom seems to be doing well. She went home to finish healing, and we hope to take her stitches out in her house, for her.
Before they left, our pharmacist offered to go along to help them with the hike, and to carry all their things. The little boy and girl were safely wrapped up and all the dishpans were full of the belongings they used while away from home. Everyone was putting the dishpans on their heads, and getting ready to make the treacherous tramp over the rocky, slippery trail.
“We need to pray,” someone said.
Everyone bowed their heads as the pharmacist thanked the Lord for the safe delivery of the babies and that God would keep them safe while they walked up the slippery mountain, too.
I felt so blessed to witness the beautiful little black lady, who was the mom of these perfect twins, bowing her head, and praising the name of the Lord, before she tramped over the mountains. She herself had been inflicted with evil spirits only a year before, and now before she faced this walk in which she would for sure meet a Devil parade enroute, she was calling on the Most Powerful One. It showed me what God can do when He touches a life! Hallelujah!
     A lot of you have met Fabula. I just couldn't resist throwing on a picture of her in her Easter dress.

     Kindra, people are asking about your mom. We all miss you....Mis Woda

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Good-bye! and then Hello!

   “Good-morning,” says Mis Katie. And then she launches into a descriptive medical class, in which she shows the waiting patients some health tips and physical education. There always seems to be a need to educate the people here, and while they are waiting to be seen by the nurses is an excellent time to fill their minds with medical information.

Everyone is happy to see our new nurse Mali, who arrived last night. She is already helping with blood pressures and stocking our new med shipment into the depot. It is especially nice for the Haitians because she knows French already.
Nurse Kindra left us suddenly Monday afternoon. Why? Her mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer. Why her? Why now? Our tears followed her out the door. It definitely is not an easy time for her. She is now back in Tennessee with her family, blessing them instead of us. We miss her already, needless to say.
Jean Frantz is back! Pastor Levy surprised us and brought him up the mountain today. We are planning to keep him here and bandage him every day until it is safe to send him home. We were shocked when we realized the wound was wrapped in a bloody, dry cloth for the last day or so, but God helping us again, we hope everything will be fine, and his body will not reject the graft now, because of that.
We promptly cleaned it up with sterile water, and rebandaged it with sterile dressings and moist, non-stick bandages spread with B&W cream. Jean Frantz's friends in the neighborhood are already showing up to visit him and help him forget his misery.

     God is good, all the time. Even when we come to him with open hands, saying, “Poukisa?”

Monday, April 7, 2014

The Seventh of April

Not that that has anything to do with this post, other than that I'm posting it on this day, and didn't have any other ideas for a title, so...:)

It feels like a long time since I've written a blog, and I think it's because it has been.   Somehow the past few times I've been scheduled to blog, something else has come up and taken doesn't look like I'm going to get out of it this time.  ;o)  It's only hard to do when nothing out-of-the-norm has come in and we don't necessarily have anything new and exciting to show or tell.  But that's ok, 'cause that's life- sometimes full of adrenaline rushes, sometimes suprisingly quiet and normal.   More recently it's been the latter, with just a few special cases coming and going. 

Lately, as in the past month, I have moved from doing pharmacy/bandaging work, to taking over the blood-pressure program.  I've really enjoyed the extra patient-interaction, and the opportunity it's brought to exercise my Creole vocabulary.  It's often very amusing to hear how they describe the pains they're having.  For example, when they're telling me they have leg cramps, they'll often say that their calves are eating them.  :)

 In the picture below is a young lady who had had pregnancy-induced hypertension.   She came back for a postnatal check up, and brought her little Jenny with her.  Talk about a distraction!  But it was irrestibible, and I was very happy for it.  ;) 

Usually at least once, if not twice a day, Kin falls in love with a friendly little face she meets in the waiting room.  And she always takes the time to snatch them up for awhile and parade them around the clinic showing them off to all we other girls.  Today it was this little guy below.  When most of what you see and hear are patients waiting to share with you all their "maladies" and everything they need, sometimes it's just extra refreshing to see a perfectly happy face content to simply share a smile. :)

 And while we're talking about babies, I'll show you one more...  A little girl, born about 2:30 in the morning on the 20th of last month.   She was the first baby I delivered, so I thought is was special that she was a fifth-born girl, since that's what I am too.  (Just a silly sentimental thing...;)

She had a rough start, born with the cord tight around her neck, and covered in thick meconium.   Kate, Kin, and I worked with her for five minutes before she really started breathing and responding well.   After ten minutes of oxygen, suctioning, and lots of stimulation, we started to relax again! 
I s'pose I should wrap this up and post it quick before it's tomorrow, or I'll have to change my title...;) 
Hope you all have a good night.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Where's My Mommy?

     A big thank-you to our friends from the States for the wonderful, education-filled week-end we shared. And thanks for the toys! They are such a happy thing in a world where we can't fix everything.
    For example, on Sunday afternoon, we were just finishing up our lunch when we were called to the gate. I was "on call", so I grabbed a quick swallow or two of coffee, to quiet my tired head, and walked down to see what was there to see.
    Sometimes you just aren't emotionally prepared for what awaits you. As I opened up the bloody cloths that wrapped up a little girl's wounded hand, I swallowed my gasp.

    "They were playing, and another child cut her with a machete," the family and friends told me.
    On the third finger, the tip of the digit was totally gone. The second finger was cut through the bone and hanging together by the skin. I looked into the adorable eyes of the brave little four year old. That was a mistake. I waited until more of my team arrived and went into the depot to cry. She was too cute, and I didn't know how I was going to have the nerve to do anything for her.

    When Doctor Michael, Steve, and Kindra arrived, we talked through our options, and made the decision to send her out. We have some Doctor friends outside of Port-au-Prince, that we are hopeful will be able to pull that tendon together and help the second finger to move again. The third finger, will probably need to have the bone shaved off, so the skin can be pulled over the tip and sutured shut.

    We wet-packed the whole hand, and then wrapped it all in a huge wad of Kerlix for the trip. By now the little girl was able to sit up, and we gave her a little green match-box car to entertain her. She laughed and played with that for a long time while we got her transfer paper ready to send her out.
     Today it was a ball that saved the day. Two boys arrived for a malnutrition rendezvous. Katie took the time to tell us about the family of her two year old patient. Both parents left these boys to fend for themselves. The seventeen-year-old, who brought the toddler is left to care for his 7 kilogram brother.

  Dear people. No school for big brother as he helps scavenge for food. They live with an older
brother who is not married. Thankfully Katie was able to continue them on the Plumpy Nut program and we are hoping to see progress in the two year old before long, if we can afford to keep using Plumpy Nut.
    It was so fun to see a smile on the face of the older boy as we gave him a ball for an incentive to continue taking care of his brother. Toys to the rescue!

Update from Marla

This post is written by Marla, almost a month ago and I made a mistake and didn’t get it posted. I’m sorry. Enjoy her words almost a month l...