Thursday, August 18, 2011
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Saturday, August 13, 2011
What a great Saturday! It started with me walking to the roundabout to get a taxi to Bliss to meet Sandra for lunch. I somehow got a free ride from someone I didn't know. Olga, but there is the Sierra Leone hospitality for you.
Friday, August 12, 2011
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Yes. It has been a long while since I posted on here. So much has happened and so much has changed. My attitude being one, but more on that later.
I went home for four weeks from mid June to mid July. I actually had known since about two weeks before I arrived that I would be coming home. I wanted to make it a surprise though so no one knew. It was wonderful being back on familiar soil for a bit. It came at just the right time as well. To tell you the truth, when I left I didn’t know if I wanted to come back. So much was happening and I was struggling to keep my feet under me. Rest came at a perfect time.
Home was great. I spent four weeks with my sister and her family and was able to see all my nephews and niece. Many friends came to visit as well. I ate a lot and slept. Celebrated the 4th of July. Cooked on a campfire. Canoed. Hiked in the forest. Went fishing. Stocked up on some goodies for friends back here. It was great, to say the least.
I have been back a few weeks and honestly, it has been great being back. Having a time of rest, of real rest, renewed my strength. It helped too, that when I returned back here, nothing but good reports came from when I was gone. Bernadette and Esther, the two Sierra Leoneans I have been training to be the ward supervisors have been doing such an amazing job. Truly. It couldn’t have gone better. There was a visiting surgeon who came while I was away and he did 22 surgeries in a week. That is double what can be done on a good week, which we don’t see too much, but all my nurses pitched in and did a fabulous job. They told me that now that I am back, they can slack off. I told them absolutely not! And they haven’t. They are really showing me what they can do. It’s been great for me because I have been able to do more teaching and more detailed things to encourage and really try to get things right into place for when I leave in December. I pray this all continues.
Updates from the ward:
You wouldn’t believe it. So there was a woman who showed up with her sister and her daughter-in-law. All with VVF. The daughter-in-law has already gone home. Her injury was too extensive and there was nothing Dr. Lewis could do for her. The other two, sisters, both had their surgeries yesterday. Both are dry and doing great! More to come on them in the future...
Seibatu. The visiting surgeon attempted her again. Her third VVF. When I came back she still had her catheter in and was becoming wet. I decided to leave her catheter in longer than normal because she had said that her wetness was improving. The first thing I had noticed when I returned was that she still had her colostomy! She was soposed to get it reversed the day I returned home, four weeks before. Nope. They saw she still had a small hole so they left it longer. She was given another appointment at Emergency Hospital where she was going to get her reversal and last week she did!!! Two days ago I went to visit her so I could change her catheter but when I showed up they said she wasn’t having any urine from it so I just took it out. Her surgery failed, once again. Dr Lewis will examine her again this week and see if there is anything more she can try. Her colostomy reversal was a success though! Her RVF was closed!! The good news is that Seibatu has pooped! This is such a victory! For the last year it has all been coming out of her vagina and now, with the colostomy giving her bowels time to heal after her RVF surgery, she has pooped, three times! Every time is a victory for her! Chances are she will go home soon. After six months, she needs to go home and visit her children and husband and family. She told me she will not go if she is not dry. It will be hard to see her go but sometimes there is nothing more that can be done here.
It is Ramadan. In a country where you are either Muslim or Christian, this is a big thing. I have had old patients call me and ask if I am fasting. Nurses taking time in their day to pray. Breaking their fast in the evening. Having a VVF patient find out she is pregnant and the only question she has for us is if she can still fast. It’s a different world here sometimes...
This woman who found out she was pregnant, I was in tears. We do pregnancy tests on all our women. She came back positive. The obstetrician did an ultrasound but couldn’t see anything, so she did a vaginal one and yes, I got all choked up. So tiny on the screen. About six weeks along and you could see the tiniest little flutter of a heartbeat. It was incredible. She was given an appointment to return to have her baby here.
Oh, and last week we had such an overflow of patients that one night two beds were pushed together and three women shared and the next night an mattress had to be put on the floor! A full week this week and next week we already have a full OR schedule as well!
Last week Jane stayed with me for a bit for her vacation time. One night we were walking down the street and passed the side gate to the centre. There were five of my women there staring out and said they wanted groundnut. Jane bought them groundnut and we shared with all the patients. Now everyday they say, ‘Sarah, I want groundnut.’It makes me laugh whenever I hear this.
More stories to come. Off to bed for now though!