Saturday, April 23, 2011

#39 Relief

Relief can come in many ways.  I am grateful for all of the ways!

The first: Dr. Mark and his family.  

Samedi (our nurse who is a surgeon) is on vacation this month.  Yeah for him.  Boo for me.  His vacation started a week ago.  He’s mostly just staying at home because it’s expensive for anyone to travel here.  We worked out a plan that if I needed to call him in for help, we would pay him extra.  But....last weekend he went to the capital, N’DJamena for 5 days.  So...I was stuck here knowing I had no other surgeon to help me.  No hospital to transfer a patient.  No one to call to consult.  Olen and I are a team, but he hasn’t done very many surgeries.  

So it felt a little overwhelming last weekend.  I had a kid who had a hernia.  I thought I’d have to operate on him, but he turned out to have meningitis.  There were a few other cases that I managed to put off.  There were some postoperative complications that I wished I had a surgeon to consult with too.  Tuesday evening I had to bring a patient to the OR for a presumed ectopic pregnancy.  Olen scrubbed with me.  I really thought she had pelvic infectious disease (PID). The day before her ultrasound showed no intrauterine pregnancy....then Tuesday her pregnancy test was positive.  So I couldn’t sit on her with how much pain she was having.  

I never did find the ectopic pregnancy.  She was very inflamed in her abdomen from her infection.  I also did my first appendectomy by myself because it looked inflamed too.  One salpingectomy and an appendectomy later, and we closed her.  

Needless to say, it can be overwhelming doing tasks that are not your specialty.  

Then Tuesday night Dr. Mark and his family came.  What a relief!  He is a general surgeon who specializes in Oncology from France.  Double relief!  He speaks French better than us!  He has experience in all types of surgery.  His wife is a Midwife and has been helping out in maternity too.  His two oldest girls are here and are a breath of fresh air also.  They out balloons to all the kids at the hospital.  

Wednesday night Olen and I slept quite well.  No one came to knock on the door after 10pm.  We later found out that the nurses had found Dr. Mark and he went into the hospital for us twice that night.  

We are learning much from him.  I’ve decided to call Air France and cancel their tickets!  I know I’m being selfish.  But it’s nice to have more help around here.  Don’t tell them that their tickets are being cancelled.  We’ll just surprise them.  

The second relief:  

It’s been soooooooooooooooooooooo hot here!  It’s 10pm as I’m typing this blog.  It’s still 100 degrees F in the house.  Sweat is poring down my neck.  I don’t think anything of it.  It’s normal.  When you are not sweating it’s just because you’re not drinking enough.  It’s really too hot to do anything.  I was going to write another blog named “too hot.”’s too hot to write another blog.  I’m told April is the hottest month here.  So luckily it’s almost May.  I think we are going to freeze when we go back to the states and have air conditioning.  Oh, how wonderful it will be to freeze.  

Yesterday evening we went to Tammy’s to pick up Lyol after working another hot day.  We were chatting in her house  like we do sometimes because we were too lazy to walk the 20 feet to our house (I’m going to blame that one on the heat too).  

Cory yelled out, “Rain!”

We all ran outside to feel large drops of rain fall on us.  Huge gusts of wind blew through the mango trees on the compound.  What a relief!  Instantly it was cooler.  We were all happy and excited.  Lyol was running around naked and playing in the newly made mud, splashing in the puddles.  It didn’t rain that long, but long enough to provide the first signs of relief to a hot and dry season.  

Samedi and I after a "hot" operation, and that is with air conditioning!

1 comment:

  1. Danae, I read your blog and want to reach thru and hug you. You are doing an amazingly brave job. Your broken heart over Zeke touches me deeply. When I am having a tough day at work I remind myself that we are spoiled. On top of everything else you do, you and Olen write wonderfully. Take good care of yourself. Ann Wassell RN LDRP