I have anywhere from 15 minutes to 1 hr and 15 minutes before the generator goes off so I'll see how far I get with this.
I've been back almost 2 weeks and things don't look quite the same, which is good. I've been thinking of changing things, so the first week, I hardly saw any patients. I've realized my own sense of responsibility and fairness, mixed with my nurses' way of being causes them to slow down and not work as efficiently as when I'm not there and they can't depend on me. So I determined to set a different pace from the start. The first day I only went there for about an hour. The next day (Monday) I sat and didn't do much else but look around, see what could be changed, watch how they work, and check their work. That's actually harder than it sounds. I've got to see how I can make the place better. - putting up standing room dividers instead of dirty, ripped and pinned together curtains would be a great place to start - if I can find them in Haiti.
Tuesday I worked with MM most of the day, since Bobi and Leslie were both gone. Our friend Leslie down the road has started helping out on Tuesday. It gives her a chance to get away, and work with us on something that's so cool. It's so encouraging to see the changes in kids and being able to admit new ones that need it. We have some pretty sick kiddos in the program! Especially 2 - one is so swollen in the legs and today with a high fever and looks so ill. The other one is gaining a kilo a week, but it's not fat - it's swelling, which is strange because with Mamba it usually does the opposite. I think he has another medical problem.
I would take pictures but my nice camera got stolen in Romania and I haven't been able to buy another one. Hopefully before too long (in Haiti??? Thank God for internet purchasing capabilities).
Wednesday, I hired three more ladies - one is a clerk who'll work with our mess of files, and also learn to check in people eventually. She used to be a school administrator. She may even get the job of teaching me French and Creole. The other two are both RNs and I can tell a little more educated than those I've gotten before, so hopefully will work out better. The one has no work experience though and is hesitant to see patients though she wants to learn. We have started her with the MM program and I tell you, she is EXCELLENT. I'm so happy to find a Haitian that I think will do good in the program. We needed on (us North Americans like to take our 'vacations' :) ) We're also looking at sending her to Port to a Doctor who has offered to teach us to do more Lab (blood work) and she's interested in that. The other one I've spent 2 days with training to see patients, and I think she'll do well. Thank you Lord!
Thursday I went to the MM program that they started in St Marc while I was gone. Nice set up. Barb is a missionary friend of ours who has lived in the poorest section for years and started a school for the poor that can't afford other schooling. She saw a lot of need in this community, so felt it in her heart to open a place and get the program going there. They've done free radio advertising there too. It's great.
Marcus and Bobi came home on Sunday, all excited and planning their wedding for December. And I plan to go for it - she asked me to be one of her bridesmaids. That'll be fun!! They do plan to come back in Jan. so I'm happy. Lol! Marcus is teaching school here at Canaan. He came in July, after I left, so the whole thing went a bit fast. But when God says 'this is it', why wait, eh?
Tonight, Marcus, Bobi, Chris and Leslie and me were invited to Lauren's place. Lauren is part manager of the resort down the road and we've become friends. Not wanting to cook, we had a nice buffet dinner at the resort, after which we retired to her "air-conditioned' little apartment.
Here's a prayer request: pray for Nickenson. He's about 20 months, his mom died in Jan, and he has HIV. He wait about 3.4 kg when we first saw him, so thin. We got him in the program as soon as he was old enough and he was gaining well, but now all of a sudden, he’s starting to lose weight again. He lost a whole kg in 2-3 weeks, and if he continues, he’ll be down to his original weight next week. His dad, who has been trying hard to take care of him, can get medicines free for him, but it’s an effort taking care of him. Wed. we plan to see if we can pick up 3 months of medicine and taking him to an American run clinic, who have offered to take care of him for a few months and get him better. That will be such a relief. He’ll get good care and the father will get a break and be able to get a job for awhile. Now he has to spend all of his time taking care of his son, because he doesn’t trust anyone else. We’re going to try to take him Wed. but unless we can take his meds, which they want to give only on Tuesdays, we’ll have to wait another week. I don’t know how long he’d make it. With HIV, any sickness can complicate him.
September 30, 2009
OK, the letter didn’t get off last night since I had less than half hour so I get to tell you about my day today. I’ve been pleased at the way different things have been falling into place with me stepping down from seeing patients at the clinic. I’m sure that “sense” came from God.
So we were able to take Nickenson to this clinic at least an hour from here, up the mountains a bit. I had met the nurse Lori before and always wanted to go see her clinic. I was impressed. Besides seeing outpatients, they have a program where they keep patients. Out of the 60 +/- , probably 50 were age 3 and younger. Some of these are malnourished kids. They are also using the Medika Mamba (them coming to see how ours works is how I first met them). They’ll keep these kids till they’re well. Then they go back – if someone wants them and comes for them. They have quite a few little ones that have been abandoned. Some have medical issues like burns that they’re taking care of, or other diseases. But many are just unwanted. It wrenched my heart. Such a strange feeling to be in a room with SO MANY little needy ones. Anyway, they’ll keep Nickenson till he’s well, if he recovers. Bless the dad – he’s spent so much time and care taking care of the little one.
After we got him settled, Lori showed me their filing system. That’s a challenging thing here in Haiti, where a last name can change from visit to visit, or they don’t know birthdates, or when they were here before, or they’ll say it’s their first time but it’s not – you get the picture.
So….on that note, I have a question for anyone out there – does anyone know someone who’s able and willing to make a computer program for our clinic? I need a program where you can just type in either their first or last name, or their file number and all their info will pop up. Anybody out there that would know how to program such a project? If you do, please let me know! And if you don’t, could you maybe ask around a little? Thanks!!!
Thanks for supporting me as a friend, or in prayer, or in whatever way you are a part of my life!!