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23 APRIL 2013 @ 20:00
By: lottadigital
Apr 23, 2013
From Judy

Well today started off with Pam making muffins with chocolate chip cookie mix.. It was actually really good.. Everything is so much better when you have little of it, we seem to appreciate everything we have and Kraft dinner ohhhhh is luxury…we did some interesting surgeries today. A 50 year lady with enlarged salivary glandes a 10 day old baby with cleft lip and palate. Bowel reconstruction and as always not short of hernias..it was a busy day but a great day..

There are so many language barriers it’s funny.. We have us the French, the English and the Newfies.lol. We have a couple of Italian and our Portuguese Brazilian friends oh and let’s not forget the local language Fon.. It’s great.. We all get understood we all find ways to communicate when nobody is there to translate Terry( Nfld) and Samuel (Fon) can’t communicate so they Dance.. It’s funny to see them, big smiles on there face and they dance and clean instrument.

As I sit here writing my blog I finish reading some e-mails from home of course work related, makes me wish life was easier At home..I finished reading and told Louis that I think I want to move here,,we work hard we do big surgeries but people appreciate so much. there is no stress everybody is always so happy life is good. I have come to a conclusion that i am blocking the outside world for the rest of my week and just living like the locals free and happy with what i have in the moment. I do feel 1week here is to short, it takes 2 days to settle in and it seems the week flies by and we are off.. It makes you feel warm and welcomed when the local workers plead for you to stay because we all love working together.

Tomorrow we start with another cleft lip and palate an 11 day old baby. Louis is in his glory with all these surgeries I love seeing the sparkle in his eyes when he operates. He is so passionate about his work it is beautiful to see and I am honoured when I can assist him..
Well of to bed tomorrow is another day.

– Judy


From Nicole 

We didn’t have any patients scheduled in the dental room today, so I quietly asked a little boy and his father if they would like to have dental exams without charge. This started a chain reaction amongst patients who were waiting for surgery. We saw several children and their parents and ended up doing a few extractions, a front filling on a lady who broke her front tooth, and a filling on a man. We start by asking patients if they are having any trouble with their teeth…. 99% percent of the time they say yes. We ask if it’s when they eat something hot/cold/sweet…. Nope. All they complain about is meat getting stuck in their teeth! They all want dental cleanings… It seems the word is spreading. I did the heaviest scale yet this afternoon. Later in the day I watched Louis remove a swollen submandibular gland that was the was the size of a lemon, then I did another heavy scale, watched Alex remove a hernia that was attached to a little boy’s testicle (I cleaned his teeth earlier in the day), I did another heavy scale and then watched Louis do a cleft lip surgery on a 10 day old baby. Butter chicken was a big hit tonight, It was mine and Derrick’s turn to cook.


From  Derrick

Hello Isaac and Luke,

For a day that started out not looking too busy, it quickly turned into a nonstop, go go go day. So much so that I forgot to go to lunch. We started out the morning being greeted by the little boy who took us on our walk the other day. He was sitting in front of the dental clinic. Through Nicole I asked him if he was supposed to be in school and what time he was due. He said 9 o’clock, I showed him my watch, and it was time he was on his way. He laughed and took off running.

So to get patients into the clinic, Nicole quietly went to one of the people sitting on the floor in the hallway and asked if they would like their child to have a dental exam. Plus it was free. Well free must have been the key word that got around the hospital, because once we finished with the little boy, there was a knock at the door of another patient. This continued on for the rest of the morning. By 11:30 I headed over to assist Louie with his bilateral submandibular gland removal. After 2 hours, surgery went well and was complete, so I headed back to the dental clinic and completed a number of patients before it was time to head back to assist Louie with an 11 day old cleft palate and lip case. This was about 4 o’clock. The surgery took two hours and again amazing results. Near the end of surgery, I remarked that everyone must be hungry after all day as nobody had lunch. Much to my dismay, apparently everyone had had lunch in between cases at 3 and I was the only one who hadn’t eaten and I missed the chocolate chip muffins that were made.

I will make sure that doesn’t happen again, chocolate is one of the four main food groups……

Going to bed now as there is another cleft case to assist on early tomorrow before I head to the dental clinic.

Goodnight Jackie, Isaac and Luke.

– Derrick

Now 8 have a few kiddies under my belt but watched a neonate into afternoon great stuff!
!No water boiling some this morning for the old teeth cleansing. Love to all Anne. Nellie says its hot!

Did anyone mention how hot is here!!! Power outage again last night so no fans. I have learned to always have a flash light in my pocket as the power also fails regularly in the middle of surgery. All is well otherwise. Just waiting for the coffee and fresh bread to arrive and then off to work again.nellie

Well another great day. Chef de mission as Anne calls me brings me more politics but that is ok. There is so much to change but really need small small steps. And unfortunately there are steps to follow to get things done. Interesting to see the locals put patients to sleep. We have all the technology in our room, monitors, blood pressure cuff, ECG, then we ventilate, start the gas….. In the other room, if gets placed, anest sits takes a drug injects it, writes it down, put another on does the same and does it with a third drug… Then min later he gets up, places a tube in place and voila patient is a sleep, intubated… Now patient gets prep and a sat monitor is placed…we do our surgery….wow… Even our anesthesiologist were told to stop the gases early due to the long time to have the emergence from anesthesia…. they too felt that we have something to learn from everyone, eventhough the anesthesiologist here is a nurse with on the job training….Did some tough surgeries today… 2 very very large submandibular glands, one difficult cleft palate, tough hernias… We finished at 20:00 but it was good. To see the change in the mother’s face aft seeing her child with a repaired lip was priceless…..it was like I gave her life again….a new birth as the father described it…these experiences bring a lot of questions to mind…. Is advance technology making it better for our patients..,it is but we need to go back to basics don’t forget that and only rely on technology.