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Blog

SEPTEMBER 9, 2011 INCREDIBLE
By: lottadigital
Sep 9, 2011

So we finished the last hernia at 16:00.  Large oral tumor was a large abscess, but with no xrays, very difficult to tell pre-op.  Large osteoma of the mandible, due to lack of money cannot get an xray,so may have to wait to be done…. may be next time…

Waiting for 2 more cleft kids to come so we can do the surgery before I leave Monday night.

We decided to go for a walk in the nearby village…. Wow.. no running water, Marie lost her appetite with the fish and the food that was laid out.  In dirty small straw or clay houses… kids are following us, dirty dirty kids… playing with nothing but each other and what they find on the road…holding on to us, and looking at our skin…white not black…. Garbage everywhere…Motor bikes everywhere, 10 y.o. boy driving one, ….young kids following us… where are the parents???

Returned to the house after the walk to be told that the ER doctor was not present, did not come.  Some of us went to help, to see a young 7 month old girl with an overlarge spleen and liver.. She had 3 convulsive seizures and a hemoglobin of 5,temperature of 43 and now barely responsive.  After 3 blood transfusion, with ? compatibility, valium to stop the seizures, we all agreed she had the effects of malaria, but what do we do… no ICU, no pulse oxymeter, with a heart rate of 175… will she make the night???  As I am preparing the phenol barbital to prevent further seizures, I see 4 mosquito’s on the vials beside me…..is anyone really safe??

It looks like Irma Monique and I will do rounds tonight and spend some more time in the ER.  Both of us feel very responsible for all the patients…it has been from day one, I had to review my medicine for the past months, but it was not enough… there is so much in terms of returning to basic basic care and examination, with your hands, ears and bp cuff….african pathology…we could spend yrs learning all of it… and we did not know what to expect for this first mission…

Our return to Canada will be interesting, shower, not so much humidity, probably cold by now, but so much excess that we have… and do we really appreciate all of it… do we take many many things for granted, both on a professional level but also with our personal lives… It is an experience we all need to do, to really appreciate it…we have so much in Canada, and we waste a lot of our lives with really issues that are so easy to resolve, with comparison to each other, with envy and with greed but when you come to these countries, you realize that all of that material world, does it really matter, it is nice to have, but it is not what makes you happy, people here have nothing, bad diseases and you know, they are smiling and thankful for what we are doing for them, as little as a smile back or a thank you or take care makes you melt and really feel like you have given them the world…but really we have given them so little compare to what we have…

So many life lessons…. We have the same in Canada, but I guess we don’t take the time to smell the roses, they go by us and we don’t see them…..

– Louis

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