Heal Haiti 2016 , 3rd Post

Thursday was a bit of a less busy day…since it was marche day (market day). The Gyn shack found a woman with a large infected cyst that they resected. She came back Friday doing fine! The woman with the infection in her armpit and the older lady with the hand infection have been coming back every day for wound care. Josh looked up how to do an ulnar block and it worked!!! We found a woman with a hemoglobin of 5.3 (would be getting transfused in the US) when we did an HIV test it was positive so we sent her to the hospital in Miraguan and had two confirmatory tests that were negative (whew!). We’ve been adding to the list of people we are sending to Hope Hospital for the surgeons to operate on. We have two hernias and and a tonsillectomy lined up. Friday it was back to busy where every bench in every station was filled up. Floaters would be rechecking blood pressures and checking blood sugars in all the hypertensives. We’ve started to just diagnose people with anemia by looking at their eye lids since we were down to the last few hemacues. Even Elaine’s kids are expert lid-ometers. We’re down to about 15 ISTATs (measures for anemia, glucose, electrolytes and kidney test! Lent to us from Abbott) We are using them for those with diabetes and heart failure and have been quite useful. We’re starting to thin out with our hypertension meds so we’ve been cutting them in half so they’ll last longer. We still have plenty of H.Pylori treatments and acid reflux medicine (and tons of Tums…thanks to Grateful Heart who set us up w cases of Tums). Gyn did 2 cryotherapies today…I’m eager to compare them to their pap smear results. Most of the people we’ve had to come back for follow-ups have returned…sometimes taking their meds…sometimes not. This year we received bags of glasses from an organization called New Eyes. Some were children’s sunglasses that the peds station was handing out (it was pretty cute seeing all these kids in cool sunglasses). But most are reading glasses…so at the end of all the stations we show them the reading glasses (as someone who has just become blind when reading up close and appreciated having reading glasses myself!) It’s pretty cute watching them try on all the different glasses and realizing how much better they can see. Eventually the busy stations were thinned out and by 3 pm the stations in the church were done. Gyn usually goes until 5pm, but we try to do as much as possible (such as testing) while they’re waiting to get their paps. They’ve seen 150 women so far. One of the students has been doing surveys on women about family planning…she gets them to come to our house after hours and gives them gifts of rice and beans and oil. I overheard one interview where the woman explained that a life without children would be a "miserable life". Another one revealed that a common belief is that when one is on birth control they need to be more sexually active or the birth control will cause the white blood cells to decrease which will cause an ovarian cyst! How’s that for “operator”? This definitely was food for thought during our nightly huddles. The students have been amazing. They have become extremely well versed practitioners given such the large volume of patients they see. They still have high energy levels, smiling, enjoying what they are seeing and experiencing. We’ve been preparing them for tomorrow…usually the busiest day of all…the last day. Ella, Elaine’s 15 year old chimed in “the chaos is part of the experience”! Our new mantra!