Saturday, April 9, 2011

First day at the Hospital

Not a boring moment for me today....
I made it for a run this morning! It was beautiful watching the sunrise over the subsaharan/Savanah landscape. Women dressed in colorful dresses looking so clean and put together carrying loads of logs on their heads. My short walk to the hospital was filled with kids playing in the 'street'...Today was my first day at the hospital. I was getting a tour from Benzeki. He introduced me to a few of the staff. Apparently they were all expecting me and it was such a welcoming kind greeting. We walked through the first building where the Pharmacie was and across the courtyard to the waiting area for the triage center. There is a line of benches and it seemed full. We walked in and went into a room, which was a hand made curtain strung up in a small space smaller then my room while I'm here. 5 by 8 maybe. This child was laying on the table covered up. I couldn't see well as there were 6 Chadians crowded around him, his face had some pink tissue showing. I didn't know what I was looking at, then the cloth was pulled away and I realized he was laying naked, his skin all around his genitals looked the same, his chest, his hand was deformed, he was burned. Picking up a pot of soup it spilled. Parts of his skin looked like lava that had been moving and then cooled. His skin had melted and dripped!!! I have never seen a burn victim in real life. His skin was cool to the touch and his arm was stiff. We were afraid of him getting incased in his own skin. Olen told me if it was the states he would be tubed and life flighted out to a burn unit immediately. Afraid that the burning around his mouth and neck would cause him to stop breathing. They got saline going and took him away to cover him in the little zinc, or something they had and of course needed more. I heard later he was seizing, but didn't see him again.
Maybe tomorrow I'll go check on him....

I ended up in the triage 'ER' where I was brining people in and taking their vitals. It was hard on so many different levels. I could hardly pronounce people's names to call them back, and few people spoke French. They had translators which was funny because I wasn't speaking much French at all, but as the day went on I was speaking more. Arabic or Nanjuri were the common languages today, lots of sherads and smiles. One Arab man was so pleased with me that he offered to give me a chicken as a thank you for taking such good care of him!A man came in wanting me to come outside, he pointed to the motorcycle, I walked over and a women lay on the ground not responding, with a fabric wrapped around her head. No head injury that was visable, but apparently she was beaten by her husband and her head hurt and she wasn't saying much, moaning and saying mama. Olen thought she may have internal bleeding in her head and perhaps could have broken vertebrae, but their was no way to tell for either, so treat for both (sorta).
Oh gees! this place! A girl comes in to be seen and she had 5 men with her. Family was big to support. Although it was strange to see parents not REALLY concerned big time about their little ones. i suppose with such a high death rate they may grow to except it more.
Saw two cases of malaria, weighed a baby that peed all over me, took a TON of vitals, sedated a little girl with a drug Ketamine, that normally in the states she'd be hooked to all sorts of machines, but here just shot up and then I could pluck the mango that she had stuffed up her nose out with tweezers after the father blowing on her mouth trick failed. Yes the little girl was wearng a little pink snow suit and it was about 85 degrees out!
A girl removing her head cover had a cyst the size of a tennis ball will have surgery tomorrow.
at one point I looked at my watch and it was 10:30, the next thing I know it was 1:30 and Danae was saying I should get lunch. That happened around 3pm. I went back and helped out for a bit more and ended up eating again with Danae and Olen....
I liked my day :)

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