Saturday, November 12, 2011

Snippets from the Ward

During handover yesterday, we had a little worship time and prayer in B ward. After the nurses finished praying I heard someone behind me calling "Root! come." It was Isatu, and she was gesturing for me to come over, saying "you pray for me." So I went over, took her hands, and prayed for her. Then I said "now you pray for me" and she took my hands and did. It was the best way to start a shift.

We have the cutest little cleft lip baby named Alpha on D ward right now. Since he was born with a cleft lip, he never learned how to suck, so he has to be fed formula with a spoon or syringe. The other day he was crying and screaming for food, and by the time Jess got the formula mixed up and sat down to feed him, he was quite a pathetic little mess. He was hungry so he was trying to eat, but not used to breathing differently yet after the surgery, so he kept choking. On top of that he was mad so he was crying and kicking, and he may have had a dose of lactulose, which was making things get rather squishy in that diaper of his. Poor little Alpha was just an angry, spluttering, burping, farting, hungry mess. In between the gasps and coughs, Jess managed to squirt enough formula in his mouth to satisfy him, and in the end he was content and fell asleep.

Yesterday I went down the hall to fetch something from the kitchen, and heard quite the commotion down by A ward. A few of the nurses and plastics kids were having a bowling tournament in the hallway with a plastic toy bowling ball, using empty pediasure bottles for bowling pins. They looked like they were having a blast.

During some down time when I had nothing to do yesterday evening, I just sat down on a stool and Kadiatu, my wild woman, came and crawled up on my lap. She started nodding off so I carried her to bed. Her dad called me back as I was walking away and said "she needs nappy!" I hadn't realized that she was sitting in my lap for 20 minutes without a diaper on. Glad I didn't find that out the hard way.

Taking care of kids, I've had lots of medicine spit back out into my face. My little 13-month-old patient Esther was quite a surprise yesterday when she saw me coming with a syringe full of her antibiotics. She sat up, crawled over to me, and sweetly tilted her head up with her mouth open. I squirted the medicine in, and she just swallowed it without a fuss! What a nice treat for me - no metronidazole splattered across my scrubs or anything. :)

We have a little girl named Sia who has Burkitt's lymphoma, a nasty cancer causing huge facial tumors. Usually we would have cared for her through the Burkitt's program we have on the ship, but since it's the end of the outreach, the Burkitt's program is shut down and we aren't able to finish her chemotherapy treatments. Instead, we're sending Sia and her mother and little sister to a hospital in Guinea to complete the chemo. Mercy Ships is paying for the medical care, but there was a bit of an issue finding the money to pay for their transportation and lodging, and the patient life team was working to find donations. The other day our team leader Natalie came running into the ward with some great news - she had been talking to one of the patient life people upstairs in the cafe, about how much money they would need to take care of Sia and her family for the next few months in Guinea. A lady in the cafe came over and said "excuse me - I don't mean to be eavesdropping - but are you talking about a child? I have some money set aside from one of my donors that's meant to go to help a child, and I've been wondering how I could find a child to help." The money the woman had set aside was just the right amount to help Sia. Isn't God amazing?!

At the end of my shift last night I grabbed my water bottle, and Kadiatu immediately started waving goodbye to me. She's figured out that when the nurses pick up their water bottles, they're leaving for the day. So cute!

Kadiatu and her dad

Sweet Sia and her little sister

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