Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A routine week

I met this little girl the first time I ever walked the Ravine and I love her! She is rarely sick, but she is often playing near where I consult with patients. She exudes joy!

At Sherrie's school, the children are preparing for their Christmas program with songs and dances. The littlest Gonaives orphans waited patiently for their turn to perform. I'd never seen them this calm - usually when I show up, they come racing towards me, whooping and hollering and jumping for hugs.

Another of my regulars in the Ravine is this young girl, probably 12 or 13 years old. Every week, she brings one of her younger siblings for us to check. She never complains about her own ailments, even though last week, we noticed that she has chicken pox! She is one of the heroes of Haiti, one of the valiant young women that keeps this country alive.

I was stopped in front of little Lovemika's house when this little boy marched up to me. "Mamie di pou'm di'w mwen malad nan tet!" he proclaimed. In Creole, it made perfect sense, and I knew that he was referring to the patches of head fungus on his scalp, but when I translated his words directly into English for Mary, without really thinking, it came out like this: "My mother says to tell you that I am sick in the head!"

My favorite patient at Dr. Ed's this week was 17 year old Douglas. Douglas is a student at Quisqueya Christian School where I sometimes substitute teach. He is a senior and he is the star soccer and basketball player. A week ago, Douglas was favoring his knee and when I checked it out, I guessed it to be an abcess. Dr Ed drained it for him, but within 6 days, the abcess looked even worse and Douglas was in a lot of pain. Today, he came to clinic and lay on the exam table, begging me, "Miss Furth, don't let him cut me open. It's going to hurt, Miss Furth!" I stood by him and rubbed his back as our big tough athlete writhed and howled in agony. Every now and then, Dr Ed would wink at me and make a comment about amputation. Douglas would jerk his head up and look wide-eyed at me, "Miss Furth, is he serious? I need that leg!" He's a good sport, so despite our joking, he limped out of the clinic today smiling.

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