Wednesday, April 3, 2013

What's going on in Haiti?

I started caring for a man named Amoni whose hand had gotten very infected from a poke with a nail. He claims it was a voodoo curse; I don't exactly believe that, but I can't deny that everything we did for him failed, even with the advice of a wonderful infectious disease doctor in the US. When the swelling climbed all the way to his elbow, I loaded him into our truck and took him to the hospital in Port-au-Prince. He spent 4 days there, had surgery on the hand and lots of IV antibiotics, and came back to us on Monday looking a lot better.
It's funny how one patient can so consume you - I was seeing him every single day, worrying about him when I wasn't seeing him, praying for him silently every time I thought of him. And when he was in Port and I wasn't hearing any news, I was calling contacts in the city, trying to send someone to check on him and bring me news. Fortunately, in this story, everything ended well, but the last 10 days for me have been all about "Hand Man".
At the same time, I've been seeing a young girl whose forehead was pierced by a piece of wood (I don't know how) and who has needed daily care as well.
I've been teaching my nursing assistant classes, every day, sometimes twice a day. Giving exams on the material that was taught in my absence during the Nicaragua trip, practicing skills they are just learning such as respiratory rates, finding pulses, and wrapping joints with ACE bandages.
I'm also teaching Creole classes 3 or 4 times a week, and now I've added 2 French classes, one for the American teachers at Jubilee School, and one for the 2nd graders. The kids and I we are reading through Charlotte's Web together and though they only understand about 50% of the French I read to them, they love the story and are constantly after me to read to them more often.
It's busy, it's tiring, it's good.

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