Sunday, November 23, 2008

It's a mad mad mad mad mad mad world

This week was another one full of surprises. Early Tuesday morning, we were informed that a group of people had broken into the hospital early in the morning and tied up the doctors and some staff and threw feces all over the whole hospital! Apparently they were angry about some staff that had been let go and were trying to make a point. They terrorized the hospital staff and patients and made a huge mess. So, later that morning while I was teaching school, we found out they they had taken us up on our offer to help them out and were sending all the pediatric cases down to us! So, the next while was spent running around trying to change the classroom into a hospital ward! Funny, cuz the classroom was originally built with a clinic in mind!
Anyway, the doctor came down with 4 patients...a new baby, 2 boys about 6 yrs old, and a 15 year old boy. In Haiti, families are required to provide all the care for their family members who are sick, as the hospitals here only provide nursing in putting in IV's, giving meds, delivering babies, that kinda thing! So, all these kids showed up with their mothers and little coal stoves and sheets and food and such in tow!! Which was kind of a relief as it was already so busy here! They were all stable and we were given a crash-course(though very thorough) in giving IV medications and the like. There was simply no nursing staff available to come and they were desperate.
Ok, all you nurses and docs and such, B-R-E-A-T-H-E! I know you are all freaking out right now! And trust me, it was crazy, but I had this peace about it all. Not that I plan to do that on a regualar basis! It has made me think more seriously again about pursuing nursing. Jury's still out though.
They were here for 3 days and then Dr.Toussaint started discharging them. They were all gone by Friday, and then we had one new lady come with her one month baby girl who she had out some weird powdery stuff on, and she stayed for a night so the doc could make sure she did not have access to the people who were doing that stuff to her baby. He really was frank with her about the danger she was putting her baby in and spent a lot of time educating her.
So, by Saturday moring, our ward was empty. Whew! It sure gave us a chance to breath again!
Well, sort of anyway, as it seems like everyone wants to get sick somehow...ear infections, pneumonia, one of the little boys got himself a huge problem while riding his bike, and jsut everyday "we have 42 kids here right now" stuff!

In the midst of it all, on Thursday we had a new little boy join us. His name is Nadieu(Nadjay..we're calling him Jay) and he is 21 months old. His mom died in May and he has been with an aunt who is not able to provide for him. His dad and the aunt came and asked if we would take him as they could see he was getting skinny. Jay is indeed a little skinny, weighing in at 9kg, so definitely a little small for being almost 2. But, he's settling in and doing quite well considering the huge change in his life! He loves to sing, and is quite independent, and we have been learning that he has quite the attitude at times! He has been displaying some of the typical indicators of malnutrition...getting mad at his food, throwing his food, inhaling his food one bite, and not eating it the next.

The incident at the hospital has really had people talking. Some doctors were really angry, others sad that it happened but all wishing it hadn't and wondering how they can avoid it happening again! They hospital has been cleaned(it took about 4 days it was such a mess) but remains closed until the security issue is addressed. The other patients are staying in the home of one of the doctors here until something else can be arranged. It has been so hard for us to understand wy things happened as they did. It's such a crazy thing to wrap your mind around! It also feels so much more personal as we all feel so much more connected there, due to seeing that c-section and getting to know Dr. Ulysse and having Dr.Toussaint so involved here at HCH. A lot of Haitian people feel very betrayed and angry and embarrased at the actions of their countrymen.

I was able to get a really good sleep last night. Then I stayed in my room and read until 9:30 a.m. and now I am up in Pat's nice air-conditioned room...and I don't feel a bit guilty! I feel much better already, and plan to take advantage of the kids being kept busy with their weekly movie this afternoon! There was a couple days this week when I could have fallen asleep on my feet! One afternoon I went to my room at about 3:00 to get something and woke up at 5:30! Somehow I fell asleep! But I was so thankful cuz that same night our night worker did not show up and so we had to do 2 hour shifts to take care of the kids. I just about died yesterday when I realized it was Saturday...I don't remember Thursday or Friday being Thursday and Friday! And December is one week away! Gotta pull out the Christmas music this afternoon!


kayder1996 said...

Only in Haiti...I'm glad that it's all back to normal. And hoping your thoughts on nursing become crystal clear, that you will know exactly what God has for you in that.