Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sick kids, amputations, and cancer

Happy 2016! I'm finding it very hard to believe that 2015 is over. I hope the new year is off to a good start for y'all.

The last couple of weeks have been very busy around here. We had some super great times for Christmas, with things like popcorn, big franks, cookies, and bonfires. Parties are always fun... Especially in Chad! :)

This past week was even busier, though. Currently, we have 2 doctors at the hospital here. And this week, one of them was gone. So I tried to fill in a couple of small parts of what he typically does. I did rounds on pediatrics, which was really fun. A little scary, but it was good. The main nurse there is quite on top of things, and he would give me a very nice report of each patient, and then basically we either moved on, discharged the patient, or ordered them more medications. We didn't have many kids this week that were super sick; most of them stay only a couple of days. Almost all of them have malaria (actually, maybe all of them...), quite a few have typhoid, and others have other parasites and things. There was also one patient with a snake bite.

The other thing that made my week exceptionally interesting was assisting in surgery! I nursing school I got to observe a few surgeries, but I never scrubbed in. So this week was a totally new experience. It was also a totally exhausting experience. I basically handed the surgeon things, operated suction sometimes, held clamps and things out of the way, etc. (really, I wasn't a very helpful assistant). There were some pretty interesting cases. Lots and lots of hernias, a few hydroceles, a few cancer cases, a couple of small abscesses, a cesarean section, and an amputation. The only one that I found to be really disturbing was the amputation. Yikes. I hope I never ever have to have an amputation. So surgery was interesting, but the days were long. Typically, I work Monday-Friday, 7-3ish. It's basically a perfect schedule; I get off work, have some time to study French, do laundry, send emails, journal, drink tea (a very important part of my life), take a walk.... and other such wonderful things. And then I go home and spend the evening with my Chadian family. But this past week we often didn't get done with surgery until about 7. So I didn't study French at all last week. Not good. Also I was so tired. I don't know why standing in one place all afternoon is so tiring, but it was.

Another exciting detail of my week is my phone. I love my phone. It's my connection with the world, basically. And I like to be connected. At the beginning of the week, my charger was having some real problems. If I plugged my phone into one particular outlet, dangled it at just the right angle, crossed my fingers, and then tiptoed away to avoid bumping it, it would charge. And then on Monday night, my charger broke. Literally broke into two pieces. I didn't cry, but I thought about it. Fortunately, there are some really great missionaries here, so now I'm borrowing a charger. Crisis averted. Then at the end of this week I used up all of my internet, but I didn't realize it. So all day sabbath my phone didn't work, and I couldn't figure out why. Fortunately, I bought more credit this morning and it's working again. Hopefully in the future I'll remember to buy credit before I run out. That would be good.

This next week, the other doctor will be back. I'm very happy that I get to go back to being a nurse on the medical ward. :)


  1. Happy new year! Keep the updates coming! Praying for you.

  2. Looks like you're finding lots of ways to be useful so far! Well done! God bless. - Andrea :)