Friday, August 21

Trauma: Life in the D.R.

The Dressing Room, that is.

Bet my Friday was more awesome than yours.

Most days our little two bed procedure room serves as a place for people to get injections, have their dressing changed, or have their cut sewed up but today, we were the local trauma center.

There was a terrible car accident just a mile down the road from where we are. A group from a local church was headed out of town for a weekend retreat when somehow the driver lost control going up the road and the truck (filled with people in the bed) rolled backwards and flipped off the road. We walked by this afternoon and I snapped these pictures. Thankfully, no one was killed in the accident, which you can see is a nothing short of a miracle.

That would be blood on the rocks

We had no idea that anything had happened until the people starting flooding in the gates carrying bloodied, injured patients. Lori was back at her house a minute or so away and Licia called her to get here immediately. We cleared all the regular patients who were waiting on the benches and started triaging the worst. We got two beds going in the dressing room and decided which ones needed to be sent into town.

We suspected a broken hip. Turns out it wasn't broken, but he still has to stay off of it for a month.

We were trying to get some patients cleaned up on the bench to make room for the worst ones

This women broke her collar bone

The skull was cracked but not totally fractured on this kiddo.

This woman is 8 months pregnant and said she fell right on her stomach

We heard a good heartbeat though, so it looks like everything is fine!

The police showed up to get a report and offered to take the hip patient and collar bone patient into town. You can see that the crowd that gathered outside the gate during all of the chaos.

Thank you, Jesus that there was a place for them to come today. Thank you that Lori, Licia, Zach and their families have given their lives to care for the people of this village. Please pray for continued healing.

Thursday, August 20

Some old and some new: Part 2

Recognize this arm? .

He got external pins! Doesn't it look like something from the early 1900's?

I have been meaning to tell you that Blanco's sister is staying here at the Rescue Center. She was burned in the same fire that killed him. Her leg is healing pretty well.

This guy was cut across the face with a machete last weekend. He went to a hospital in town where they sewed him up. They told him to come here to have his dressing changed. Oh, and they forgot to tell him that he lost his right eye. It was so swollen the first few days, we couldn't tell whether or not it was there. Yesterday we opened it up to wipe some drainage out and sure enough, no eyeball.

He said "I have an appointment to go back to the hospital so they can clean my eye."

"Um, that's not what they are going to do, you don't have an eye anymore."

"Yes I do, it's just so swollen that I can't see"

"I am holding your eye open and covering your left eye, can you see anything?" No eyeball.

Talk about an awkward conversation. And I don't even understand the language.

This stuff is just too good not to share.

Tuesday, August 18

Some old and some new

Diabetic wound. She was seeing the witch doctor. Clearly, that didn't go well.

Remember the little girl who pulled the TV down on her head?

She came back this week for a check-up. Doesn't she look great???

This guy was in a bad motorcycle accident. That is the back of his calf. Ouch!

Lori did an incredible job sewing him up through several layers of muscle.

Remember Loner?

We about fell out of our chairs when we saw this picture of him. He is doing so well over at Haiti Children's Home!

Watch us grow!: Week 5

The boys are doing great this week! The pictures are getting more difficult to take because the healthier they get, the more active they get. They were trying to roll over on each other this morning!

Monday, August 17

IT'S A GIRL!!!!!

I am on cloud 9. Even still today. We got to deliver a baby yesterday!!!!!

If you know me at all, you know that OB is totally my thing. The entire time I have been here I have been saying that the one thing that would make my trip like the best ever would be to have a baby born here at the clinic. Which in reality, I shouldn't have wished for because laboring moms only come here when there is a problem, otherwise the baby is delivered at home. But secretly, I was still hoping for it.

Yesterday morning I said that I was giving up hope and settling for a hurricane to top off my trip (hello Anna!). When Licia popped her head in the office to hesitantly tell Lori that there was a woman in labor outside the gate, my heart about jumped out of my chest. I know it is scary to take on risky deliveries (not to mention takes your entire day) so Lori could have easily sent this patient into town. But knowing how excited I would be, she agreed to at least check the patient out. I, on the other hand, was about to burst with joy!

So here is the story (because in Haiti, there is always a story)....

Mom is 18 years old and she lives several hours away up in the mountains. This is her first pregnancy and she had come through the clinic 3 or 4 times for prenatal visits. Dad is not really in the picture (she did manage to call him in between contractions, but he never showed). She went into labor Saturday morning, but still had not had the baby by yesterday afternoon. They were getting very worried so several men CARRIED HER DOWN ON A BED. Like several hours down a narrow, windy path. I was in awe.

Her mother (who I will now refer to as Grandma) and her sister also came down with her. Grandma has had 13 children and only 6 of them are living. Sister has had 3 children and all 3 of them have died. Can you imagine why they were worried for their daughter/sister?

When we got her up on the table, we immediately noticed that something was not right. There were two separate bumps on her belly, one much larger than the other. Hmm... Bladder! She had not peed in over a day. Ok, let's put a catheter in and see if that doesn't help. Oh wow, BABY'S HEAD IS RIGHT THERE. Forget the catheter, she is about to deliver. But wait, she hasn't had a contraction in 10 minutes? How could she be this far along and not having intense contractions every 2 minutes or so. Weird. Ok, back to the catheter. 4 catheters and 1 hour later we empty nearly 1000 cc of urine and the bump goes all the way down. Thank you, Jesus!

So now that is out of the way, surely the baby is going to come any minute now. Wrong. 4 more hours, lots of position changes, a bottle of 7 up, and lots and lots of prayers and diet cokes later, we had a beautiful (very bruised, swollen, cone-headed) baby girl!!!!!

Her contractions never became regular, even up to the last hour they were still several minutes apart. Some only lasted 10-15 seconds. Very strange. We had a couple bleeding scares and ended up giving Pitocin, but in the end mom and baby are very healthy!

One of the reasons I love Labor and Delivery so much is that you get to spend a lot of time with the patient and family and have a really unique opportunity to help them on one of the best days (or sadly, sometimes worst) days of their life. This family was so touched by the time and energy we gave them. They said that there was no Haitian who would rub her legs and wipe her face and take as good care of her as we did. Another really cool thing we got to do was take pictures. Nobody here really has pictures of themselves, and especially not of their baby's birth. Licia was the official photographer when the action really picked up, and after a very long day and night, she printed off the pictures and laminated them for the family. They were ecstatic!

No joke, this is what Grandma did most of the time.

Here is older sister. It must have been very hard for her, as she has lost 3 babies of her own.

Did you know that drinking a coke helps push the baby out? Me neither.

Also, it is completely normal for someone to plug your nose during a contraction to help with the pushing.

Baby is here! Lori took care of mom, I did baby, and Licia was the official photographer

Tying off the cord

Cutting the cord with a razor blade

Suction! Sounds so official, right? Well they always yell it on Grey's Anatomy

Mom is so happy that baby is out!

Mom is blowing on the top of the bottle to help deliver placenta. This is her sister's husband. He came in and saved the day when both Grandma and sister were literally on the floor praying and we needed strong arms!

I am laughing so hard at her blowing on the bottle

Super- Lori and the new Mama!

6 pounds 8 ounces

Proud Grandma!

Licia and baby girl. You are going to laugh, but we can't even remember the baby's name.

We did it!!!!

Such a great day. I can't even tell you how much the whole pregnancy/baby/delivery thing makes me love God more! Everytime it is a miracle.