Heading off to bed. Another long night. More work to do in morning.
The patients seem to be doing well, and are adjusting to us. Most smile and wave when we walk by on rounds. One lady in particular has a baby boy who is one year old and sustained crush injuries to both feet requiring serial debridements, and eventually skin grafts. She laughs at my attempts to speak Creole, and tries to get me to say more to her. She also laughed when I explained to her (using interpretor) that her son’s name, BenJerry, reminds me of the ice cream that we enjoy at home (Ben and Jerry’s). The clinic is starting to see some follow up of patients treated by our previous crew. Some remember “Dr. Dave”. They laughed when I said that nobody ever forgets him!
The people remain very appreciative of our care, and I believe that we are doing excellent care for them. Things are certainly different, in terms of management, but sometimes the simpler option remains the best option. From a medical standpoint, we have seen many “unusual” things by American standards, including a death from tetanus (“lock jaw”), malaria, cholera, primary syphilis, TB, etc. Thankfully, none of those were us! We remain healthy, over-fed, sleep deprived, but safe and very well cared for.
The crew is working well with the other medical crews. Mary, one of our residents from GR, has been a rock star. She has many titles, including chief administrator (keep patient list up-to-date), patient transport, x-ray technician, traction assembly, local wound care, etc. Denise and Jill continue to work too hard, doing the work of two or three nurses. Libby and Bret (anesthesia) are doing all other jobs as well as providing stellar regional anesthesia and general anesthesia when needed. One goal of ours is to help teach and train the local medical teams here in Haiti. I have witnessed people offering up their arms to allow the Haitian nurses to practice IV starts. More work tomorrow. Time for rest.