| Nov 16, 2009
Today’s clinic was PACKED. There was a sick little girl in the overnight tent that the nurses had diagnosed with severe malaria and started treatment without anyone ordering the medicines. They are SOOO efficient here. They just start doing. I had 3 malaria cases in the first hour and early into the afternoon Hakim, the comprehensive nurse working next to me looked at our overflowing garbage and said “we’ve been busy, there are some sick patients today.”
You will see in the crowd of 200 or so patients that there will be a number of them who have a generic cold and come to the clinic just because they can. They mostly are worried about malaria, many having lost loved ones to the dreadful disease. I had two siblings with malaria today and I hope that the one I started on medicine right away in my exam room is doing well.
She wasn’t sick enough to admit for overnight IV treatment... BUT what if she was? I consulted with Hakim who has lots of experience and he thought she’d do well with home oral medicines. This is the hardest part of this job: the “what-ifs.” Her little village within the refugee camp was supposedly close by for her to come back easily if she gets worse.
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I had another 1-week-old baby with blistered skin -- strep??? Odd thing was that mom had only registered herself: she complained of a headache and back pain after delivery. I noticed a blister on the infant's scalp and started looking at her torso while my interpreter was gathering information about the mom. More blisters were found on the chest and groin so we registered the infant and gave her antibiotics. It was her 6th child and you’d think she would know that the blisters weren’t normal. Go figure.
Deanna had a possible ectopic pregnancy, a very large woman with newly diagnosed diabetes (blood glucose over 450) and a hypoglycemic patient too, just to balance things out I guess.
Jo had an infant that I found in the line this morning and brought directly to him. The 2-week-old was having breathing problems and fevers. We are working on the registration table and luckily, the admitting nurse triages the patients a bit better and is able recognize the sick ones and move them to the front. Otherwise, it could be HOURS of waiting to be seen. These are the most patient people and you won’t hear them complain!
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We have quite a versatile team of in-country staff. Today, Charles asked me if I had any anatomy books to leave them since they cannot continue their education while at the camp. He said they needed to exercise their brains. I don’t have any here but hope to get some of the next volunteers to bring some old text books. We’ll leave some books at the end of our month and it’d be good to continue adding to their library at the camp -- the library that needs to be started that is.
Charles also asked if I could stay here longer. I told him I had a husband who missed me and probably wouldn’t want me to do that. He wants you to move here too Jeff! “That would make us so happy” he said.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 5:3-11
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
I think I am among the blessed…