Thursday, February 18, 2010
Tuesday the 16th
I woke up this morning to the sound of hard rain. It sounded so good and made me miss home. We've actually had quite a bit of rain while we've been here, but for some reason this morning I was reminded of my old room up at my mom and dad's. It was upstairs and the head of my bed was just a couple of feet away from from the roof. I used to love to listen to the rain up there. Such a peaceful sound. Yesterday the day went by about as usual, so I won't go into all the details. The only difference was that mom and a couple of other people went into Milot to check on Nick and Theo. They said they were doing really, really well-looking like they were feeling a lot better. We just ran out of several medications here at COTP, so I asked them to pick a few up from the hospital pharmacy. I gave a list, but they only came home with the worm medication. The other ones the hospital only had in tablet form so they didn't get it thinking that the kids wouldn't be able to take that. It was a bummer because we actually do use the tablet form and dissolve it in some apple juice, which they love. One of the meds is Phenobarbitol, an anti-seizure medication. I didn't feel comfortable to cut the kids off from that med cold-turkey, so we decided to head into town once again. One of the other short-term volunteers did a lot of motorcycle racing in his younger years, so he'd said he take me on the orphanage's motorcycle. Sounded like a good idea to me! I love that kind of stuff. The ride to the hospital was wonderful. I loved every moment of it. It made me feel so much closer to the culture of the Haitians not having a window between myself and them. Most of the Haitians walk to get places, some of them have bicycles and other have motorcycles-more like dirt bikes, almost. A lot of people were laughing at us, I guess because they don't usually see two white people on motorcycles. Becca said they sometimes will see a white person with a Haitian driver, but not a white driver. We made it to the hospital safely, but had to go on a wild goose chase to get the meds because the main pharmacy was closed. After trying I think 5 different places, we finally got to a functioning pharmacy. They got us what we needed, but when we went to pay she told us $445. We assumed Haitian Gourds, which we had, but she told us no. Then we thought maybe she meant Haitian dollars, but the weird thing about Haitian dollars is that they don't exist. A Haitian Gourd is worth about 40 US dollars and a Haitian Gourd is also worth about 4-5 Haitian dollars. We weren't getting anywhere figuring it out, so finally she just said "This never happened," handed us our meds and off we went. But one of the main doctors there, who has been coming to Haiti regularly for years, told us that it was okay that we didn't pay. It's such a strange system. Apparently you don't really even need a prescription (though sometimes they are used) to get a medication, as long as you are able to pay for it, you can get it. I asked about narcotics and Becca told me that narcotics are the exception-that they are very seldom used-even for palliative care. While we were at the hospital we saw the neurosurgeon. He stopped to talk with us and update us on the boys. He said he could be in town for a few days, depending on if he has work to do, so he was asking us if we knew of anymore kids with hydrocephalus. I thought there might be another one, so Becca is working on contacting the family about going to the hospital to be seen. After that we headed back to the orphanage. Today we also saw the lady with the ear ache again. It wasn't getting any better. I decided to give another ear antibiotic a try and if it didn't work by the next day to come in to be seen. I'm really worried about her, because she also has a rather large wound on her calf that hasn't healed in 3 years. WIth that kind of history, I really don't want hear ear infection to get out of control. I hope to see her again soon. There is a girl in the hospital-maybe 10 or 11 years old, who had an eye infection that she let go for 3 days. Her entire face swelled up and she finally went into the hospital. Dr. Jolie was telling me that her airway started to close because the swelling extended down her neck. She felt like she was in such a predicament, cause normally in Haiti, they would just let her die if her airway completely closed off. This could be prevented simply by intubating her, so she didn't really know what to do, since they don't have a ventilator in the hospital. She said she didn't think she would be able to watch the little girl die over an airway. As of yesterday, I don't think they ended up having to intubate her. They still were wondering if she might lose her eye, but at least the eye infection didn't cost her her life. It's just unreal. I think that's about all for yesterday. Mom had a great day with Jenna. She sure is coming out of her shell. She doesn't much like it when mom's not in the same room as her. I can't wait to show everyone the pictures of these kids. They've captured my heart, that's for sure and it'll be hard to leave them behind.