Sunday, July 24, 2011
Yesterday was pretty much the same as Monday. I just did the intake assessments of the patients (pediatric again) but I also helped with discharge teaching/going over the medications. It was such a humbling experience because the parents and kids are just so grateful. Almost every mother gave me a huge hug after I handed them their medicine. Even if it was something as simple as vitamins! The other really cool thing is that along with the medicine the kids get a toothbrush, toothpaste and then a little stuffed animal. It usually is like a little beanie baby, sometimes they are really weird creatures but the children’s eyes just light up when they see them. I remember there was this little white puffball with a tail and eyes that was in the goodie bag, and when I pulled it out to give to the little girl, her eyes lit up. I don’t think I have ever seen someone’s eyes get so big before. She smiled real big and then gave it a huge hug! I honestly thought it was one of the scariest looking creatures I have seen, yet this girl just adored it. Even after a month of being here and living with the people, I am still so shocked at how happy they can be with the little they have.
Today I worked here at the clinic at the parish with the surgical team and the dentist. I started off working in surgery doing pre-op on the patients and attempting to do IVs. I tried twice and failed both times. L Other than that we just waited for the patients to be taken into the surgery room. They are performing hernia surgeries and the patients wait in the post-op room until they are able to walk and feel better after the operation. I watched the second surgery, which was a relatively quick surgery and pretty simple. After bringing her out and bringing the next patient in, I got called to go help translate for the dentist because the girl who was helping him wasn’t feeling well. So I then spent a chunk of my day sitting in the dental room watched the dentist extract teeth. He really didn’t need me to translate because he does pretty well for himself so I sat, watched and got the next group of instruments and such ready for the next patient. I saw close to about 20 teeth get pulled, and most were done in like 20 minutes or less!
About 4pm I went back into the pre/post op surgery to switch it up and help out with anything that needed to be done. This is when I met a wonderful woman named Blanca Rosa. She was the last patient to get surgery and had just been sitting in the waiting/pre-op room, so I sat down next to her and started talking. I don’t know how we did it but we spent the next hour talking about her family, my family, and everything in between. Blanca then went into a ten minute talk about how I was her angel and that she saw Christ in me. She said she was so thankful for all of the doctors and nurses who come here and work because we are all angels of God and it makes her so happy to see us. I have never had anyone say something like that to me. I was kind of shocked and replied with a very shy “muchas gracias”. I told her she was an angel too, and she shook her head and said “no”. But in reality I think she is more of an angel than me. Raising three kids, cooking, cleaning and making sure everything is in order is a hard job, especially in a place such as Piura. I mean the woman had a painful hernia for 3 years! She had to deal with that pain on a daily basis, on top of all the jobs she has a mother. Shortly after, she went into surgery. While getting pulled out of the OR room I came to help pull the bed, she was starting to wake up, so I smiled at her, and she gave me the biggest smile back. I then sat with her for the next hour and a half taking her vitals and just sitting by her side. We didn’t say much this time considering her exhaustion but it is amazing how eye contact and a touch of a hand can translate across languages. It was during this time that I realized we had a special bond and even if I never see her again, I will always remember her and what I felt at that moment. After getting her out of bed and sitting her in a chair her husband came in and talked with us. It was during this time that we were talking again about her children when they said they wanted to baptize their youngest child and they wanted me to be the “madrina” or godmother. Here it is a very special honor to be a “madrina” so after I heard that my jaw literally dropped to the floor. I told them that I would love to be the godmother but due to me leaving so soon I couldn’t be the official godmother. They smile and nodded and said that I would be the honorary godmother. I had only really spent about a total of 3 hours with this woman, we spoke different languages, and yet she felt close enough to me to ask me to be the godmother of her child. I still am in awe about what happened and can’t quite wrap my head around it but I made myself promise that no matter what I will pray for my “godchild”, Blanca and the rest of her family for the rest of my life. I will probably never get to meet him, but he will be loved and prayed for everyday. I don’t even care that I worked from 7:30am-9:15pm, what is important is that I made a real connection with someone even with a language barrier and limited time.
Thursday I was back in the pre/post op and finally got an IV! I did fail about three times in the morning but after having a learning/practicing session with Erin, one of the surgical tech nurses, I was able to get one all on my own! We only worked until/through lunch then us Marquette girls had the afternoon off to work on packing, self-evaluations and getting together things for the staff. Even with the afternoon off, there are just not enough hours in the day to get everything done! Our work is definitely cut out for us tomorrow!