The work goes on in BYT – never a dull moment it seems.
This BYT babies name is SawPaw. She is 14 days old. I had been caring for this Mother, NawBaPaw, through her pregnancy, making sure she took her vitamins etc. As soon as the baby was born they called me to check the Mother because she was dizzy and faint. She had also been sitting too close to the fire and burned her back terribly. This wound needed cleaning and debridement every day. Now she brings her baby to me. She is well but her baby is sick. Her stomach is swollen and she seems a little constipated. When I pulled the little shirt up and looked at her stomach, my breath caught in my throat. Her stomach was huge and so tight it looked like it could burst. It seemed like I only heard faint, if any bowel sounds. I thought of pyloric stenosis, which is a type of bowel blockage at the base of the stomach, or other blockages, but I had no way of knowing what was going on in that little body. She had a low grade fever also, but no projectile vomiting which goes along with that type blockage. Her cry was even grunting with the pressure of everything.
It is a definite hospital case. DJ’s wife told me that she had 6 babies and each one of them did like that and they were OK. I told her that while I had anything to do with it she would go to the hospital, and quickly at that! Off we went to MeDuGlow, where they whisked her off to Omkoi. I am praying for this cute little baby girl.
There were many patients and a laceration waiting for me when I returned. I am always so delighted when they come in right away, instead of waiting 12 hours or more and coming when it is ugly and infected. This one sutured up really well. I forgot to take a picture of the finished stitches. I love to suture. Everything comes together so well and the patient heals up so fast. That is if they keep it dry and come in for a dressing change every day!
WaSuTa and SaWa
The following Sabbath, morning we sat in the little church in BYT. BletJaw was giving a worship at the early morning service. Toward the end of his talk a man loudly interrupted from near the back door, saying that a girl in WaSuTa had fallen and lay unconscious for 2 hours! My question is, how come did he just sit there that entire time. Why didn’t he come straight to us and tell us right away because they came to the meeting early? We hurriedly finished and ran to get our things and go check her. Her name is SaWa we know her and her husband TeeWa very well. She is in her twenties and has 2 small children.
We drove the truck down, but could not cross the narrow bridge in WST with our Toyota. The man from church was following us on his motorbike, he urged me to get on the back with him so that I could get to the girl faster! I jumped on and away we went in a cloud of dust.
There she was, pale and laying on the ground outside her house, leaning against her Mother-in-law. Her BP was low, but acceptable. She was very dizzy, confused, very weak, unable to walk and possibly had a broken arm. She had fallen from the middle of the house ladder, not the top. However, that was still high enough to really injure her as there were boards, and uneven hard packed dirt below. Somehow her children and the length of her skirt tripped her up as she tried to descend the ladder. On exam she seemed to have no pain in her head and neck right this moment, but to be unconscious that long she must have struck her head. I still would have been more comfortable if I could have put on a c-collar and back board, but here we do not have neck braces and immobilization devices for transportation. The people did not want to go to MDG because when I come, examine, and help a patient, people always think that is all they need. However, I told them, that judging from the way she fell, the length of time she had been unconscious and her behavior at present, I would have to insist that she go to MDG.
We had to wait until her husband came home. He had spent a couple of days in the jungle, hunting for rats and other things for food. He was expected home that morning. The people were trying to figure out a way to feed us. We told them not to worry, we were fine. (Even though I really wished I had brought along some of the protein energy bars that Kelly Bishop and her friends from NY had mailed to me)!!
A lady brought us to her house and fed us rice greens and pumpkin, even though we had told them not to bother. They are so kind. By the time we finished, the husband had returned and SaWa seemed more dizzy and now had a bad headache. Her husband carried her all the way down the steep path to where our truck was parked. Once in MDG, they sent her on to Omkoi stat. I pray she is recovering nicely. Sometimes we do not know the outcome of our patients for a long time. So you will have to wait also.
I am so happy with the clinic in MDG now, because the difficult, older doctor left. A nurse only is on duty, so they listen to what I have to say and call a doctor up in Omkoi telling him what I said. So far each patient has been properly cared for and not treated like dirt! They are happy I am here and we seem to have a good relationship. One nurse, Owm, is especially friendly to me. She speaks a little English and wants me to come and work with her because she is afraid when many patients come, especially the emergency patients. This time she told me that whenever she sees me coming she is so scared and her heart beats very fast because I always bring in really bad patients.