27 August 2008

Sleeping Under a Mosquito Net is Only Exotic the First Night

You see, mosquito nets are designed to keep mosquitoes out. But mosquitoes are very small (and did you know they are the deadliest creature in the animal kingdom . . . don't believe me?? Come to Galmi, we have proof). So while the net keeps them from accessing your sitting-duck-sleeping-body during the night, it also prevents the flow of air. In order for the breeze to penetrate the net, the ceiling fan must be set to "highest" and therefore it creates a nice steady roar. Whoever invented earplugs was a genius -- give that man a Nobel Prize.

So I've made it to Galmi!! So much has happened since I left NYC . . . traipsed around Casablanca, flew a small airplane, and made yogurt from milk powder . . . but those are stories for another day (and there are photos to prove it all).

You want to hear about Galmi . . . or rather, I want to tell you about Galmi. Where to start?? Well, it's hot here . . . but not HOT. It's the "cold season" which means it's hot and humid. The "hot," "hotter," and "hottest" seasons come later. For now its sticky and uncomfortable. But I can't say that I really even notice most of the time. I've been too busy.

The hospital is a maze, I can't go anywhere without getting myself lost. We see a lot of malaria, meningitis, TB, sepsis, perforated colons, and other non-traditional OT diagnoses. But that doesn't mean I'm twiddling my thumbs. I did some crutch training with two men who had amputations and another who required a skin graft for a massive wound on his ankle. There's a three year old with a full-thickness (third degree) burn along the width of his back, over his shoulder blades. His family waited three weeks to bring him to Galmi, so before they can graft, they have to disinfect, which means he probably won't be grafted until after I leave. Lets hope someone stretches him.

Speaking of stretching, I'm working with four little ones right now for contracture prevention and management. One has CP, two with cerebral malaria, and one with tetanus. All four are fisting very badly and they have such high tone! I've made some little palm protectors for them out of a scarf and some cotton cast lining (all hand-stitched). The width of three of them is the length of my little finger, and the one for the infant with tetanus is the length from the tip of my little finger to my middle phalangeal joint!! TINY!! (I'll post some pictures next time)

It's hard to keep the wall up working with these little ones so close to death. Their moms and grannies sit there helpless and pretty hopeless. Each patient is prayed over in the name of Jesus.

Anyway, I need to go round with the docs and do some ROM. Have a good one. Sai an jima.

3 comments:

Deb said...

I read your post and reread it. So good to hear that you are already being used there. We'll keep your heart in our prayers as well as the hearts of those moms and grannies. I know that God is using you already - that His love is coming through loud and clear to those you serve.

Loved the time to chat the other night. Will keep checking in to see the pics when you get the chance. Much love.

Nancy said...

Hey Deb, Just checking in to say hello! Thanks for the link to your blog. I'll have fun reading about your adventures.

BTW, they told us that keeping the fan on high will keep the South American mosquitos away. I don't know if it works in Africa, but it's worth asking. I guess if it did, they wouldn't give you mosquito netting. I used to spray the boys room (closets / curtains, etc) with repellant before bed. That helped.

Stay cool!
Nancy

Nancy said...

Hey Deb, Just checking in to say hello! Thanks for the link to your blog. I'll have fun reading about your adventures.

BTW, they told us that keeping the fan on high will keep the South American mosquitos away. I don't know if it works in Africa, but it's worth asking. I guess if it did, they wouldn't give you mosquito netting. I used to spray the boys room (closets / curtains, etc) with repellant before bed. That helped.

Stay cool!
Nancy