25 August 2011

Club Foot

No, I'm not referring to a new indoor soccer complex or hot dance club in Galmi village . . . rather Club Foot, as in the diagnosis.  You know, when a baby is born with abnormalities in the positioning of the bones of the foot.  Their little feet actually look twisted.

In October I will go for some training on how to apply plaster casting to these tiny crooked feet as the first stage of their treatment.  Today I got a preview of what I'll be learning.

For the next month, we have a visiting orthopedic surgeon here with us.  Earlier today he gave me a call and asked if I wanted to get a head start on Club Foot protocol.  

When I got to the OR, I was handed Baby.  He looked so precious and sweet, sleeping in my arms.  

Then he hiccuped.   

Twice.

Which of course, woke him up.

I'm not sure if it was seeing my ghostly face or the chilly air of the operating room . . . but regardless he started to cry.  Which turned into screaming . . . what can I say, I'm great with children!! 

I laid him on the OR table, and his wails turned to sobs . . . which eventually became whimpers.  I tucked his mom's zuni over his chest and around his arms, leaving his legs and crooked little feet exposed so that we could cast him.

I learned three things today: 
  1. How to plaster Club Feet.
  2. When wrapping a baby boy in a chilly room, be sure to cover all his baby boy parts.
  3. When coming back to the OR just to do some plastering, always swap out the sandals for rainboots!
That's right!  As I smiled sweetly at my new friend, he showered me with mutual affection and peed on my left foot. 

3 comments:

Elizabeth Kunkel said...

One of the physicians I worked with in Papua New Guinea took on this cause!  It's a GREAT and AWESOME work you are taking on!  In my brief time in PNG, I was able to witness watching the lame to walk.  Where are you going for training?

Deb. said...

There is new Cure Hospital in Niamey . . . they only do pediatric orthopedics. So they are offering a seminar.

Bobnrobn said...

Be thankful it was only your foot!!!