Monday, August 23, 2010

A priest dedication

I was asked to come yesterday for a priest dedication at Chitiki, about a 30 minute drive from us. A young man that grew up in that area was dedicated and took his vows and this was the celebration at his mom's house. We got there at 10 a.m. and we were the special guests. We had tea with the new priest and 3 others who had come to celebrate. Then there was a 4 hour church service. Lots of singing, dancing and talking! Then we had to eat before we could rush off. We ate sadza with a rubber chicken! I took Major's 13 y/o daughter Carolyn who started laughing when she tried to eat the chicken and she couldn't tear a piece off with her mouth because it was so tough. It all sent us into giggles which we had to hide! Finally we left at 4:30 p.m. and back to Chidamoyo in time for night church.

I was kept awake on and off all night with a lady not progressing well in labor and finally at 7 a.m. we did a C/Section, not an easy start to a Monday morning! lori is off to Harare to see off Liz and pick up the newest guests arriving on Thursday, Lauren from CA and Liz from IN

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Life in the bush

Well this has been one of those weeks. Nothing went as planned but we survived. Since we have a visitor here we can blame them for everything—so Liz it is your fault!
We started the week with 2 holidays—Hero’s Day on Monday and Tuesday. This is to remember the people who fought in the war for Independence and died. We keep our out-patient department closed during the holiday and so only have to make rounds on in-patients, but there are always people who show up because they don’t know it is a holiday! The doctors were gone for 6 days and so I was the one holding down the fort.
The in-patient rounds were made, 2 ladies who had high blood pressure and were pregnant were started on induction, several discharges were made and we actually were home before 1 p.m. each day and not called back to work. We had time to work on projects at home and relax. Then Wednesday came and the doctor did not make it back because of car troubles—so I had to do in-patient rounds, do some procedures in theater and cover out-patients and still had some ART (HIV treatment) patients to see. Since the holiday made our out-patient department closed for 4 days (Sat-Tue) we made up for lost time with lots of patients. We worked flat out from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. not going for tea or lunch and finally finished all with several to come back the next day for the doctor to see. We all went home ready to eat and go to bed.
The doctor and the driver got home at 1:30 a.m.on Thursday morning and the driver woke me to give me my grocery order—which had nothing cold that could have all waited until morning to put away but he wanted me to make sure I knew they were home! Then the lights went off at 3:30 a.m. instead of the usual 5 or 6 a.m. and by 5 a.m. I was awaken by the hospital.
A pregnant woman with high blood pressure had a seizure—so immediately I said get the generator on and prepare for a C/Section. I sent the guard to get Lori and Liz for the C/S and thought I would let the doctor sleep in a bit more until we were ready to cut since he only got in at 1:30 a.m. and of course the lady had another seizure while getting her ready for the C/Section.
We got the lady in theater, I put the spinal in and got her blood pressure down and then sent for the doctor. The guard went and knocked and no one answered and so the guard decided he wasn’t home because he had been gone for the past 6 days. So we waited and waited in theater and after 30 minutes I called the guards and ask where doctor was and they reply he is not home! By this time my blood pressure is raising and I said he is home, go knock louder and tell him to come now for a C/Section. So they did and immediately he woke up and came. Still being half asleep he thought I said the patient has 2 caesers not 2 seizures and so when he went to cut he said “ where is the scar?” Since I was half asleep also I said “what scar?” and he said “how did they do the 2 caesers?” Then I realized he was half asleep when I told him seizures and so I finally got through to him she was eclamptic having seizures! This was now a comedy of errors but we got through the operation and mom and baby did well! Our nursing student thought it was great fun and the rest of us were tired and trying to stay awake. We finished in time to go to work and started on patients and worked again flat out until 6 p.m. when we proceeded to go home and eat and to bed by 8 p.m.! We were so exhausted all we wanted to do was collapse in bed! Exciting night life here-ha!
The next day (Friday) was also busy and we ended the day with another C/Section! We usually have 2 C/Sections a month but whenever we get students here it seems like they wish for more and they get their wish! This one went well and we got home in time to eat pizza (our Friday night usual) with the lights of the generator until it went off after cleaning up after the C/Section. Major arrived home with our newest visitor at 10 p.m. and served dinner to them.
This weekend we have a guest from Harare, Sylvia Welsford, a friend of mine who was born and raised in Zimbabwe. She has fun stories of growing up here in the 50’s and 60’s. She is here until Tuesday with us.
This weekend is a bad ZESA weekend. Where we usually count on electricity all day on Saturday and Sunday, it had gone off at 6 a.m. each day and yesterday it came back on from 1-3 p.m. and then came back at 10 p.m. until 6 .am. this morning and none so far this Sunday morning since then. Oh well, we have the read and relax more, no time to do work on the computer and email! As I write a praying mantas has joined me on my dining room chair next to me. I’ll share him via picture with you!
The other exciting news is that the WHO declared the H1N1 flu epidemic officially over and this week they brought vaccine to our hospital to start vaccinating against the H1N1. I wonder if the western countries are now dumping their vaccines? They said there have been 200+ confirmed cases in our province, but nothing much seen here—usually flue for this time of the year. We are always a bit late in Zimbabwe!