Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011


Cheryl, Mrs. and Dr.Kajese at Christmas brunch

Christmas Brunch


Christmas Brunch




Tea and Bread after church


Mrs. and Mr. Mereki and Carolyn and Michael


Church at the Hospital on Christmas morning


Michael holding a gift for the family


Michael opening a gift



Cheryl getting her gift bag from Major



Staff and their gift bags


Major as Father Christmas



Staff at the hospital party on 23rd



Caroling on the lorry


What a wonderful Christmas we had and I hope each of you did too. This has been a busy week leading up to Christmas. We had movies on Tuesday and Friday nights for 2 weeks leading up to Christmas. The community comes and joins us. We were happy to be rained out one night but postponed the movie until the next night. We were happy to have needed rain.
This past Wednesday night we went caroling in our lorry (big truck) and at each place we stopped added more people to the truck. We ended up with about 40 people squeezed in! We gave out sweets to all the people we sang for. Thursday was a holiday here and the doctors were gone for a wedding, so I did rounds and discharges and then with Cheryl, and the Mereki kids we put together the gift bags for our staff to be given out the next day. That day was hot so jumped in the pool when I got home before making 6 cakes for the party! We were so happy to have electricity all day except an hour during dinner time.
Friday we worked until 1 p.m. and we were running here and there to get everyone’s work done by 1 p.m. so we could start our staff Christmas lunch. We finally got started close to 2 p.m. Michael Mereki played DJ for us and we were happy to have electricity from about 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. when usually on Friday’s we don’t have electricity. We served a wonderful lunch of chicken. beef, rice, Cole slaw and gravy. It was so good. For dessert we had chocolate cake and ice cream—some people had never eaten ice cream before so it was a real treat. We played games, danced, sang and ended with giving a gift bag to each of our 96 staff members of rice, sugar, flour, oil, Mazoe (drink), soap, socks and a scarf! We had bags sent from the US and they were beautiful bags for each which they all enjoyed. We had close to 80 staff there for the party which was great considering many were on leave or days off. We were happy that we had some tent awnings which came in the recent container to put up in our dining area to give us some shade. It was a toasty 108 that day!
We finally finished about 4:30 p.m. and then had a few patients to see and I helped Major pay our construction crew and finally got home at 7:15 p.m. in time for prayers and movie. Went to bed about 11 p.m. exhausted!
Up early to get started on Christmas Eve baking and then to the hospital for work. Got home by 12:30 p.m. and continued with baking. I made cookies, doughnuts, pumpkin and banana breads and Cheryl made an apple pie for our Christmas Eve present opening. We also made coffee, tea and hot chocolate.
The electricity was on from Friday night until about 2:20 p.m. on Sat and then tried to come back for a few minutes about 3 p.m. and died. We knew there was a fault and thought that is it—no electricity for Christmas! I sent them a text message to tell them of the fault and at 7 p.m. when we went to the hospital to start our Christmas Eve candlelight service just as we lit the candles, ZESA came on! Wow! We actually had to go around and turn off lights to have our candlelight service!
After the service, the Mereki family and Dr. Kajese joined Cheryl and I for snacks and opening gifts. We all got wonderful gifts and enjoyed our time together. Major drank 2 large cups of coffee and we kept waking him up as he was so tired! No one left until about 10:30 p.m. When again we fell into bed exhausted!
I was up by 5 a.m. on Christmas morning to start cooking again! We do a lot of eating here! We decided we would have a brunch after church—so I started cooking so it would be ready and we would just have to heat it up when we got home. We were happy to have received 6 mls of rain during the night which cooled us down and it stayed pretty overcast for the day with some more sprinkles here and there. The high for Christmas day was 95 and low 78! Don’t you wish you were here?
We went to church at 8 a.m. and we had a good crowd. We held it at the hospital so the patients could join us. Over 200 people came and then we served bread and jam and margarine and tea to all who came. They ate until they were so full! This was a great Christmas for them.
At 11 a.m. Dr. and Mrs. Kajese, Major and family and Major’s cousin and son joined Cheryl and me for a brunch. We had quiche, ham, sausage, French toast, banana and pumpkin bread, doughnuts and hash browns. We ate outside in my dining room and had tea, coffee and juice. Everyone ate until they were so full—we had a hard time moving! We ate and visited for 3 hours and then Major and family left for their farm at Batanai while the rest of us went to take a long nap.
We ended the day with showing the Jesus film in Shona at the hospital with a good crowd that came out for that. The 26th is a holiday here so we plan to sleep in and go to work at 9 a.m. and only work a half a day and then get ready to go away on Tuesday for a short holiday to the Eastern Highlands to visit with our friend Gladys.
We hope you and your families had a Blessed Day praising our God for the gift of his son.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Container arrives!

African flying termite


The invasion begins--they love light!





Christmas is up at home!




Dr. Kajese and Dr. Kellert holding up ovarian tumor removed!


Starting the surgery for the ovarian cyst!



Starting to remove the container off the lorry



The Lorry arrives with the container



The container from Sebastopol Christian Church arrived on Saturday last week (10th of December). It was quite an experience to get it here; in fact it could be a movie script!
One of doctors left on Saturday at 6:30 a.m. to go to Chinhoyi with the driver and they only got about 5 miles away from the hospital when they found the truck bringing the container had broken down on our big hill (Dzimaiwei Hill—which means “Oh my goodness” hill) since the night before. The driver came back to tell us and quickly Major took off with the Land Rover and tractor to pull it up the hill. They got there by 7:30 a.m. and went to work. The doctor and driver went on to Chinhoyi (3 hours away) while Major went to work trying to get the truck with the container up the hill. Shortly after they went to work—another truck showed up (large lorry) which had come to pick up peanuts from the hospital. The driver decided that he could get by on the right of the truck and then promptly got his wheels stuck off the road so now there were 2 trucks stuck at a V shape angle! The whole hill was now totally blocked.
The combi’s which transport patients back and forth to the hospital couldn’t get by the trucks. So the one’s bringing patients from the hospital pulled up to the truck and let their passengers walk around trucks and get to another combi who was bringing patients to the hospital. Those people got out and walked to the combi stuck on the other side. So they traded passengers and kept going back and forth like that while the trucks were stuck!
Soon it was learned that the truck carrying the container had a starter problem—so they went to work on that. Our mechanic was the driver who had gone to Chinhoyi with the doctor—so they called and told him to hurry back.
While they were waiting for the mechanic to get back a pickup truck driven by a local headmaster came up the hill before seeing the trucks. Major’s son Michael tried to wave them down to warn them of the obstacle ahead and they assumed he wanted a ride, so didn’t slow down and went over the hill to see 2 big trucks stuck, blocking the way. The driver panicked and had no brakes—so he decided to drive into the hill to stop and in front of all the people flipped his car over and ended up upside down! The people said it was like watching slow motion crash! They waited to go to the car thinking they might have died but soon a hand was reaching out the window and so they ran to drag them out of the cab of the truck. They helped to turn the truck over and the roof was dented in and windscreen shattered, but they got them going away and they turned around and left with the truck with no brakes!
Shortly after 1 p.m. the driver arrived back from Chinhoyi fixed the truck with the container and they used the local road crew caterpillar to pull out the 2 stuck trucks—one at a time and they finally arrived at 4 p.m. with the container and to pick up the peanuts! Major and group arrived hungry, dusty and tired, but quickly went to work to pull the container off the truck. It took awhile but finally it was off! By 5:45 p.m. the peanuts were loaded on their way and the truck with the container offloaded was on their way too! What a day!
We are so thankful for the container and so far in a week haven’t had a chance to unload it because Major was in Harare 3 days this week. We hope to get it open on Monday.
We are happy to report we have had over 100mls of rain this week. People are happy and busy in their fields! Keep praying for rain it is working. We have had enough rain to bring out the flying termites tonight and they are coming in the house as I write! Luckily it only lasts for 2-3 nights a year, so the invasion has begun. This is a favorite snack for the local people so they are so happy!
On Thursday Dr. Cheryl Kellert took out a 9 pound ovarian cyst/fibroid. She had to work hard to dissect it. This lady looked like she was 20 months pregnant when she came in and had been living with all the extra fluid and mass for 3 years. We drained 15.5 litres of fluid out of the mass before the operation! We had referred her to Chinhoyi Hospital last year and they did an ultrasound and said they saw no mass! How thankful we are here to have Dr. Kellert her who made such a difference in this woman’s life! I am sure word will spread fast and many more women will come for help.
Yesterday (Friday) Major, Cheryl and I went off to Harare for the day to do some Christmas shopping and some errands for the hospital. We left by 5 a.m. and spent the day on the run! We left Harare at 6 p.m. with the car full and got home at 11 p.m. We were all exhausted! Couldn’t wait to fall into bed. Those one day trips to Harare are killer days! We did enjoy lunch at the Belgian Chocolate Shop!
This afternoon was spent wrapping presents and putting them under the tree. This will be a busy week with Tuesday movie, Wednesday caroling, Friday staff lunch—need to bake 5 cakes, Friday night movie, Saturday night candlelight Christmas Eve service, after that opening presents and snacks at my house with Major’s family, doctors and wife and Cheryl and I. Sunday morning, church at the hospital, 9 a.m. with tea after for all who come and then brunch at noon here for Major and family, one doctor and wife and Cheryl and I. Monday is a holiday here—so we have some time to recover from the busy week!
Then Tuesday night (27th) Major and family and Cheryl and I head to Harare to spend the night and then leave early the next morning for Nyanga to see Gladys and do some exploring in the Eastern Highlands, an area full of fir trees, lakes with trout and waterfalls! We come back on the 31st to have NY Eve with the community which goes all night and have church at 5 a.m. on the 1st after the all night church meeting. Then we collapse!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

Christmas is up!




Hysterectomy at Chidamoyo with Dr. Kabanzi and Dr. Kellert and myself doing anesthesia



Thanksgiving dinner at Chidamoyo



Students enjoying all that food!






Major is getting ready to eat!



Thanksgiving was celebrated here on Sunday November 27th. Thanksgiving Day is not a holiday here and so it is always a busy day and no time to cook the feast—so we usually have it on Saturday, but Major and family wanted to go home to plant that weekend so we had it Sunday night after church. We had Major and wife Patience, Dr. Kabanzi, Dr. Kellert and 3 medical students from University of Zimbabwe who are here for 4 weeks with us. We started by explaining what Thanksgiving was and they really got into the eating part!
We had planned on having chicken because turkey is hard to come by and very expensive here, but the driver didn’t get to the butchery in time to pick up the chickens I ordered and paid for, so we had one small chicken and roast pork with all the trimmings! We had a table full of food and those young men could eat. Cheryl (Dr. Kellert) made 2 pumpkin pies and an apple pie! So we really enjoyed and left some leftovers for some days.
We have been busy at the hospital and Dr. Kajese has been gone for a month as his father was critically ill, but now doing better and then he had a 2 week workshop that lasts until today and then he is coming home. He is most anxious to get back to the bush.
We stayed closed to home to cover for him and went 2 days to Harare to do some pre-Christmas shopping, visit the doctor, and pick up Major’s kids who finished school on the 30th of November. This is the end of the school year and the new school year starts on January . They were so excited to be out of school!
Saturday the 3rd was spent in decorating for Christmas—it took all day, but I got it done! I have 30 boxes of decorations so it takes time! Our electricity had been off all day from 12:30 a.m. due to a fault but it came back at 5:30 p.m. and we got to see the lights light up!
Last week we had a young 18 year old walk in having delivered a premie at home—still attached to the placenta. Dr. Cheryl Kellert went to take care of it and then she was in my office saying it is twins, and then 10 minutes later she was saying it is triplets and then within another few minutes—it is quads! Four babies and no IVF! First pregnancy. It was only about a 24 week gestational pregnancy so none lived beyond a few minutes after delivery. This was definitely a first for all of us!
Yesterday we had another first in the 31 years I have been at Chidamoyo. We did our first hysterectomy with Cheryl teaching as she worked with what instruments we have and did well. We also had a C/Section to start off the day. It was hot in the theater and the small air conditioner was struggling so she came out soaked with sweat! It was a great morning!
We also received word yesterday that she will be stationed in Chinhoyi to do her 3 months acclimatization to get her medical license here. She goes on Monday morning to arrange this. We are glad she will be close (3 hours) where we can refer patients and also she can come home on weekends. She will learn what can and can’t be done in the Province and meet with people we work with. Part of the time she will be living with Nick and Lindale Marshall Adams, missionaries in Chinhoyi. We are hoping this will be a great time for her and also it will go fast so we have her back here again soon.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

5 Days without ZESA!

Mr. Mereki 20 years and Mrs. Mereki 10 years getting their certificate from Dr. Kabanzi


Presenting certificates


Long Service Award Dinner



Dinner for Long Service Awards


Dr. Kellert sewing up a leg




TOP TEN THINGS YOU LEARN WHEN YOU HAVE NO ZESA* FOR 5 DAYS IN A ROW
(ZESA is the name of our electric supply company in Zimbabwe and stands for “Zimbabwe electricity Seldom Available!)
10. It is your fault that ZESA went out because you bought extra meat, had 2 pigs slaughtered, filled the freezers full for a staff party on Saturday this week.
9. Everyday you struggle to call the ZESA fault line on Skype( because there is no cell phone coverage when there is no electricity) with your battery back up with a small amount of time before it will die, to report that you still have no electricity. The answer you get everyday is “has this been reported?”
8. You learn quickly not to wear that headlight flash light that is so great because it leaves your hands free to do things. As the only light in the room it attracts all the bugs to bombard you in your face!
7. When you have Sunday night church you can dose off discreetly and no one notices (unless you snore) because only the person preaching has a light and the audience is in the dark.
6. When Major came from Harare on Wednesday night and he stopped at the ZESA office in Karoi to see if they had worked on our fault, he was meet by a ZESA employee holding a candle, because their electricity was out, and asking “did you report the fault?” (Yes you have noticed that is the “only” question they can ask)
5. You have a constant battle at night whether you should put your mosquito net down and then sleep with no air all night because the air doesn’t seem to get through those small holes in the net very well, or keep the net up and let the bugs dive bomb you all night and hope a mosquito doesn’t bite you and give you malaria, but at least you felt some breeze during the night!
4. You try and stay up past 7 p.m. with a few solar lights which immediately attract every bug within a 25 mile radius and so you constantly are picking bugs off your body, under your clothes, and hair, until you finally give up and turn off all the lights and go to bed early!
3. You look forward to that cold shower in the morning (no lights, not hot water) when you get up because you have been sweating all night!
2. You invite lots of people over for lunch and dinner because you want to use up all your meat that is melting in your freezer. Meat every meal—wow am I happy or what?
1. The whole audience breaks into a cheer when last night during the community movie (run by generator) when ZESA came on! Even those who don’t have electricity in their homes are cheering because they know the hospital needs electricity for X-rays and Lab tests! And you go to bed with the fan blowing on your face and all seems right with the world!


We kept Dr. Kellert this week. I made it sew up a lacerated leg this week. i told her you are a surgeon you can sew a leg closed--it had been a few years since she had to do that!


Saturday I cooked dinner for 30 people as we had our Long Service Award dinner. We celebrated 13 people who have worked 5, 10 and 20 years at the hospital. I cooked 4 pork roasts, 22 pounds of beef, coleslaw, 22 pounds of mashed potatoes, 10 butternut squash and 2 cakes.

ZESA came back on Friday about 9:30 p.m. and stayed on until 7 a.m. Saturday--just in time for me to have the pork roasts cooking and the cakes in the oven. Quickly switched to the gas oven and hoped the cakes wouldn't fall in!

The electricity stayed off the whole day so we turned on the generator for the party. ZESA finally came back at 11:30 p.m.! This morning it was still on so I quickly went to work getting a load of wash out. Soon my back veranda was flooding. Called Major and we quickly found that a rat had eaten through a plastic hose in the washer. We temporarily fixed it with duct tape and now on load 3 of washing and have one more to go!

Only a few drops of rain this week! We are very dry and need rain so badly! Keep praying for rain!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Pray for rain--it is dry!

Price giving with Headmaster at Zvarai

Major and Cheryl eating after the prize giving


Cheryl and I at Prize giving


Prize giving with students and teaching



Students performing for parents and us


Nurses station and Trauma room going up



Pediatric extension and Nurse station and Trauma room under construction



Major, myself, Dr. Kajese, Dr. Kellert and Dr. Kabanze



The 3 Doctor K's



Well it has been another busy week in Club Chid. The three Doctor K’s are all working hard and Dr. Kellert got to do her first C/Section with Dr. Kajese on Wednesday evening. It went well and she is now used to our instruments, sutures and non-disposable everything—don’t throw those gloves away—we reuse them!! The C/Section was done on Lori’s maid who had come the day before to clean Dr. Kellert’s house—that put her into labor. I told her she should have tried that on her patients in the US “clean my house and you will go into labor!”
The building continues on the Peds extension and also the Nurses Station/Trauma room and updating the new X-ray room. Major is keeping busy supervising it all.
We have been having severe water problems for sometime and we finally broke down and paid a company from Harare to come out and help us. We also got new pumps and pipes and it seems to be working much better now. This is always a time of water shortage because we haven’t had rain for 6 months and it is hot so people use more water. I was jumping in my swimming pool to keep cool and smell better for a few days!
It is still hot but our very hot weather seems to have broken. We are now running in low 100’s everyday and the past 2 days we have had some wind which helps to keep us a bit cooler. It is wonderful to come home from work and jump in the pool and swim some laps! It is a nice 88 degrees at 8 a.m. this beautiful Saturday morning as I write this. Just talked to my family in California and it was 32 degrees and raining as I talked to them on Skype! I am glad I am here.
We had a big storm last Saturday with lots of lightening and thunder for a couple of hours. It burnt out our modem for the internet and part of our satellite dish for the internet so we had to have the technician out this week to put us back on line at the hospital. Since then it has been dry—no rain! People are anxious to start plowing and planting.
On Friday I was invited to be the “Guest of Honor” at the end of year Prize Giving for Zvarai Primary school about an hour away. Major, Dr. Kellert and I went for a big program with a band, dancing, speeches and then helping to give out the prized for best students in each class. The program was about 4 hours long and then they gave us a feast of rice, sadza, chicken, liver, intestines, and beef. We had a wonderful time and came home exhausted and ready for bed!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Dr. Kellert arrives--yeah!

Dr. Kellert in office
New X-ray room next to theater (from OPD veranda)




New X-ray room


New X-ray room




Building the new Nurses station and Trauma room




Trauma Room/ Nurses Station

Pediatric Extension



After 5 months of correspondence back and forth, and applications, sold house and moving, and waiting for a medical license in Zimbabwe —Dr. Cheryl Kellert and OB/GYN from the US arrived on Tuesday November 1st to become our 3rd doctor! Who would have thought! After so many years of no doctor, then 1 doctor, then 2 doctors and now a third—wow!


She arrived here on Tuesday evening and we had dinner for her with the other doctors and Major and Patience. Then she gladly went off to bed after 2 days of straight flying. She left Connecticut in a big snowstorm and arrived to 110 weather here—wow what a shock on the body—but she has done well and was up in the morning to start work!


We have been busy getting her house ready and an exam room ready. While we are building a new X-ray room we are now using the old X-ray room for her exam room and office. We are still using it for our X-ray room, until the new one is done in about 1-2 weeks, so they trade off back and forth!


She will have to go and work for 3 months in a government hospital to acclimatize her to the work here and we are trying to make arrangements that it will be in Chinhoyi which is close (3 hours) and she can come on weekends and also we can refer patients to her and we can call her for help. We will keep her here for a couple of weeks until it is sorted out where she will go.
On Friday we had a meeting of the 6 mission hospitals in our Province and we were the hosts. We had 17 people that came and 9 spent the night. They arrived for tea in the morning, we had our meeting and then they went to tour the hospital while I started dinner for 15 people. We had a braii—steak on the BBQ and Cheryl helped me to cook.

After dinner we had our Friday prayer time and then a movie for all. The next morning we had 15 people for French toast for breakfast! The people left about 8:00 a.m. and Cheryl and I and Dr. Kajese went to the hospital to make rounds and by 1 p.m. we were home for lunch and a nap!
This past week our X-ray person was at a workshop and his back-up replaced him. The back-up, a nurse aide, was on nights, so when the electricity came on at night he took the X-rays. One morning we found he had taken 5 X-rays of a guy who had no lung on his right side because of fluid. We asked why he took 5 films and he said he couldn’t see clear on the right side so he thought he had made a mistake so he kept taking X-rays thinking it would clear up on that side! We wish it were that easy-ha!


We are happy that our construction projects are progressing. The Pediatric extension is up to roof level and now they have started on the nurses /trauma room. The X-ray room is almost finished and the electrician has brought power to it!


We had our first big rain storm of the year this afternoon at noon. We had 2 inches of rain in about 1 hour and lots of noise from thunder and a lot of lightening, with a close hit in the yard of the hospital that made all of us jump! We are thankful for the start of our rainy season and pray this will be a good one with enough food for everyone this year. At least it cooled us down after a week of 118-119 degree weather every day--for the last 2 nights we pulled a blanket up during the night to sleep--it got down to high 70's at night instead of low 90's!


Our new cellphone service went off line on Wednesday and it has not been back since--so much for having phone service! So if you have been trying to call us, there has been no coverage.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A new doctor is joining us!

Dr. Kellert on far right with Sylvia, Major and friend in Seattle in July









Well summer has finally come and with a vengeance. It has been not less than 118 for the past 4 days! Last night it was 92 when I went to bed at 10 p.m. and no electricity, so no fan until finally at 11:30 p.m. the electricity came on and was off by 5:15 a.m. We all feel very lethargic and can’t wait to jump in the pool after work. With no electricity during the day this week it makes it hard to work in our offices without air from a fan. I run and do as much paperwork outside my office on the veranda in between patients to get some air—even if it is hot—it feels cool! Somehow we have to figure out how to work outside, but most patients might object to be examined in the open!
We have some exciting news to share! I was contacted in June by Dr. Cheryl Kellert from Washington State. She is an OB/GYN that I worked with in 1989-1991 in Santa Rosa, CA. For years I have been trying to get an OB/GYN to come on a working vacation to teach our doctors how to do more surgery. She contacted me out of the blue and said she wanted to come to Chidamoyo and work fulltime with us. She was selling her practice, her home and belongings and wanted to come—sight unseen to work with us! We started to work on the paperwork needed to get her licensed. She met with Major and Lori when they were in the US in July. She sold her home in 12 days and by August quit her practice and travelled around getting ready to move here. She has spent the last 6 weeks in Connecticut with her mom and yesterday we received word her license to practice has been issued! She booked her ticket and will arrive this next Tuesday—November 1st! We have all felt from the beginning that God was working hard to put all the pieces into place for her to be here and now we are all so excited!
To now have 3 doctors and one an OB/GYN specialist is something we would have never imagined! We know that the hospital will benefit so much from her services and we all will be very busy. This will be an exciting time for our doctors who will have someone to mentor them and teach them a lot. Thank you to all who prayed with us. Keep praying us she packs up and travels here for her safety and travel mercies! Pray for her adjustment (especially to the heat) and her work with us.
We received word this week that Rotary International from Sebastopol, CA has again helped us so much. They have received a grant to buy a new truck for us to be used as an ambulance! They are also helping to provide new beds and furnishing for the new Pediatric ward. We are to roof level!
We are working on the new X-ray room and plan to turn the old one into Dr. Kellert’s office/exam room. God worked it all out for us to have an extra room just when we needed it! The new X-ray room is being wired and is almost done with the building—so they can start painting it next week and then we can contact the company to come and install the new X-ray machine and developer!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another busy week!

The Jacarandas in bloom in Harare!



Jeep Wrangler--Sahara



Handing over of the keys of the Jeep from the salesman Mr. Blantyre



Major starting the Jeep




Back of Jeep






Major and the New Jeep


This has been one of those weeks (I have been saying that a lot lately!) Our new doctor—Dr. Kabanzi has been all by himself as Dr. Kajese went off to pick up his new car from the Zambia/ Zimbabwe boarder over the weekend and planned to be back here by Monday. On Monday he received word that his father-in-law had a stroke and was in the hospital and so he and his wife left for Bulawayo to assess the situation. While they were taking care of the father-in-law in the hospital, his own father visiting his sister in Bulawayo got sick. He recently had one kidney removed in February and now was anemic with cardiac failure and his only kidney left seemed to be in renal failure. So the whole week they have been trying to get proper medical care for the fathers, which is always a challenge in Zimbabwe.
I got back on Friday night from my conference in Harare and got to work with the doctor for the first time on Saturday and by Sunday I had to ask him to put a urethral catheter in me as my constrictures were blocking off the way for me to urinate! Nice way to meet your colleague! I kept the Foley in for almost 2 days and then took it out—it usually does the trick. But this time I was in a lot of pain and no better, so Wednesday when we went to get the new Jeep we had ordered 2 months ago, I decided to see an urologist in Harare. So while Major went running around I went to the doctor who said lets do a dilatation under anesthesia in 3 hours. I said first I need to go and pick up a new car. So we ran to do that and then I drove to the hospital and checked in while Major ran other errands. By 3 p.m. I was in surgery and by 5:30 awake and ready to go home. He had picked up the kids from school for their exit weekend (mid term break Thursday-Tuesday) and they traveled home with us. He had to call one of our drivers who is on leave in Karoi to take a combi and meet us in Harare to drive my car home since I couldn’t drive after anesthesia.
This procedure I have had lots of time and with little pain but I started severe pain all the way home! Major wanted to take me back to the hospital and I kept saying no, we need to get home! I took about 2000mg of Ibuprofen on the way home and every 15 minutes had him stop to let me try and pee to try and relieve the pain but it didn’t. So much for my first ride in the new Jeep—couldn’t really enjoy it much when I was doubled over in pain, moaning in the back seat! We finally got home at 1:30 a.m. and I slept on and off all night, but couldn’t even think about getting up to go to work.
During that day we had a non-profit group show up to distribute food to some of our AIDS/TB patients—over 1000 people showed up hoping to get something, and one of our staff members wives took poison to commit suicide and they ended up intubating her and bagging her all night by hand until she recovered! A human respirator! And she made it! And our new doctor didn’t pack up his bags to leave yet! Does this sound like a good medical drama or what?
We got a Skype call through to the doctor who said I could put a catheter in again, and so Dr. Kabanzi put it one in again—2 times in one week! Gave me some oral morphine and I slept almost continually until 5 p.m. Major and 10 men left for the men’s conference in Bulawayo finally about 11:30 a.m. he kept hanging around to see if I needed to be rushed back to Harare. By 5 I got up to shower and sat up for the first time in a day and then visitors started arriving—because they know if I don’t go to work I am dying—so they wanted to check! Then they told me exciting news—our cell phone tower had been turned on that afternoon and we could make calls from anywhere on the mission! I picked up my phone and called Major right away who was still on his way to Bulawayo! I called to say “Major, this is sister, I am in heaven and it is a good place!” He didn’t think it was very funny, but was glad I was a bit better. Then he proceeded to tell me how wonderful it was to drive the Jeep and so comfortable and how many times he stepped on the brake thinking he had to clutch—it is an automatic! He just went on and on about the truck and how people stared at it everywhere because they had never seen one before! He told me had at least 50 calls from people that day telling him that we now had network coverage!! Of course where they were headed had no coverage so he can’t call all weekend!
Friday I got up to go to work and felt better. I went with my catheter in and my patients and staff just stared at me! I stayed until about noon and then came home and slept for 2 hours and then went back at 2 until 4 and then came home to sleep again! I was just so wiped out but the pain was so much better!
Friday night is Pizza night at Chidamoyo, so I invited the doctor and the 3 female medical students over for pizza. Then after prayers we turned on the generator to watch a movie with Monica, Mereki’s and the students and doctor—I went to bed and slept until 7 a.m. this morning.
I made the decision to take at the catheter because it was so irritating and now am doing much better. Major had gone into Bulawayo to get diesel for the car and so he called to say hi and make sure I was still living! He kept saying the Jeep was the big attraction and everyone wanted their picture taken with it! Then got up and was able to go to work until 11, finished up discharges and came home to sleep—now I am feeling better. No electricity since 6 a.m. this morning so wish it would come on for the fans to cool us off a bit!
A big Thank you to all “Friends of Chidamoyo” and “The Benefit of Hope” in Seattle in July that raised the money for the new Jeep! We are so happy to have it and it is a true blessing to us! Come and visit us so you can ride in it!
We were told to come on Tuesday next week to get a letter to tell us if Dr. Cheryl Kellert has been approved for her medical license here. We are praying for the best and hope she will be here soon to add to the excitement of our work here.
Major will take the kids back for school on Monday afternoon and stay to get the letter for Dr. Kellert. We are all praying for the best! Major is so happy to go to Harare with the new car—he doesn’t mind going 2-3 times a week! He finally is learning to drive an automatic! I asked him how fast it can go and he said “Unlimited! But I keep to the speed limit!” Yeah, right! Thank you, thank you to all our donors!
We do hope to have a non-exciting week next week—is it possible?
Phone numbers for you from US:
Kathy: 011263772416270
Major: 011263882348309
We will get a hospital number soon and let you know! We have noticed that the coverage comes and go depending on electricity or not--so don't give up if you are trying to get us. Email is the best way to contact us.