Thursday, June 21, 2012

God's perfect timing

Well this is a special week for the hospital.  We are in a special immunization push this week called NIDS (National Immunization Days).  Throughout the country every child under 5 years old is revaccinated for Measles and Polio and caught up with any other immunizations they might need. 

This is always a busy time as many moms wait until NIDS and then they have to catch up.  The first day the team was gone from 8 a.m. until 10:30 p.m. covering 3 areas.  Sarah, one our interns who has been with us for almost 2 months, went out for her first Immunization clinic since she arrived and boy was it an experience!  She came home exhausted but willing to go back for more fun the next day!  She finally got dinner by 11 p.m.!

We welcomed Dr. Dereck Taniguchi and his wife Jo and son Kevin and Kevin’s girlfriend Rachel from Seattle on Monday.  Jo and Rachel are nurses and Kevin is applying for medical school next year.  So the second day we sent them off to help with NIDS and they saw over 760 children!  They came home exhausted but willing to do it again for the rest of the week.  They come home tired and ready for bed each day!  Dereck stayed with us at the hospital to see patients.

It has been such a blessing to have these visitors with us at the perfect time when we needed them the most.  The last two days they have been gone from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. without their help our teams would come back at midnight.  God is so good to provide just when we need them!

On Friday the 15th of June I went to see my doctor here in Harare with my results from South Africa.  He feels there is something sinister still going on and wants me to go to the US and see a Gastroenterologist.  Guess what? Dr. Dereck Taniguchi is a gastroenterologist and so I have been able to have a free consult with him and he has suggested some tests to be done in the US, and where we should go from here.  God knew what people we needed when!   So I am making plans to go to the US in July or August and see a specialist there to figure out what is wrong.  Maybe I will find Dr. House yet!
 Sarah giving Polio drops
 Jo giving Measles injections
The people waiting for their Immunizations
 Rachel playing with kids at Immunization clinic
Derek and Kevin in theater
Dr. Taniguchi making rounds with Dr. Kajese and Dr. Kabanzi
 Rachel giving measles immunization
Sarah drawing blood for CD4 counts

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

New truck arrives!

Today I was able to take a nice hot shower and with electricity! To me this was heaven! After 4 days this week of struggling with water we went to buy 2 new pumps for our boreholes—yes a constant issue! All this week I have been taking water from a barrel outside by bucket to flush the toilet and take a bucket bath! Since there usually hasn’t been electricity in the morning I manage to splash cold water on in a hurry, wash my hair and get out! Winter is here and it has been down to 48 this week—living in a fridge! We are all complaining it is too cold and looking forward to the October heat! I got my electric under blanket out and but it on the bed and set it so whenever the electricity comes on at night my bed warms up—yeah!

The one thing about winter here is the deep blue skies with no clouds! It is so beautiful. Fires in the fireplace are also nice!

This week I was sick in bed for 2 days, but managed to work a few hours in between fevers. I go to see my Zim doctor in Harare this next Friday so we can decide where we go from here. They still can’t figure out the cause of the fevers.

On Thursday and Friday we had an eye team from Harare that came to do cataracts. They sorted through over 1000 patients and did 88 patients. They remove the lens and put a new one in and the next day take the bandage off! You should have heard the people who were so excited to see again—some for over 15 years they could not see! It was so exciting and dramatic to share in their happiness! I wish we could heal all our patients so easily! Now 88 people who could not see before can see. So many of these old people were depending on children and grandchildren to help them and now they are able to care for themselves. How grateful we were! We hope they will keep visiting us quarterly to help the people in our area.

Of course extra patients coming for the eye team also meant extra patients for us. Since they were at the hospital might as well get my Blood pressure checked or get some aspirin for a headache! Our outpatient was packed for the whole 2 days.

This week we were able to finish the roof on our new nurses’ station/trauma room. They have begun the plastering of the big room, which we want to start using this room ASAP as our recovery room since we are doing more surgeries.

We also had a new nurse join us this past, Dr. Kajese’s wife, No, who is a qualified theater nurse. She has already started to organize our theater better and it is such a relief to have a scrub nurse always on hand! We had a C/Section at 0600 on Thursday morning and she was able to assist and scrub. In the past it was always a challenge to get someone off hours! We welcome here and Dr. Kajese is also happy to have her working here!

Major left Friday for Harare to pick up a new vehicle for the hospital. Rotary International through Sebastopol club and the great support of Steve and Roseanne Prandini raised the money for a new single cab Isuzu Diesel Long-bed Truck. We are having the canopy made and should be able to get it on in a week. Major will drive the new truck home today. We are so thankful for this support! God is so good! Can’t wait to see it here!

Eye team doing cateracts

New Recovery room--roof on starting to plaster walls

Major with new truck

Mrs. Kajese, our new theater nurse

Major and Kathy

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Back to work!

Revival at Major's village
I returned from South Africa on Friday, May 18th.  I was feeling better and I had more blood and urine tests run and were awaiting results.  Major was waiting to pick me up and I got to see Dr. Palleschi for a few minutes before he boarded his plane home.  He was kept busy for the 8 days he was in the country seeing many patients and teaching our doctors how to do scans, hernia repairs and prostectomies.  Dr. Kellert served as his scrub nurse some of the surgeries!

We left the airport and spent the next 3 hours running to get things for the hospital before places closed.  We got blood, car parts and some electrical supplies, propane gas and groceries.  Ran into my friend Gladys who was in town from her home 3 hours east of Harare and we were able to sit in her friend, Sylvia’s flat and have tea in the dark—no ZESA!  Then we headed for home and got here 12:30 a.m.

While I was gone a new visitor arrive named Sarah.  She just finished her first year of college at America University in Washington, DC.  She is helping me catch up on needed paperwork and putting some records on computer for easier access.  Her parents teach in the American School in shanghai with a friend of mine.

 By 8:30 a.m. I was called to do anesthesia for a C/S with Cheryl.  Then I had 7 Bible College students from our Bible College in Harare here for the weekend.  They come as seniors to learn how to minister to people with AIDS and how to learn some basics of hospital visitations.  We spent 3 hours learning some basics and then I sent them to visit patients on the wards while I finally went home to eat breakfast—which was now lunch!

In the afternoon we all left for Major’s village at Batanai for a church revival.  There were 5 churches invited and people just kept coming and coming!  We started with visiting and dinner.  Cheryl and Sarah went with me.   The meeting was to go all night and end with church the next morning.  We came home at 11:30 p.m. to sleep in a warm bed!

Sunday night after the group got back from Batanai we had a birthday party for Major—his 48th!  We had lasagna—his favorite and invited the Bible College students to join us for desert and presents.

Winter is here and most nights it is down to high 50’s.  In our non-insulated houses and opened screened houses that is cold!  Especially breakfast in my screened in veranda!  It is also getting lighter later—so it is hard to get out of bed at 5:15 a.m. in the dark and cold!

I have been back working at the hospital and it has been busy.  Everyone said they missed me a lot, and there was a lot of working waiting for me when I arrived back!  We have been very busy with patients the last 2 weeks and haven’t been getting home before 6:30 p.m. each night.

I have good days and bad days.  This past week I started my fevers on Tuesday and they have continued on and off.  They still haven’t decided what is wrong.  All tests show infection but all viruses they can test for are negative.  I will be seeing my doctor in Harare on the 15th of June with all my results from S.A. and they will decide where I go from here.

Last week we had Africa Day on 25th of May which was a holiday and Major’s kids were able to come home after school on Thursday and stay until Sunday.  We took the opportunity to celebrate Michael and Patience Mereki’s birthday on Saturday night with dinner and cake.  Patience was so exited because Major got her a washing machine!  He hooked up this week and she sat in front of the machine to watch it go back and forth the whole first load.  After all these years of doing laundry by hand she was so happy!

Last weekend Major went to a new church, Davari and held the first service.  He came home so excited and said “it was like Pentecost—people kept coming forward to be baptized.”  The only river near them has crocs and a girl was taken by one recently, so Major went back this Sunday with our lorry so he could transport people to the Tengwe River, free of crocs, for the baptisms.  He had 25+ to do!

Since I have been back our phone has been working well all the time.  This is a first for us and a great advantage!

 Michael and Mom celebrating their birthdays

Wednesday the tin for the Nurse’s station/Trauma/Recovery room arrived and the men started putting it on.  By Friday they had finished.  The truck brought more cement so now they will start plastering the inside.  The Vacation Bible School at Sebastopol Christian Church, later this month, is raising money for the paint and boarder prints for the rooms, so we hope it will be done soon!
 Major's Birthday
Bible College students from Harare