Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Wedding for Chidamoyo

The past 2 weeks have been great at work--some slower days as there have been a few drops of rain here and there.  People are anxious to get their fields ready and plant soon, so only the very sick have been coming.

Unfortunately after a week on IV meds I had 6 good days and then sick again, so back on the IV meds, waiting for the culture, but am already feeling better.  I manage to work and do everything with my IV cannula in!  Patients kind of give me a strange look!

We were very happy yesterday to spend the day celebrating the wedding of two of our staff members who met here at the hospital and now are married.  Alvern Mparadziwa, our theater and ART nurse married Prisllar Chimbavaira, one of our data entry clerks.

They were married in Magunje--an hour towards Karoi from here.  We took 3 car loads of staff and enjoyed the day. It was very hot and crowded in the small church for the 2 and half hour ceremony, but we got outside and stayed there for the eating and reception as it was much cooler!

We are happy for our two staff members and glad we were able to be there to support them!  The hospital stayed quiet and no emergencies while we were away for the day--yeah!

Major has been away since early Friday morning with ministers and men from here and all over the country for a National Men's Conference in Harare.  There was great attendance and great fellowship.  They will be back later today.

 Mr. and Mrs. Mparadziwa

 Hospital staff with the bride and groom

Staff at the wedding

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A week in Harare


This past week I took some days off and went in to my townhouse in Harare.  I had planned to be gone for 10 days of rest and relaxation in Harare as soon as all of my visitors left at the end of September.  I hadn't really been away since the visitors started in April and had lots of errands to do and also sort out some things at the townhouse.  I put in for 10 days of leave a month ago and as soon as I did the surgeons from Harare scheduled to come and month end reports had to be done, so I postponed for a couple of days and on the 11th of October took off for Harare.

My first stop in Harare was my doctor because I hadn't been feeling well for about 3 weeks.  She couldn't figure out what was wrong either and so ordered a bunch of blood and urine tests and the only thing that came back positive was a  bad Urinary Tract Infection going on.  She switched me to some new medication as the ones I had started on didn't seem to be working and we waited the 3 days for the Culture to come back.

Since I wasn't feeling very well I spent a lot of time sleeping, watching videos and reading.  I didn't really have the energy to go out and get my errands done.  I would go out and do a few errands early in the morning and then come home and recover!

By Thursday we found out the infection was resistant to all the meds I had been taking and only one medication that we had in the country was suppose to work, so had to go on a treasure hunt to find it.  It has to be given IV push over 5 minutes, twice a day, so had a cannula put in and have been mixing up the medicine and giving it to myself each time.  I have quite a bruised arm from all the times it took to get a cannula in (6!).  The first time I tried to give the injection it infiltrated, so luckily Dr. Kajese and wife came to visit and check on me and he was able to start another cannula that has worked ever since--only 2 more doses and I'll be done--yeah!

I spent the rest of my time in Harare doing a few errands and enjoying the Jacaranda trees which are in full bloom on the streets of Harare this time of the year!  Many streets are lined with the beautiful purple trees. 

On Saturday Major came in by bus to Harare to drive me home and brought Tongi, my gardener at Chidamoyo and so we went and bought some flowers and plants to put in my yard at the townhouse.  We left by 6 p.m. Saturday evening and arrived home by 11 p.m.  This gave me Sunday to rest before starting work on Monday.

While in Harare I did enjoy getting a manicure and pedicure one day and then went back on Friday for a full body massage and facial!  It sure felt good to pamper myself.  I guess I really needed to rest and recover and not run around so much as we usually do when we are in Harare.

Saturday morning, Lynn Johnson from Indiana came by for a short visit.  He is in the country for a couple of weeks to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Dewure Mission in Gutu, where he grew up as a missionary kid.  It was good to be able to see him for a few minutes.

I have been back to work for 3 days and it has been pleasantly busy--not too bad.  It is really our hot season now--it was up to 110 F at lunch time--I definitely have been enjoying getting in the pool after work to swim and cool off!  Harare was warm but cooled off at night so I had to use a blanket there--here I rarely use a sheet and keep the fan on all night.  Last night it was 88F when I went to bed!


 Jacaranda trees in full bloom in Harare

 Planting scrubs and flowers at townhouse

Tongi busy working in the yard

My bruised arm and cannula!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Visitors to end the week

We had a busy week of work and on Thursday we were joined by Megan and Matt.  Megan is a Pathology resident from Stanford and is working with us on a Research project over the next year.  She had been home to California and just came back and wanted to come out to get some information for her project.  She brought her boyfriend Matt with her.

We put Megan to work in the Lab reading some samples for us and Matt helped Major put some paperwork in the computer.  They were a big help for us and we enjoyed having them around.

Yesterday, Friday, was Matt's birthday so we celebrated with a cake!  We were giving him a bad time that Hurricane Matthew was named for him since it was hitting FL on his birthday.

Friday evening we were joined by our surgery team of 4 people from Harare.  They arrived shortly after 9 p.m. and after they arrived I fed them dinner and then they went to work.  They worked all night after working all day in Harare!  They did 11 cases and finished at 0815 this morning after working all through the night.  They came for breakfast and then left for Harare and hopefully some sleep!  They were all exhausted!

Megan helped look at some of the samples they took during surgery and then she and Matt left for home in Harare about 12:30 p.m.  

I went into the pool cool down as it went up to 110 today and is 91 this evening at 9 p.m.!  Trying to keep cool and relax!

 Matt celebrating his birthday with Megan

 Our doctor working with Harare team

 Mai Kajese and her friend who came as the scrub nurses

Final cases for the night!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Happy Birthday--It's a HOT summer!

This has been a pleasantly busy week with lots of new patients visiting the hospital.  One of our doctors was away for a 2 week workshop and the other was gone 4 days last week and 4 days this week for workshops, so I have been in charge.  One doctor came back last night so this morning we split the rounds.

I managed to keep everyone alive and well and did several deliveries, removed retained placentas, and augmented slow moving labors without having to send any patients to Karoi District Hospital this week.  Major was saying yesterday "we didn't have to send any ambulance to Karoi this week," and I said "don't say that too loud or you will break the record!"

Last Sunday was my birthday.  It started at 2:30 a.m. when I got called to help with a delivery problem.  Got back to sleep at 3 a.m. and then was called by 0700 for an induction patient who started bleeding.  We sat on her for a couple of hours to stabilize her and she continued to bleed so we ended up sending her to Karoi Hospital for a C/Section since there was no doctor here.

I went to church at 11 a.m. and when I walked in there was 1 woman and 6 kids and then Edwell Mereki, one of the elders walked in.  He said the church had gone to a Big Sunday at Njengoma and also there was a funeral locally.  So he did communion, read a scripture and prayed and service was over in 15 minutes!!  Wow--the fastest African church ever!  I was able to go home and sit in the pool and cool off from the heat for the afternoon!  Even managed to get a nap in.

At 5 p.m. I went to church at the hospital.  We have over 60 pregnant women waiting in our Mothers Shelter and so it was a crowded service.  They sing every Sunday evening and many were dancing hard--hoping it would put them into labor!

After church I went home and Major came over to braai steak and pork chops for my birthday dinner.  I went to their house for my birthday dinner.  We had meat, sadza, and peanut butter veggies--all my favorites.  We ate until we were very stuffed!  Major's Aunt from Batanai was here and she had never seen so much meat in her life!  We even had leftovers.

Major's daughter, Carolyn, made a birthday cake and I blew out the candles and opened gifts.  It was so nice.  I am happy to have reached 62 years and 36 of them here in Zimbabwe for God has blessed me with 2 home countries and lots of friends in relatives in each!

Summer is here and everyday it is 100+ degrees and at night in the 80's when I got to bed.  It was a cool 78 when I went to work at 7 a.m. yesterday.  I wake up looking forward to a cold shower in the morning to start the day!  I get off work and jump in the pool and cool off and get in some exercise in before dinner!

Patients are still bringing in a lot of barter to the hospital as money is very short in the country.  We are one of the few hospitals in the country that barter has worked all for.  I thought I would show you some of chickens people have brought in this week.  When they bring them into my office I quickly ask them to bring them to the clerk so I don't have to talk over squawking chickens when I am counseling!  Patients bring in maize and peanuts and other crops.  We take anything and they have brought everything--sometimes soap, blankets, cows, goats, pigs, turkeys and even a brake light and a solar panel!

Looking forward to a quiet afternoon and Sunday to sit in my pool and cool off and read!  No visitors now so no time schedules after work and I cook when I am hungry and eat when I want--what a life!

It's my birthday--September 25th!

Pregnant women singing and dancing at Sunday evening church

The meat on the braai!

Dinner with Major's family

Carolyn bringing the Birthday cake

Lucky I didn't have to blow out 62!

 Summer is here!

Chickens coming for payment at the hospital

 Maize and peanuts come in each day

More chickens!