Liberia 2017

Kwendin #7 | February 22, 2017

Well, sending yesterday's email was a challenge. I spent maybe an hour tryig various ways to get it to go. At the end of the evening I was persuaded I must be out of money for the phone to send data.    

Overnight I was awake at some point and thought of some other ideas, so this morning I managed to transfer my letter onto my phone (surprisingly complex, requiring about 4 or 5 steps that do not always work). And eventually I got into a spot where the network was strong enough to send. What a relief. I wonder which of the various ways will work for me tonight?  

All of which is just to say that every email that successfully reaches you people back home, is a miracle of God and is a subject of prayer and reason to praise God.  

The clinic today was busier. There were about 70 people, and our two teams worked through them OK. Actually when we arrived there was a very sick lady who had been bleeding since a miscarriage, and we spent a while getting her stabilized. She did well but Kristie in particular went back and forth keeping an eye on her all day long. Kristie also ran some more lab work--the staff now know to keep the little lab machine cool with cold packs in a box all day.  

We saw some wierd cases today too. One lady who might have HIV. A young fellow with a swelling on the side of his neck since birth, now about the size of his fist. A little girl who had been shot accidentally with a shotgun last fall, spent many weeks in hospital, and now has difficulty walking because she drags her left foot. And she still has many pellets inside her. A young teenager with insulin dependent diabetes who has not been taking insulin. A man in his twenties with some kind of hepatitis who is now heading into liver failure. One fellow who had cut his fingr with a machete a week ago, and at this point it was gangrenous and stinking. I spent a while trimming off dead tissue including the tip of his finger. He'll need ongoing dressings and I'll close up the stump next week when it is cleaner. And we saw hernias! lots of people with hernias. We are already fully booked for our 4 surgical days here. Overbooked actually--we will see what comes of that.  

Even with all that, we had finished seeing patients by about 2. And instead of breaking for lunch, we chose to just walk home and have lunch here. It was a hot walk again but not quite so intense as yesterday. Still we were hot and sweaty by the time we got here. Except for Kristie of course. She doesn't sweat at all, just "glistens". I like that phrase. Funny how the glistening drops run down her face at the time.  

Bob went in to Tappita today because it is market day, so many things are available that normally you can't buy in the town. So our groceries are stocked up. I asked him for a replacement fuse for the charger for our cordless drill, and that could not be found. We looked at the possibility of fixing the burned out fuse, and I managed to find a similar one in among our bits and pieces of solar parts. Turns out it was twice the capacity, so we put it in and it works fine. Thank you, God.  

We have been given a couple of chickens to eat. So Kate requested the honour of killing and butchering the chicken. She did it nicely under Bob's watchful eye--so there is chicken in the pressure cooker for tonight. I think the other one is not likely to live long judging by the crowing already.  

I am having to work hard at setting boundaries for seeing patients at the house. Now that we have been coming for 6 years, many people know us personally and prefer to come to the house to ask to be seen instead of wading through the crowd at the clinic. which I understand. But I know that if I start seeing patients here, I will get a lineup outside of patients to be seen before breakfast, before supper, and all through the evening. So I encourage them to see me at the clinic. Some of them are easier to persuade than others.  

I'll try to get this to go before supper.  

Dr. John Potts