Saturday, October 14, 2006

More Owies

By Britt:

It's been a day of heels and thumbs! This thumb belongs to the mom of those sweet twin girls that I posted about a few weeks ago. She was peeling plantains. Plantains grow on a plant that looks just like a banana tree. The difference between plantains and bananas is that plantains are not sweet and they are very hard, so you have to use a knife to peel them. Viejeyli (ya, I know - good luck with the pronunciation on that name!) is left-handed so she was holding the plantain with her right hand and cutting off the peel with a machete in her left hand. Are you getting a visual? Ow! So instead of peeling the plantain, she peeled her fingernail.

The cute thing was Hope's interest in it all. I think we may have another future doctor on our hands. She is always really interested whenever someone's here and asks smart questions. She helped me by handing me the stuff I needed. Too cute. I ended up injecting lidocaine to numb the area so that I could do a thorough job of cleaning it. These fingernail wounds are so very painful, it was great that I was able to numb it up. She will come back everyday until it is healed for dressings.

The other thumb was much more minor - a lady who was cutting up fruit and knicked her thumb. But she is also verrry pregnant. That is the 4th lady this week that I've seen along our road and asked how many months along with the reply 'nine'. I guess I better hurry up and learn how to deliver babies. ;)

This actually happened last week ... but I know how many of you appreciate these medical photos ;) so I decided to post it. This heel cut was also (are you seeing a pattern here?) caused by a motorcycle. I usually don't even try to understand the specifics of the accidents. In my mind, they all stink, so the 'how & why' seem irrelevant. But this accident was actually a repeat ... the same motorcycle/driver who caused Aida's very similar heel cut. No good. This heel belongs to an eleven-year-old girl named Milen. It was mainly a surface cut, but then there is the deeper 'hole' that is kind of hard to see in this photo. It needed only 5 stitches. It has closed up nicely and now we're just working on getting the stubborn surface-scrape to heal.

I've had a pretty slow week this week ... it's been kind of nice. School has been kind of insane so I'm alright with the lack of interesting medical cases. That icky knee is healing very well, thanks mainly to the antibiotics that Lori in Cazale gave Gauzman to help with healing/infection after the abscess removal she did for him. I will take an updated photo when he comes on Monday.

Otherwise, things have all been going really well. I actually love school for the first time in a long time. I am taking five courses from NWC's distance ed program. My favorite subject is geography, with fitness as a close second. I enjoy the self-motivation/time-management aspects of this program. I am given the lesson assignment and then a week to complete all of the its components. There is also interaction with other students online, through the discussion boards. I've even gotten into a few friendly debates, which is always fun. (well I think so anyways ... remember, this is the girl who wanted to be a lawyer before coming to Haiti:) The exams are all online ... that's been kind of interesting, but I've come to like it. My chemistry lab kit came but we ran into another problem ... ammonia, concentrated hydrochloric acid, lye and denatured alcohol are not readily found in Ayiti. So, my poppa is attempting to send them through Agape; hopefully Agape is okay with weird toxic liquids. And hopefully no Haitian customs guy thinks he needs them.

Tomorrow we are all going into Port for church. Enjoy your sweat-free Sunday. Luuccky!