Wednesday, November 15, 2006

A Long Medical Post from Britt

By Britt:

Whoa, what a crazy last few days I have had! It will be good to get it all down on (cyber) paper so that maybe I can rid myself of this case of tet chage (loaded head). I am putting a picture of a cute baby at the top, see how considerate I am? :) I don't think that any of these pictures are *that* bad but you probably will, so if you aren't into burns, cuts, abscesses, jaundiced babies, keloids or road burn then don't scroll down. Okay so now that we've got that cleared up, I'm going to just start listing off the various cases/people. These are all from yesterday and today.

This is Jeanclauder, he is the two month old burn victim from this post. I got the rest of the story ... mom and dad weren't home so an older sibling was 'watching' him. A kerosene lamp fell/got pushed off of the table and landed on his arm. I am actually really pleased with how it looks, it is a lot better than I originally thought it was. He is a healthy baby otherwise so I think that it should heal in no time.

The baby below is named Lovely. She was born 25 days ago and weighs 5 pounds. Her mom is sick and in the hospital. Mom was never able to get baby to latch-on so we have (with the excellent help of Sharon Steen) eliminated breast-milk jaundice as the cause. So at this point we're not sure why this is happening but we're "degaje"-ing it and told grandma - who is caring for Lovely while mom is away and sick - to hold her in the sun for a short period in the morning and then again in the late afternoon while the sun isn't so strong. (I only knew to do this thanks to the advice from Licia and Lori in Cazale. What would I do without you guys?!) We've also given a can of formula; I hope to add Lovely to the widow's mite -- a special monthly fund especially for babies with sick or deceased mom's. If all goes well, she'll keep getting formula and hopefully get better as the days of 'sun basking' continue on. If you think of it, please pray for her, that she get used to the milk and bottle (she's mainly only been having water from a spoon) and for her grandma and mom.

Even with her yellow eyes, I think she is such a doll.

Okay so here's another doll. Her name is Rimen and she is seven. Last Thursday she fell out of her bed and got this nice shiner. The problem is that a.) it needed to be stitched and b.) they put tobacco on it which didn't really do much more than make it hard to clean up and make my mind spin. Tobacco? On wounds?? The thing is this was the second person in one day who came with their tobacco-dressed wound. The other person I asked 'why' tobacco works - they just said that it is something the old people do. So I don't know, but seems pretty weird to me. It's like the usual toothpaste with a funky twist. It is pretty wide and sort of deep, and will take longer to heal than it would of, had we stitched it. But now I get to see her sweet face for a week or more. :)

I am really bummed/angry, but I accidentally deleted the picture for my next patient. But I want to tell about it anyway because it is really weird/interesting. Her name is Erline, she is twelve and a dog bit her on the leg two weeks ago. It didn't look that infected, I cleaned it out and gave triple antibiotic and bandages for her to change everyday. But I made the mistake of asking what they did with the dog. I guess that this is the case with some people - not all - but they found the dog, cut off its hair, and then burned the hair. So I asked Robenson if this is a voodoo thing but he just said it's something that people believe or think works, but doesn't really have any direct ties with voodoo. It is a superstition thing, really weird ... I went on to make a bigger mistake of trying to figure out why they didn't just kill the dog, in order to prevent it from biting someone else. Seems pretty logical to me. Maybe some of my smart, experienced Haiti-dwelling friends can shed a little light on this weird practice.

This armpit belongs to a 17 year old girl named Polen. The abscess started forming fifteen days ago. I emailed my doctor friends, the Steen's, yesterday to ask if this was something that they thought I could do. They gave me the go-ahead and so we scheduled the little operation for this evening. The problem is, it had already burst so I really just ended up cleaning it out and packing it. I was kind of disappointed because I wanted to see the fluid that was underneath. Polen said that it leaked a lot last night and then some today. I did the same thing we did with Pastor Silanse, going in with the hemastat's closed & opening them inside, to break up any remaining pockets of pus. Then I 'pressure-washed' it with water and betadine. I packed it (with betadine soaked gauze strips) and bandaged it. Thank you to my assistant Paige for all of her help. She will return everyday until it is healed.

This started two months ago after she got her ear pierced and it got infected. I am thinking this is a keloid but correct me if I am wrong. It is very loosely attached, literally hanging by a thread. I am discussing it with my advisers (who I love, appreciate, and adore) to see what might be done for her. It is too early to say if I will do it or not, but it could be a quick snip and a few stitches, but we'll just wait and see. I'm open to hearing more opinions ... let me know if you want a better (close-up) photo of it. I hope that it is something that I can do, but if not, I will have no problem sending her on somewhere else.

I don't know how many more photo's will load to this post so continue down below for the motor-vehicle accident patient. The pictures will be at the very bottom.