Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Patient Update - Photos are not too bad

By Britt:

Remember this face? This is Sinyola, the vehicle-accident (click to view the story and before pictures) patient from a few weeks ago. I just wanted to give a little update and show you the after pictures. Everything is healed up besides one little part on one knee. The pigment is returning, she is walking around, she's happy and everything seems to be going well. She will stay in La Digue a little bit longer and then return back to her home and life in Port au Prince.

I am really amazed by this case/person ... first, the fact that she survived at all and second that it ended up being something that I could treat. Because that first night when I went to her house and cleaned the wounds by the light of a kerosene lamp ... well I didn't think she was gonna make it, or at least not with what I had to offer. God basically rocks.

Below is a picture of a boy named Olkens (yes, I thought of your Olkens, Ann) shin. He injured it and it had started to heal back up when a few days later he dropped a bucket of water on the partially-healed wound. I scraped out the bottom that was all dead and dirty and cleaned it out. It is almost healed, he is lucky it wasn't a few inches over and right on-top of the bone!

This is one of those 'woulda, shoulda, coulda' things. This sweet girl could have had stitches, and I would have done them for her but I wasn't here. And obviously she should have been able to go somewhere else but that's not exactly how it always works out here. I think it's because doing nothing costs .... nothing. So this case makes me bummed because it could be a lot better but I'm just going to work with what we've got.

The above photo is how it looked when she first came last Wednesday. She is seven and her name is Wisodline. So last Saturday (12 days ago) she was going to go buy something for her mom. And this happened when a dog bit her. Wi, un chen te koz sa!! (Ya, a dog caused that!) So maybe you can't stitch up dog bites, but the way that it looks, I think that's what should have been done. It was very smelly. I did bandages for her Wednesday and Thursday and then I didn't see her on Friday or Saturday so today I decided to find her and ask her to come. This is what it looked like today:

She/her mom put powder on it. And to say the least, it wasn't very pleasant to clean off. It always confuses me when this happens - when I start treating people and then they never show again until I go track them down. I don't take it personally, I just would think that free care would be something to be taken advantage of.

I understand that most people don't know that powder, toothpaste, or goat poo aren't the greatest of things to be putting on wounds, but I have learned to take take advantage of that and view it as an opportunity to teach. So today after I was done cleaning it again, I asked Wisodline to take me to her house so I could talk with her mom. Her mom was very sweet and I just asked her if she would work with me and send Wisodline to school a little early so she could get her bandages changed in the mornings. I nicely tried to explain that in the future, she should try soap and water rather than powder. She seemed to recieve it well and I was glad that she wanted to help me help her daughter.

This is what it looked like after I cleaned it today. I don't know what you think, let me know ... but I actually ended up packing it today. The bottom of the cut goes down really deep so I was able to get a lot of packing in it.

Mexico was great, I had a lot of fun. But at the same time it is so good to be back. I only have three weeks left of this semester, so I am looking forward to a nice long break.


P.S. Besides the weather report, we added a guest book/map to the left side of the blog. Please post a pin from your location when you get time.