Monday Feb 28, 2011
Today was our first day at Tamale teaching hospital, KINDA… we went for our orientation, but of course had to be introduced to the hospital Matron and each individual floor that we were to work on, a few hours later we were done for the day. It was a little surprising to go through the hospital, some of the smells (especially in the septic surgical ward) were atrocious. The septic surgical, many burns and open fractures (not really sure what was under that gauze, I'm scared to find out) But the smell was enough to "knock a buzzard off a sh** wagon" as my father used to say. (rot and infection and at least one person had gangrene, a smell you never forget)
Tuesday March 1
We went to the Orphanage in a little village, the kids were amazing. They were so well behaved, they each got a stuffy that we had brought from one of our donators, we have made many children and parents happy with the children's toys, books, toothbrushes, toothpaste, coloring books and stuffies we carried for the million miles! ;) After we gave out the stuffies we brought them outside to teach them duck duck goose, they had so much fun, those kids can sure run and they found it humorous to make us white girls run! We MAY have unwittingly taught them to cheat… when someone was the tagger more than 2x we would…"stall" the goose so that other could sit down first. I had a funny experience that a 10-12 year old little girl was determined not to be stalled so she JUMPED over 2 other kids to get to her spot while I SNATCHED her out of midair! It was shocking and I sooooo wished I got it on camera, but there was laughter and cheers for a few minutes… hilarious indeed!
Wed March 2, 2010
It is officially 2 weeks till we start the trek home… some sadness as we are now getting to know some people here, but thrilled that I get to go home to my kids. I am having a hard time believing that I miss my monsters (who knew! kidding.. some days are almost unbearable). Today I worked on maternity, it is a hugely busy unit! there must be 80-100 patients, at least half of which are on the floor, with their babies beside them on mats or pieces of fabric that they have brought. The amount that the families do for these patients is amazing, they bring in food, clothing and help them with personal care. It is much different nursing, we are much more holistic caregivers where here is DEFINITELY the medical model.
Thursday March 3, 2011
Today was hard. A woman had given birth to triplets yesterday, they were born at 28 weeks and were 1.3-1.8Kg. Kelsey (my roomate was working in the neonatal intensive care with them the day they were born and had to resuscitate 2 of them. When I came in the morning they had both passed and the third was not looking we ll at all. I ambubagged him for 30 minutes with no luck of a heartbeat, I held him when it was time to stop, he was not alone. The mother was called into the room to say her goodbye to her final triplet, not a tear was shed. She pulled back the sheet to look at her son, touched his cheek, nodded her head. The other nurse pulled the sheet over the baby's head while the mother was still looking, so I pulled it open so she could see him again, this time she pulled it back further still and looked at his tiny fingers and toes, she nodded again and turned to leave… It was at that point that I had to turn around because I was going to lose it! This poor mother lost 3 babies in 1 day, but here it is determined by 'god's will' whether a baby will survive. In Canada we give a lot more odds to the baby, it is really hard to see when they don't. There were also 2 other babies that were tiny and too tired to eat, so mothers didn't think it was necessary to feed them because they were 'sleeping'. I hunted them down and had some other english speaking mothers tell them how important it is for them to feed their babies every 1-2 hours or the babies might not be able to survive. They seemed to understand, but I wouldn't be back to see if they made it. We as students did what we could to help the babies and the mothers.
Friday March 4, 2011
Today Ashley and I went up to the paediatric ward. There were babies from a few weeks old to 14-15 years old. Again, most of the care is done by families. There were so many other students on the ward it was almost overwhelming. I went around and read all the charts. There were a couple that had cerebral spinal meningitis, one of which was now severely mentally challenged (12 years old) and one who was 15 months, he was unconscious and had no voluntary movements and did not even respond to stimuli of any sort, not sure if he will make it or not, the nurses thought he has a chance, I'm not so sure… but, obviously I don't have the experience they do and I hope for the best for sure. We were fortunate enough that we got to give out some more toys and coloring stuff for the kids and babies on the ward, we saw many smiles and yes… still some paranoid looks of fear from a few of them. After we had given all of those out, we went down to the library to look up a few things that we weren't sure about as there were just too many people on the ward to really see or do anything more than we had done.
Saturday March 5, 2011
Well, it was bound to happen at one point… I never left bed all day. I was exhausted and needed to be somewhat close to a bathroom, not the funnest day. At least my roomy was sick too so we just lay in our beds and read. To be honest, I enjoyed not doing anything.
Sunday March 6, 2011
Independence day in Ghana. We had wanted to go to the Kontempo falls yesterday, but 4 of us were sick, so today we went. NOT the best day to go! There were HUNDREDS of people there and we were the most interesting things there apparently. Every time that we turned around there were people snapping pictures of us, it stands to reason I suppose considering how beautiful we all are! ;) After a few hours we decided to venture forth and were able to get into the falls. I had decided that I was just going to wear my dress so that I wouldn't be a spectacle, so as I carefully trod into the water about 4 steps in…. I fell, so now I was soaked anyway, nothing to lose now. So into the falls, I still wasn't going to go down the slide. Some people were very helpful getting us to the falls, others were downright scary! The first time the girls went down it was so sweet everybody helping, next thing we knew there were about 5 guys at the bottom of the slide waiting to CATCH the girls and cop a feel or 2 or 3… NOT the best situation, we left right after. Unfortunate, but a beautiful place, just don't go on a holiday. Apparently yesterday was quiet… OF COURSE IT WAS! UGH!…
Monday March 7, 2011
Today I decided to stay in bed again. My energy level just is not what it should be. I feel run down and achy. So, back to sleep for another 4 hours! When I woke I felt a bit better but still know that I have to be careful not to get sick because I'm sure that my body is not in the mood to fight. We did go out later to pick up a few souvenirs as we are only here for another 4 days. Time is really going fast now.
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Dr Abduli is awesome. He runs a free clinic here and does hernia repairs (among MANY others) for no cost. He just has donations of supplies and money from others. I am happy to say that UBCO / Global Nursing Students gave a little bit too along with bringing more supplies. Dr Abduli says 'every drop equals an ocean' he is a very nice man.