Day 2: Part 1 — L'Hopital Bernard Mevs‎, Port-au-Prince, Haiti

There is so much to say about today we decided to break the day into two parts so that our readers can read Part One, then take a break, get a coffee, visit the bathroom, etc., and then resume reading with Part Two.

We are in a bunk with 4 other women — no coed dorming this time. The other women are RN's working varying shifts so it is a bit challenging functioning in the room with different sleep cycles.

We started the day in Med-Surg mobilizing several ortho patients. So different from the United States. The medical student told me we shouldn't be getting the POD #2 partial-hip replacement up because she "just had surgery". I needed to reassure her that yes, in fact, she should be getting up and walking. (Wanted to tell her that her Foley catheter should be coming out as well but bit my tongue on that one).

This patient, while moaning and saying "no no no no no", proceeds to gently move me aside and start scooting herself to the edge of the bed. Her son is present and assisting and trying to communicate something to me and I am a little slow on the uptake. However, when he ultimately pulls out the bedpan hiding under her bed and proceeds to help her lift her gown, the woman, who is supposed to be toe-touch weight-bearing, is now doing a single leg squat to aim her pee into the bedpan. Yes, I'm sorry if this offends any of you, but in an attempt to give it to you "up close and personal", this is the unedited version! ... So picture any one of you, (I'm talking to the women out there), standing on one leg, trying to squat and aim your pee into a bedpan and, did I mention that she is doing this in front of room filled with 6 other people in their beds with family members present as well? She actually did quite well and was happy to sit outside in wheelchair and enjoy the air.

My other ortho hip replacement woman, couldn't wait to get started. In spite of her pain, she too wanted to walk to a wheelchair and sit outside. Now just for a bit more details… Yes, it is good that we have several wheelchairs to work with. However, each one was missing one side armrest/trunk support component making the chair a tad bit unsafe to sit in if you have the slightest need to weight-shift to the side without support.

Elisna with son Maudline. Patient with Rheumatoid Arthritis - failed hip fracture - new partial hip replacement - POD #2- successful out of bed with lots of help.

We attempted to get the head-injured young man awake and engaged in an activity. He is still tied to the bed, lying in the most contorted position possible and having nothing to do with us. He actually won't open his eyes and indicate that he hears a thing we are saying. So I decide to open my music up and play salsa in his ear and suddenly he tells the interpreter: "I don't like that music! Give me some rap…."

By the time we were done in Med-Surg, another head-injured patient was being stabilized in the ER. Same story – different character – motorcycle vs. bus. Guess who wins? We will see many head-injured young men this week.

Our new little friend, Lovins, is very excited to see us when we arrive in the Peds unit. He remembers each of our names, is proud to show that he has taken good care of the game we let him borrow from the PT clinic, and can't wait to get started today.

Team Lovins: Man on right is Sammy, the lay PT here who is now in PT school. Evidently Loma Linda University is helping to organize a Haitian PT school!! How about that? Man on left is the wound care specialist, Avisa. He runs a wound care clinic – no degree, and also now in school full time. Both men work just on weekends now and attend school full time. Lovins is a trouper – osteomyelitis – here because knee went septic.

The young 7 year-old girl in sickle cell crisis is sort of awake and I decide we should try to get her out of her crib-type bed and see if she can walk over to the PT clinic with us. She is one of the very few patients in the entire facility getting narcotics, so that tells you how severe her pain is. And yet, she is smiling, putting on a good face and her family is so happy for her to have some attention and a distraction.

Susanne and I have a lot of fun with a group we have gathered in the PT clinic. Our job here is so much fun! The RN's are quite jealous of the fun we have.

For a slight change in subject, I would like those of you who know us from work to decide who said what. One guess only! …

PT #1: "You didn't chart anything on the patients this morning and yesterday you charted on the wrong forms."
PT #2: "I don't feel like using that form and I am not into charting today. Maybe tomorrow."

Have any of you taken a bet on this?

PT #1 is Susanne... Can you imagine? I am flabbergasted at how she must follow the rules here... Perhaps it's something in the water?

I'm having a bit of a hard time keeping Susanne from behaving like the typical twenty-something who has to have their face planted in their phone every time you see them. She is highly distracted and for good reason… the WiFi here is very flaky and she is anxiously waiting to hear form Nicolle (from Jerry's orphanage)… Will Nicole come through today and pick us up for our visit with Jerry?

Well, it's now intermission time.

On to Part 2, our visit to Jerry's orphanage ….

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2014 Haiti Medical Trip