Sunday, July 8, 2012

Just a glimpse

Go to the people.
Live among them.
Learn from them.
Love them.
Start with what they know.
Build on what they have.
But of the best leaders,
when their task is accomplished,
when their work is done...
the people will remark:
"We have done it ourselves."

First (hopefully last) moto burn

Draining abscesses

Dr. Sharon perfecting our suturing

Running suture
Very routinely, we do not get to see the results of our efforts. Whether is a patient who we send to the hospital and never hear from again (even after attempt after attempt to phone them) or gnarly wounds we clean, suture or pack, there is no guarantee we will ever see them again. A few months ago, we had a woman come in with raised blisters on her neck. They were huge, covered her neck & face, was pussy, & made it difficult for her to swallow. Her daughter had brought all of their charts- from their other efforts to be helped- & we discovered she had been diagnosed with HIV. LAST YEAR. Never started on medication. I sent out an email to Dr. Brian (Infectious Disease MD) & got instruction to treat her aggressively for a herpes zoster infection. When she came back to get the medications, her blood pressure was 70/40. This is insanely low. We explained to her our thoughts, gave her the medication, prayed for her, & sent her to get treatment at the HIV clinic at the Haitian hospital (La Providence). And heard nothing back. In my mind, she had passed away. You don't last long having HIV plus a blood pressure of 70/40.

Last week, I went to La Providence to work on getting some paperwork for my residency here. I was passing a woman through a doorway, made eye contact, & thought "huh, she looks vaguely familiar." We have over 1300 patients at clinic. So that didn't mean a lot. Until she said "Miss!" And I realized that this was her! Her blisters were almost completely gone, she was receiving treatment for her HIV, & looked incredible! Plus she said she was feeling healthy. This means two things. One: this woman was not dead. Two: our referring people to this hospital for HIV testing/treatment was working. This is a big deal. 

Pray for the welfare of your city.
Occasionally we get to the privilege of getting a glimpse of that coming about.
My loyal guard dog, keeping me safe

1 comment:

  1. Missing you and longing for a face to face visit. I think you probably know that Uncle Sam has been called to a sweet church in Bluffton SC as the senior pastor. Our house sold last week without even going on the market. Meriwether, Mia, and I are going down to B tomorrow to find somewhere to live! Looking back over the last few years which seemed like "wandering in the desert" at times and knowing God has taught us so much and He was with us. Pray that we will remember what we have learned as we start out on our new journey. Nanee and I are planning the food for NH's shower. So fun. Meriwether is home and we have loved having her here and hearing about her adventures. Mia is surprisingly open and willing about our move. Very proud of her. She will go to the schools in Bluffton. I am praying for you and love hearing all about what you are doing. So proud of you and so happy to see what God is doing. I will make you your own pan of mac and cheese when you come. Love you so much. Aunt Druid