Week 3: Local Celebrity.
It’s an interesting phenomenon to walk down the streets of Nalerigu, through the market, or even in the hospital. There is clearly no means of looking natural. At the door leading to the inpatient wards of the hospital, there is a guard that will open the door and decide who is allowed to pass. Rushing down from clinic yesterday, I hurried passed a group of people, knowing the door would automatically open for me. Then the patients outside maternity all stop what they are doing to watch me pass and greet me.
I stop and think. I am automatically respected because I am white. At first I thought, no, it seems that way in the hospital because people respect us for taking care of their families. But, even in the village, children will run up to us to hold our hand, touch our hand (or ask us to buy them something). This is an interesting situation for a person who specifically came to a country to serve others: I am respected and elevated in their eyes when I am trying to be humble and serve.
What do I do? How does one make each patient feel as if they are important and worthy of my time and effort? How do I take care not to expect such respect when it is so common?
A few interesting events from the past week:
Pic of myself with the baby delivered from the ecclamptic mother (mentioned in previous post)- both came into my clinic and are doing well.
-Beth and I took call. We were called by maternity around midnight for a patient that was a VBAC, not progressing and now had decreased fetal heart tones. We rushed over in the old BMC truck (that’s right, I learned to drive a standard!) and ended up calling the surgeon in to do a c-section in the middle of the night. Interestingly, anesthesia will not come in at night, so Joel had to do both the spinal in addition to the section. Both mother and baby are now doing well.
-I had a patient in clinic with a congenitally shortened femur so that one of her legs is un-useable and much shorter than the other. She is a really sweet girl with a strong spirit. We are working to get her a hand powered tricycle type chair so that she will not have to continue to hobble around on crutches.
-the Ghana police came by our house with two men that had been shot. The story was not entirely clear, but they were evidently idol worshipers and were out somewhere. Both had been shot and killed. For some reason, a physician had to examine them and pronounce them, so Jim went out and examined both bodies for number of bullets and causes of death.
- Beth had to little babies that we were able get money to send to Accra this week who needed surgery. One was a little boy with Hirchsprung's Disease (basically part of the bowl does not have nerves and doesn't move things along). He had a big belly and kept getting worse. The second was a little girl with a heart murmur (likely a hole between her ventricles). She was in heart failure and would likely not live without surgery. The family came into clinic before getting on the bus to say thank you to us for helping them.
Again. Thanks for reading. I miss you and love you all.
Please pray for the patients I have mentioned, especially the two little children who went to Accra for surgery. Pray for us to continue to have strength as we are both getting rather tired and for humble hearts to serve.