Thursday, February 07, 2008

Becky Journal 6

I will be away this weekend (in Cayos Cochinos!) so it is Thursday night, and I am doing my journal entry a little early.
So this week the two new doctors started, and things have been going really well. Lydia left for the mainland on Wednesday, but she had the first two days to orient the two new doctors. On Wednesday night we all went over to West Bay, where one of Peggy’s volunteers is staying in a beachfront condo, and had a big party over there, which was really fun. It’s been so nice for me that Global Healing and Clinica Esperanza have such a close relationship since I have been working with both…almost every day the Global Healing doctors and Peggy’s volunteers all hang out together.

We started out on Monday with a really busy day, and I felt kind of bad for the new doctors, who must have been overwhelmed. We had 34 patients, which is the most that we have had since I started here. The rest of the week had an average patient load though, so things slowed down. This has been a busy week for me, because after clinic, I have been going over to Peggy’s every afternoon. I am organizing a trip to Cayos Cochinos this weekend, where me and 3 other volunteers from Peggy’s are taking a sailboat over for the weekend and doing a medical brigade. I’m really excited about this trip…the island is supposed to be really small, with no water or electricity. I had already organized a health screening up in the Colonia, but this brigade requires a lot more work, because we are bringing medications as well.

There was one really disappointing event this weekend…the mother of the baby that had come in at 1.2 kg with dehydration apparently signed out AMA yesterday and took the baby home, telling them she would come back today to get her weighed. She showed up at our clinic this morning and asked us to weigh her baby, which I did, and the baby still weighs only 1.3kg, and is in no shape to be at home. I persuaded her to talk with Dr. Cronin before she left for home again, and thankfully Dr. Cronin persuaded her to stay in the hospital today. Hopefully it will last, because the mom kept saying that she did not want to be in the hospital anymore, and this is exactly the sort of case that could end up really badly if we do not stay on top of it.
Anyway, I have to go (it’s Thursday night, so it’s time for the crab races), but hopefully I will have a lot to report next week about my weekend trip. Also, the Grubers and our other resident are coming this weekend, so there should be lots of excitement next week!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Becky Journal 5

This week went by so quickly, and Andrea just left yesterday. I can’t believe that I have already been here for three months…it feels like I only got here a couple of weeks ago. It’s really weird having Andrea gone, but TJ came in yesterday, and he seems really nice, and I am on my way out to go meet the new attending, Becca. This week was pretty uneventful, and things were slower in the clinic since there is a new Cuban pediatrician that just opened up another pediatric outpatient clinic. It was good that things were a little bit slower, though, because Dr. Gross was gone, so it was just Andrea and Lydia. Our dehydrated, malnourished baby was doing better this week. We weighed her again and by Friday, she still only weighed 1.2kg, which is what she weighed when she first came in, but she still looks a lot better. She is now tolerating 10cc of fluid at a time, which is great. I am amazed that there is no scale in the pediatric area, at least no infant scale. They weigh the babies on a normal full size scale, which definitely doesn’t help when you are trying to see a difference of a few grams. We have been bringing in the scale from our clinic every day, and we are working on trying to get one donated.

On another note, I have been working with Peggy when I get out of the hospital, and I just got the amazing news last week that my fire department back home is donating 3 AEDs to Clinica Esperanza, along with a whole bunch of other medical supplies. There is only one AED on the island, so this will be really helpful. This coming week will be very busy, with the new doctors. I will also be doing a bunch of planning and organization in the afternoons, as I am going with a few doctors from Peggy’s to Cayos Cochinos next weekend, where we are going to set up a medical brigade for two days. I am really excited about that, as Cayos is supposed to be gorgeous, and apparently there is pretty much no medical care now. Anyway, the new Global Healing docs are waiting for me for dinner, so I need to go, but this should be a great week!