I get a call at 6PM that our large order of medicines has arrived from Yaoundé. This means that all the private hospitals are going to meet in the early morning to unload the truck then separate the supplies for the different hospitals. I was planning on taking a day off with my wife who has been sick in bed for a couple weeks. I is nearly impossible to get time away as every day they call for patients. Sabbath my entire day was spent at the hospital. Sunday is our busiest day of the week and the most patients come. Last Sunday was 62 inpatients and 32 outpatients. But instead instead of resting, I need to go to Maroua. So I leave at 7AM to drive the three hours to Maroua.
They have already started unloading when we arrive. I drop off Doudge to start with them as I go in to Maroua to get other things taken care of since it has been three months since I was last there to buy supplies and go to the bank. I buy supplies we need and then return to the place they are separating the items. After packing our pickup full of boxes of medicines and supplies we start home. Today we are “early” leaving at 5:30 PM for the three and a half hour drive back. As we crawl back home over the rocky road we get a call that there is a patient that needs a C-section. I ask them to send her to another hospital. As usual they refuse.
We arrive at the hospital and unload the truck into the stock room. They ask me to see three other patients that came in during the day that the nurses are worried about. A woman has peritoneal signs (signs of needing surgery in her abdomen) that we have been treating for typhoid about three days, another old man has bad pneumonia and is struggling to breath. Fortunately the electricity just came back on so he was just put back on oxygen. The other is the woman they called me about. Apparently she had delivered and the baby didn’t breath. The nurses resuscitated the child and he was doing fine by then.
I headed home to get something to eat, as I had not eaten or drunk all day. Called the nurse to prepare the patient for exploratory surgery, and ate till I could burst. It was millet paste with a tasty sauce, one of my favorites, that really leaves you full.
In the OR: she is grimacing on the table in pain. Not comfortable in any position. We put her to sleep with Ketamine and Diazepam. As we open the abdomen we find pus everywhere. After searching all over we find pus coming from the fallopian tubes. She has a PID, infection of the uterus. We clean out all the pus and finish the surgery.
After seeing a few more in the ER I head home and crash into bed exhausted. Audrey is at least eating and drinking. I find that she has thrush in her mouth (oral-pharyngeal candidiasis). Her entire mouth is white with the plaques. Now I understand why everything has tasted real bad these past few days for her. She has also decided to stop the quinine as the side effects are very bad for her. She has probably already treated her malaria sufficiently anyway. She is slowly gaining strength, but cannot still be up more than about a half hour before she must lay down again.
Keep her health in your prayers, and for me to continue to have strength to do what I need to do. We appreciate all your notes and emails you have written of encouragement. Thanks!
In His Service, Greg