The Winds of Change…
Update number 7 from a student missionary in Koza, Cameroon
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Slowly, the hospital has recognized my potential and the fact that I want to help in any circumstance. I’m often at the hospital in the afternoons, even when it is not my time to work. Usually Kalda, the main nurse, calls me to come help with something or to observe a disease. He teaches me everyday about medications, diseases, and physical exams. I’m thankful to God for him because it is helping me retain the information I learned last year from school. That was one of the reasons I was hesitant for leaving school. God works in mysterious ways. I’m happy to say that I have been doing IV’s on a regular basis and I don’t miss?. I have also started doing IV’s on children between 5-6. I’m still not quite ready to do a blind IV in a malnourished infant. One day… It is a good feeling having the confidence from the hospital workers and myself to accomplish things like that. I love my teachers back at school, and they helped me tremendously with moving me forward in my education… but it is definitely nerve racking knowing that someone is breathing down your back when you are doing a practical exam. Here at the hospital, they don’t mark me down a point if I forget to put the tape in the right place? I am grateful for the education I’ve had, because it has helped me do better here in Africa for sure.
The Emergency room is the main place I work, although I am almost in every other section throughout the day. This is the place where everyone comes in for emergencis, of course, but also for administration. I like working in the ER because I get to see ALL of the patience. I don’t miss anything. The other day, Kalda called me into the hospital to check on a man who had fallen into a coma. I didn’t know what the case was, but I had a feeling Kalda knew and wanted me to diagnose him. As I walked into the room, the man was breathing abnormally and had blood running from his nose. I checked his eyes and they were bloodshot. His conjunctive was pale as well so he was loosing a lot of blood. Kalda asked me what the case was, and I guessed that it might have been a stroke. He knodded his head, but I could tell I was wrong. When we left, Kalda was putting his gloves way infront of him like he didn’t want to touch anything else with them. I asked what he had… Dengue Fever. It is extremely contagious. I wish he would have told me that before. Well, the man died the next day because the family refused to give him treatment. Its life… and we can’t do anything about it.
I’m happy to say that soon the Koza Seventh-Day Adventist Hospital will have a Doctor… for 1 month. He is a surgeon so I’m hoping to get in on some sweet action. I don’t know when he is coming, but the Administrator says soon. There are already people lined up for him to see. I’m excited and anxious to see C-sections, colostomy’s, and surgery on an appendix. These are the things we can’t do at the moment. I was walked from Maternity to the ER one day with Kalda. A woman called over for me to check her. She said she had abdominal pain. Kalda gave me the stethoscope to check her abdomen… then we left. I asked him why she wanted me to check her and not him. He told me that she thinks if a white woman touches her, she will be healed… well I hope I don’t see her again because I don’t have that much power (I wish).
There are many people who are patients in the hospital who call me Madam which means I’m married. I would correct them, but there is not point… I would probably just confuse them more. Also, many patients are starting to call me Doctor. I think its because I’m one of the only ones besides Kalda who wears a stethoscope? Yesterday, a man who I have been starting to get to know came into the ER asking about his wife’s case. He asked me to come see her. I came and looked at her, and then checked out her charts. She was positive for HIV. I didn’t know who gave the counseling, so I ended up telling him and giving him counseling about his wife. It was pretty intense because he told me that he was going to leave her if she had HIV. I hope things turn out for him. Also… it was the first time I heard of a patient dying back in Nigeria who I had gotten accounted with. The first time he came in, he had severe case of kidney disease. Is legs were very swollen to the point where he couldn’t walk. He refused to be admitted so we just waited to treat him. Finally, he started to get better, but he didn’t want to stay in the hospital. A few weeks later we heard that he was just walking down the road, and had a sudden attack of Apnea and died. He always came to the hospital and found me to talk to me. His burial service was yesterday. I pray for his family.
If I didn’t think I was going to do anything other than work at the hospital, I have been accomplishing more things as well with the church. I was playing guitar the other day at home and I got a call from Avava. He is the accountant at the hospital. He is also the music coordinator at the hospital. To make a long story short, I joined him one afternoon to teach the group an English song, and now I’m the co-coordinator. I teach music lessons with the group!!! This kind of thing is my favorite! Its so much fun? We even dance when we are singing… although I need to get better at it because I can’t multi-task while playing guitar. We are singing “There is a Treasure” and “Holy is the Lord”. I’ll try and record it so I can show people when I get home. It’s a hoot!! Avava kinda threw it on me without warning. I was just planning on playing guitar once. Now I have to think of warm-up exercises and melodies for Bass, Tenor, Alto, and Soprano. God is doing great things.
Everything is going wonderfully over here. I miss America and all of my loved ones. My goats are getting bigger, but now they run to me when I come home. They are starting to know that I won’t eat them like everyone else will do here. I am the one who gives them food… and they love me? The other day was extremely exciting because I got a package from Walla Walla University. I opened it that morning brought the Collegian (Walla Walla’s newspaper) to work for people to see. It was a slow day, so we read many articles. I loved seeing the people I know back home? There was one section in the paper that talked about “How to know that He/She likes You”. Kalda was looking at it and said, “Oh! I found something interesting”. I caught him later looking at it again?. We have the greatest time in the hospital. Today we played basketball with crumbled paper and a container for medical waste. It’s probably not the best when the ER is busy, but it is so fun when you are bored. Another day I wanted to bring raisins to work for everyone because it was going slow. I was walking out the door to run home, and Kalda threw his motorcycles keys in my hand. He said, “Take my moto”…and I said “do you really trust me that much?” It was the most hilarious thing. For some reason I have lost my ability to balance on a motorcycle. I got the hang of it and quickly went home… people were definitely staring.
As you might know, I have been living off of money that the administrator gave me for a computer I bought for him in America. It will not last me long, and I still need donations for my travels here as well. Thank you for all of your help in supporting me. My parents told me that my church has been raising money for my mission over here. Praise God for servants of God! I’m appreciative of my church everyday. Thank you all for helping me live my dream in serving God. I’m forever grateful. I have the most amazing people in my life… that’s you!
OCT 29, 2010: Another Baby died. This is a poem I made today when I was thinking about the death.
Deticated to the Family who lost their child.
Life is so precious
Breathing in and out, each moment
But without a though, its gone
No one is prepared
Do I think that maybe
My life will be gone tomorrow?
Why would that thought cross my mind?
It is unimaginable
A little baby has no time to think
Sin takes over… and that’s it
Without a movement or a cry
They are forced to accept
Give it a second, it’ll sink in
There goes another one, my heart breaks
I am now thinking of my life
Oh how precious each breath is
So don’t close you’re eyes before you thank God
The gift of life He has given
The gift of salvation
It’s worth everything!
Posted by Elissa