Our tap-tap is in for the day. I am surprised at how well our drivers get around this city, safely! We laugh at how close they come to pedestrians, vehicles, curbs. The horn works very, very well.
This morning our team had a beautiful breakfast with fresh fruit; loaded into the tap-tap (a diesel truck style vehicle that has us protected in the back with diamond patterned fence.) On our drive through the city of tens of thousands of poor people: selling their wares of shoes, pants, fresh fruit, charcoal, sunglasses. Like a huge-amongous Texas flea market with sewage flowing down city streets and rivers, too numerous to count sounds including the drivers horns constantly.
We arrived at the home for sick and dying adults after an hour. The first floor housed the males, us ladies walked through and left our male team members to go to work.
Up stairs of stone and cinder block (rocks are EVERYWHERE around here) we were met by the nun, who sent us to apply lotion and paint nails for these ill ladies. Myself, Wendy and Judy were given chores by the nun. Wendy took off with the blood pressure machine. Our first patient was lethargic, low BP and refused to eat. Wendy noticed her chart recorded HIV.
Wendy took off with the BP machine, a clip board and pen to take all the ill woman's blood pressures. Judy and I tagged with a beautiful nun from Mexico. A metal tray with syringes of B12 and an antibiotic. Judy and I decided these shots should be given in the butt. That was probably the last sensible thought we had!
The rest was one moment at a time. One buttocks after the other we went. The nun letting us know what color syringe to choose and which patient. Most of the patients were very thin; one of them was so thin my first impression of her hip bone looked like a large hernia. Unsure if we felt any muscle at all, the young lady asked in french if the nun would give it. Thank God we were saved on that one and knew what to do for the next several young ladies.
HIV, Cancer, Starvation. Mostly starvation I suppose. Froth from mouths. Edemetous hard lower extremities. Sweet loving eyes. By afternoon and the trip back, a quick snack and lots of water and electrolyte tablets we were off again. The half of our team headed to the general hospital ran into not being able to go related to Haitians protesting. Something about the presidents birthday.Myself, Judy, Brianna and Sharon found ourselves at the home for sick and dying children. The 3 of us followed Sharon into the baby's ward. I wondered why the bunjie chords were hanging from the ceiling, today IV bags were hung from them. Each child has an ankle bracelet stating name, date of arrival, and age. All were small for their age. Tiny babies, tiny legs, tiny arms and 6 months old. The need is so immediate, as soon as you enter by the screen door your arms reach for a baby. My heart, our hearts melt. It is almost surreal. We all are imagining at this point "Jesus' love is here." The diaper changes expose how sick they are.
I shadowed the nun who spoke some English, thank God. A little boy was having seizures continually. The female Haitian physician started an IV like a pro, the old IV had blown. The nun took orders, said a prayer and gave an injection in the IV that soothed the child almost immediately. Brianna, who desires to be a pediatric oncologist, was delegated to pull the childs nasogastric tube that was providing feedings. We learned the doctor ordered to have the baby transferred to another facility when we found the nun searching for clothing in 2 large bins.
The day ended quickly with a nice Haitian meal, cold swim, cold shower. The ladies are chatting about there day. How they have cried over what they have seen. The kids are up at the next guesthouse balcony salsa dancing.
Our guard at night, his name is Andre. He asked if I was sad. I told him yes. He asked why. I told him. His comment :"don't be sad, if you are sad I am sad and I want you to be happy" "I love God"Hope is everywhere!
Tomorrow is a new day of helping bring fresh water.Pray for the nuns, caregivers ad Doctors who live this day everyday.