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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Darling Boy

Today I am off and I had some plans...but they got cancelled as the true meaning of "rainy season" seems to be making itself clear. Torrential down pouring - no matter how big the umbrella or how good the raincoat. So, a walk to town was out of the question. If not for the rain, then especially for the mud that would surely be everywhere in the streets today. So, instead I enjoyed some indoors relaxation - a book, a movie with friends. Catching up on emails!

This also gives me a chance to catch you up on some of my patients that I have had the absolute privilege to take care of this week. Below is a picture of a boy that has captured my heart. His name is Darling Boy and he lives up to his name in every way. There are many patients with first names that describe them. There was a woman named, "old woman", other common first names for children are "prince" or "princess".

Darling Boy is here getting some wound care for a surgery that Mercy Ships performed on his shoulder. I have had the immense gift of being his nurse the past 2 days. One of the true gifts of being here is that you actually have time to spend with your patients - usually, anyway. So, whenever I had some down time, Darling Boy wanted to play with me. He enjoys blocks and coloring, but his favorite by far has been the math flash cards we have on the ward. That's right - math flash cards! And when those ran out, he wanted me to make up more math problems for him. We worked on addition, subtraction, and eventually some alphabet flash cards too. In between taking care of my other patients, I was a "teacher" too. I loved every minute of it. Even my fourteen year old patient, Fatou, wanted to join in the flash cards. You could tell Fatou had not had much education, she had a very hard time with the flash cards that Darling Boy (who is 6) was breezing through. She kept using her fingers and toes to count, except one foot is in a cast so she had less toes to count with so she used my fingers too.

This next picture is of one of my group of women patients that I call the "Women's Club". For several evening shifts in a row I took care of two women - Bendu and Joanna. Bendu, Joanna, myself, and anyone else that wanted to join in played Uno long into the night. It took a short time but quickly the women caught onto the concept of Uno - and LOVED it when someone forgot to say "uno" and had to pick up a whole pile of cards.

Bendu was badly burned when her mattress that she was sleeping on caught fire from the fire the family uses to cook and keep warm with. She was burned in March of this year, and she is here for skin grafting.

This next patient is Joanna and her daughter Angela. Joanna is also here for some skin grafting. Mercy Ships does a lot of repairing peoples wounds that haven't healed properly because they were never treated when the wound first occurred, or things that were "fixed" years ago in the local hospitals. There is a lot of cosmetic surgery to correct skin and bone issues.

The last 2 days I also took care of this man. He had a tumor removed from his back. I love this man and his beautiful smile.

This last picture is a group photo of some of the patients. The hospital ward is located on the third deck where there are no windows. So, every day we take the patients that can walk, outside for fresh air. This was during our "deck" time. The patients love to go outside, and it provides us a chance to just be with our patients. We sit and talk, share stories, play games with the children. It is a great way to spend an hour of your shift.


julie said...

Wow! What amazing people and stories. I love hearing the contentment and happiness in your words that come from your work! Sounds like you and your patients are blessing each other.

Virg said...

Oh Jen...makes me cry! Thanks for sharing in your blogs...and the pictures ...meaningful.

Kendra said...

this is just so incredible. thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Tracey Drake said...

Hi Jen! I linked to your blog from the Beaumont newsletter a couple of weeks ago, but haven't had a chance to comment yet. I am slowly reading through all your posts. Wow! What an awesome way to bless God and his people. It sounds like you are really enjoying your time, too! I put your link on my facebook page and I will be praying for you. Safe journey and God bless!

Tracy said...

oh Jen - this just warms my heart. Tracy

Anonymous said...

Oh my, oh my, oh my. I'm sitting here crying looking at all the pictures. The beautiful smiles, the country, YOU. I feel like I got to visit Ethiopia again seeing the villages and those glorious smiles!

What a wonderful place to be. Thank you for sharing this with us, for telling us your story and letting us be a part of this journey with you.

Bless you Jenny. How powerful you are there. The love you give and the love you are receiving. Glory!!!

Love You,