Thursday, November 15, 2007


Can you imagine what they would be?

Say you were a health care provider in a third world country, out in the African bush. What would they be?

For me, the words I don't like to hear... especially when I have just returned from the clinic and am in the middle of cooking lunch. Those words are... a patient just arrived, snake bite. There are several kinds of snakes in The Gambia. Some are not poisonous, some are. If you ask me, they all are. (I tell people if I saw a snake I would have a heart attack and drop to the ground where the snake would be able to bite me.... and I would die either from his poison or from the heart attack.) The villagers fear the Black snake. But again, there are two kinds of black snakes... deadly and not so deadly. Well, upon hearing these words today. I turned off the stove and headed to the clinic. Checked out the patient... he was bit on the middle finger while out in the fields this morning. He had to walk home and then find a donkey cart to bring him to the clinic. Praise God he looked good. Vitals were stable. I got out the stun gun. (controversial treatment... but please use it on me.) And gave him quite a few shocks, I know the gun worked because I got a little jolt when I had my hand too close to the gun. Reminded me of touching the electric fence when I was a kid. The nest phase of his treatment was a referral ride to the hospital 22 kilometers away, they should be able to get him some snake anti-venom. Praise God for the Stun Gun!

A Difficult Week

It has been an emotional week. One of the believers, who has been sick for several months, died on Monday. She came to the clinic last week and I couldn't find a good source of her illness. During the night she worsened and her husband feared that if she did die in NK, the leaders would refuse to bury her here because of her stand for Christ. We helped him get her to family in Senegal. The husband received a call on Monday late afternoon that she had died. The family was going to go ahead and have her buried that evening. Her husband would arrive there in the morning. We assisted him in getting to the family along with some of their friends. Pray for Joanne as much of the respnsibilities of the c__ fall to her. She was pretty close to NN and so was Deb who is in the states on furlough. We do praise God for answered prayer in allowing NN to get to Family in Senegal, for protecting her husband AS as he traveled much the last two weeks and for giving each of us the encouragement to continue to do the job he has called us to.

Monday, November 12, 2007

All in a weekend

Well, I haven't been up to too much. The clinic is finally slowing down a bit and requests for the ambulance after hours (AKA the middle of the night) have also decreased. Last week I did have busy afternoons. Teresa and I would leave the clinic around 2 pm each afternoon. By five I would be back in the clinic for a variety of reasons. One day I had a young gal with two lacerations that needed stitching. The next afternoon at about the same time, a young boy showed up with a laceration on his leg. unfortunately his laceration was over 48 hours old. I just cleaned him up good and started him on antibiotics. I should see them both tomorrow. Then on Friday, Teresa came to the door with a friend and her son. She asked me what advice to give the mother, her son was urinating blood. I looked at the mom, she pulled an old soda bottle out of a plastic bag... sure enough, there was the urine. I told them to follow me and we all went to the clinic, after some testing and evaluation I sent him home on medications. The plus side of the early evening activity in the clinic... the cleaning women are done with their work for the day and we have to lock up. So, I would be down there anyway. : )
Yesterday, Teresa and I unloaded the newly arrived medical shipment. We praise God for providing these medications. Our medication store room is starting to look clean, organized and full! We had either run out of several medications or had to stop using them because of their expiration date. It is good to see the shelves have valuable medications available again. Thank you to all who help provide for this ministry financially.
After a very productive morning in the store rooms, I headed home to be productive on a few maintenance issues. I had applied Epoxy into the hole for the toilet lid, where there was a leak. I needed to drill the hole so I could then put on the toilet seat. Praise God it worked. After three weeks of no toilet, or no flush toilet. I have a functioning toilet! However, by the second flush, the other side was leaking in the same spot. I called Barney to ask if he had more Epoxy. I then told him what I discovered. He said, "I don't want to hear that." Yeah, it is my toilet, it pained me to have to say it. But the leak is small and I have decided I want the flush, so I will mop up the small puddle after every flush. : )
Since the toilet was such a success, I then repaired my glider rocker. It has needed help since I took it out of storage in May. I finally attacked it, and now it glides smoothly. It is nice to have a chair to offer people a place to sit. The couch can get crowded.
I had such a productive day yesterday, I decided to keep the flow going today. This afternoon I put some wall paper boarder up in my bathroom. I have claimed this apartment and I am 'nesting'. I brought the boarder with me back in May and was waiting for a time when the humidity would be lower. Yes, that time has come.
Lots of people ask... What is the temperature really like? Well, for those of you who like weather science, I have some info for you. I brought back a digital thermomotor that also registers the humidity. It store the highest and lowest values. The other day I was looking at it. I have kept it in the coolest room of my apartment. The high value, since my arrival, is 113 degrees with 91 % humidity. That doesn't just feel hot... it is hot! Tonight it is 80 degrees and 40 % humidity. I will sleep under my comforter. It is getting too cold for a late night cold water shower. brrrrrr
Have a great week.