Sorry I have been so bad at updating!
A lot has happened in the past few weeks. I figured I would do my best to update and not bore you.
Since my last update, I have gotten to do many pretty sweet things. About a month ago, I went to Mbarara (a city towards Rwanda about 4 hours away from where I am) to pick up two new babies. Both who happen to be ADORABLE! Road trips with Ugandans are definitely interesting to say the least – fun though for sure!
We have also gotten in so many new babies. It is crazy. We have been moving a lot of our healthier babies out to the Suubi babies home in order to make more room for the sick or malnourished babies. I have been doing a lot of work with the premature babies. I really do enjoy it. They are so cute and fragile and small!
I got to name a baby! A cute little girl now called “Alaina.” She is so spoiled now (my fault)!! She was a precious little new born that we had in the preemie room. This past week she was moved to the Monkey room (1-3 months) which means that I can take her out to the town. I did that this past week. Rachel and I took out baby Rachel and Alaina.
I got to drive half way to Gulu the other day. Just the Ugandan driver and I – on our way to pick up a sick baby from our Gulu babies’ home. That was exciting. It is so cool how the surrounding changes so quickly as you travel north. Oh and so many mud huts on the drive! One day, I will live in one . . . at least for a few nights.
I saw some Sudanese people walking down the street doing a demonstration the other day. It was a pretty large group of people actually. They were marching to convince government to pressure Northern and Southern Sudan to be separate. I left my camera’s memory card in my computer that day so I don’t have any pictures!
I’ve been pulling a lot of extra hours at the babies home the past few weeks. I’m so attached to those little kids and I want to do as much as I can to help them!
One of the reasons I have been working so many extra hours is because of my baby, Mercy. As many of you guys know, Mercy had a nice chunk of health problems. She came in about 2 months ago, malnourished, stiff, abused, neglected, lots of ear infections, and swollen lymph nodes. As I spent time working with her, she gained weight, and started to move more. She loved to smile and giggle and she loved hugs! Her lymph nodes, however, never seemed to shrink. A few weeks ago, Mercy was rushed into the clinic cause she had a seizure. The doctors didn’t really find anything wrong with her.
Last Wednesday, after my shift, I got a call asking if I would take Mercy into the clinic. Her left lymph node was about twice as large as it normally is. So I came in a Dr. C said that she probably just had a cold but would do some tests to see why her lymph nodes were so swollen. That night, he drew some blood to test and compare it to her last sets of blood work.
He had us come in the next morning to review the results. In comparison, the results were pretty much the same as the last time (which really doesn’t mean much). So he decided to do a biopsy on one of her lymph nodes. So, right there . . . in the clinic . . . he cut her face open and took out an entire lymph node. It was neat getting to watch it all but not so cool that it wasn’t the most sterile procedure that could be done.
We went home that night and she seemed ok for the most part. Did I mention that Dr. C didn’t give her any pain killers or antibiotics?
The next day (Friday) was my off day but I came in to check on Mercy and see how she was doing. As I picked her up, I realized that she was breathing rapidly (108 breathes per minute) and she had a fever and diarrhea. So we went ahead and rushed her back to the clinic. Dr. C came in and checked on her and after “close” inspection decided that she was breathing rapidly because her nose was running and her lymph nodes were swollen. I then had him look at her wound from the other day because it was oozing some . . . he squeezed it some (please do remember that Mercy doesn’t have any pain killers) and it dripped some yellow fluids. Dr. C’s response “no need to worry, it is just fluids from the surgery.” This caused Mercy to clench her teeth in pain and then seize. Dr. C had the nurse give her diazapem (rectal – please remember that she had diarrhea at the moment). He then had her redress the wound (not clean it). I asked him if she needed an anti biotic and his response “no, if we give her one now then it wont work if the wound gets infected.” I may be wrong but don’t most people get an antibiotic after surgery?
Anyways, the doctor then left us sitting there to make sure she stopped seizing (before sending her home). The room we were in was one of the back rooms with no monitors. As I sat there holding Mercy, I realized that she was super stiff – which can happen after a seizure. A t one point of time, she acted like she was going to throw up so I sat her up (I should have thought more of that). After a few minutes, she seemed fine so I let her lay back down in my arms. Shortly after, her breathing started to slow so I had Helen run to get a nurse. As she was gone, Mercy stopped breathing altogether so I hoped of the bed, said the words “screw my shoes” and ran barefoot into other room where the nurses were. We laid Mercy down on the bed and they attempted to resuscitate her. Attempt as in they tried to find all the emergency equipment that they needed. It was frustrating to watch.
Mercy had a beautiful ceremony at the babies home the next day. She looked like an angel. I picked out a cute little white dress for her to wear! Then we went down to the burial place we have in one of our old children villages.
If you are wondering, I am doing perfectly fine for the most part. It was rough the first few days but Annie and Jill have done a good job keeping me busy and preoccupied (hence driving halfway to Gulu the other day). Although, I was a little grumpy today when we finally got her death certificate – reason for death “respiratory arrest due to drug reaction.”
Watoto people – if you are reading this, the details I included do not break any rules under the code of conduct. I didn’t include the name of the clinic of the doctor’s name or anything bad about Watoto. I love Watoto and they offer plenty of counseling for volunteers who have to experience baby death.
Anyways, that is what has happened recently for me . . . I am sure a lot more has happened and I am just missing it.
Oh! We had a fourth of July party at my apartment. It was pretty nice! There was more non-Americans than Americans.