Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Last ward shift (this year)

I want to tell you about so many different patients, so many amazing stories, but I'm tired and it's time for bed and I'm hoping to have the energy to tell you more stories tomorrow.  For tonight though, I'm done.
I finished my last shift on the ward. 
The hospital will officially close during the day on Friday.  In small groups we're sending all of our patients home.  Mostly healed.  Some not quite.  Some will need to do their own wound care.  Some will go to a local hospital for wound care. 
Already, B ward, my ward, has closed.  Everyone transferred out this morning, or was discharged.  C ward closed  last week.  A ward will close on Thursday.  And D ward will close on Friday. 
Tomorrow I will join the ever-increasing number of nurses on cleaning duty.  Emptying wards, packing things aways safely, scrubbing everything down.  Scanning charts into computers, shredding documents, unpacking containers, whatever jobs need doing to start preparing us for the sail.  Here, we really learn to be flexible. 
In the midst of this cleaning and packing are the plastics patients that I've gotten to know since September.  Our long-term patients.  All with little problems healing that have kept them here far too long.  They are the ones we are praying over.  For healing. 
Little Lesha is 2 years old and had her fingers seperated (burn injury).  She is a little ball of energy and attitude, somewhat spoiled, but loveable all the same.  She still has two tiny open spots on her hand and a couple on her donor site, and they are infected.  But mama is good with dressings and will take over her care when we go. 

Mohammed is 6 and launches himself at you when you enter the ward.  He has a bad habit of sneaking off the ward to play in the hall or slipping into other wards to look for friends.  He even escaped to other parts of the ship once.  He had his hand opened up from the odd-shaped fist that he came here with, caused by boiling water at the age of one.  He has been sooo close to healing for a long time now.  And still we pray and hope that the spot between his fingers and on his wrist will close. 
Kadiatu had an infected ulcer on her leg that they tried to treat for a year.  Finally, when she came to the ship we were able to help close things up.  The area has taken a while to heal and had finally closed up... when she got a skin tear yesterday as the skin was still so fragile.  She was really disappointed but we're teaching wound care to her and her mother.  Kadiatu is a really sweet girl in "Form 1" which is about grade 9 and she tells me she wants to be a nurse, so she is always watching closely what we do and wanting to learn from us.
 And the last one I want to tell you about is Ramatu.  She had extensive surgery on her leg to release contractures.  She is a very strong willed little girl and talks like a little dictator. I wouldn't be surprised to see her go far in life, given the chance. Absolutely charming and fun when she wants to be.
Unfortunately, she developed a horrendous reaction to dressing changes.  She became completely uncontrollable, no matter how many staff we had on hand or how many pain meds we gave, and finally they had to resort to anesthetic just to not let her open up all her wounds as she thrashed and screamed.  We've been praying over her for weeks now.  Today we had a miracle!  She needed no meds.  She made it through two dressing changes with nothing but distraction.  She is still not healed, but our hearts are at ease over this transformation.  Pray that healing is swift. 
If you need some ideas of what to pray for, please remember these young ones, and others that we are having to say goodbye to.  That they will heal in miraculous ways.  That God continues to touch their lives.  We will miss them all, but it is time for them to return to their homes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks Heather for the insight and I will pray for these little ones.