Haiti Day 13 - Winding Down

I started my day down the street holding the hand of a grieving woman I had met the day before. Her mother died at 2:00am. If you read yesterday's post, you know the elderly woman's heart was weak and she had stopped eating/drinking, her vital signs all telling of what was to come. After leaving her home I checked on the teenager who was not feeling well across the street. I joked that I thought she was better last evening since she wasn't home when I came to check on her. She didn't like the joke. Onward on my stroll, a young man was introduced to me by the interpreter. He had a furuncular rash on his chin and was hoping for something to take. I promised to send him some medicine after work. The interpreter requested I check on the chief of police who had a rash, as well. It was a mild fine papular rash and looked consistent with contact dermatitis. I promised to send medicine for him, as well. I had to draw the line at this point. No more visits unless confined to the home, otherwise they need to come to the clinic. As soon as the words were out of my mouth, a man was yelling "Blan! Blan" and walking after me down the street. He had a stomach ache. I told him to come to the clinic. A crazy way to start the day.

The clinic itself was slow and easy today. No exciting cases with the exception of a young man who had gone blind after "a bad headache and then my eyes went away." He wasn't kidding his eyes were literally sunken into his head. Weirdest thing I've ever seen, like someone popped the anterior chamber of his eyes. ?Glaucoma. He reports an occasional headache now and then but otherwise just had a stomach ache today. After seeing patients, we tried to inventory the pharmacy. It took the rest of the afternoon and we still have a couple of hours to go. Imagine estimating the number of pills (all sizes) in one gallon plastic bags. It is extremely important to know the needs of the clinic and we found ourselves woefully short on children's antibiotics and ibuprofen. 

After we got back, I looked at my things and decided it was time to pack and determine what I would be leaving behind. I am leaving my scrub pants (I saw some of the kids at the orphanage wearing other donated scrubs - adjustable for all sizes), t-shirts, and I know it sounds cringeworthy but underwear also. I've seen so many scraps of bras and underwear that it would be silly to take mine with me. On the other hand, I'm bringing home my special paintings from yesterday, a carved box, heart-shaped stone, and stone carving of a woman holding a child (made by the art teacher Jean Jean). I was able to fit one suitcase into another and will carry my medical bag with me. Now, I only have goodbyes left for tomorrow and I will leave on Saturday morning. 

Summing up Day 13: Dreading saying goodbye.