Clinic today - saw 25 patients, and at least 24 of them I was able to help, in some capacity. But the one that I ended up thinking about was the one that got me thinking about where I am, what I'm doing, and what has happened to get me here.
I found myself in a community with well water access only (contaminated at that), torn up dirt roads, shack homes, and many many naked children running around - I don't know what it is about sweet little African naked babies - but their innocence and joy for life in the midst of what we would consider a slum, lifts my spirit.
Here I found myself, serving this community, and a little 2 year old boy comes to my clinic in severe respiratory distress. He was barely moving, offered no concern when I started assessing him, and his eyes were a bit too wide for my liking. I barely needed my stethoscope to hear his lungs, as the noise coming from his lungs was SO loud. I knew we were in some immediate need for this little guy, and FAST. I don't have a nebulizer here, have asked every doctor, nurse and pharmacy where I can buy one and they all tell me the same thing - no where in country. Okay...well...this little guy was in trouble. So, I pulled out my "tools" I had learned in Honduras and fashioned a way to get meds to this kiddo. Cutting the bottom off of a water bottle, covering that end with gauze (so it's not sharp), and putting my own (unused) personal inhaler on the "mouth" piece of the water bottle - seal it up with tape - and there you have it. I used this to give my little guy two "breathing treatments."
|My awesome volunteer helpers. Two Guinean nurses, and a church member. I LOVE having nationals help nationals!|
But...then I was reminded....yes, the words of my grandmother came back to me, "Just do the best that you can." And so I was, and so I did. They came with nothing, and were leaving with a kiddo who could actually breath, meds for home, some to buy, but with at least a chance...
And so I will continue on...just doing the best that I can.