Various Updates and Interesting Cases

Gentle and sweet Godly Man, such a pleasure
to have him around at the clinic. He smile
radiates the love of God.

  “Let me see, is that everything?” Anita picks up her water bottle and prepares to leave the clinic. I glance at the people sitting in the hospital room. Let me see, Batel shouldn’t be too hard to get along with. He is basically at  the maintenance stage of things right now. Changing his bandages and making sure he is getting his medication seems manageable. Even carrying a bit of food down for him wouldn’t bother me. But then, I’m not sure about the other man in the bed by the door.

     They call him Denis. Nobody mentioned that his other name is Menace. But he is confusing for sure. I sort of picture that after a person has been sick for a long time, that they would have these thoughts of how nice it would be to have a prescription for some medicine that could help them get better. Apparently Denis hadn’t been picturing things like that before he came to the clinic on Monday. I walked into the hospital room as Anita was trying to give him some medication and pedialyte through a syringe. His lips were tightly pursed and his cheeks were a bit bulging. But not for long.  Even with friends massaging his throat or pinching his nose to help the swallowing process, he didn’t choose to swallow. You guessed it. He spewed a long stream of those contents straight into Miss Anita’s scrub top. And I doubt that was exactly the good-bye she had been dreaming of from her patients in the hospital room right then.

Rhoda trying to squeeze some meds through
his clenched teeth, he would hold it in his
mouth for minutes and then suddenly
spit it all out.

    So Denis laid there all afternoon with an IV dripping into his arm. At about eight o’clock  we decided that it was time to make another attempt at giving Denis medications. We do not have the capabilities of giving all medication intravenously here. And since we were treating Denis for Typhoid Fever and Malaria, that included a few oral medications. With a prayer, I drew up the evening doses into a large syringe. In my other hand, I had a nice pile of white gauze waiting in case Denis decided that the meds were not to his liking.

     While Jon stood at the head of the bed praying, I continued trying to squeeze meds between the tightly closed lips, as I said, “Swallow it, swallow it.”

     After a very long time, some meds were swallowed. I asked Denis, “Do you want some rice?” Since Denis is not likely to feel compelled to talk, I took his nodding of the head as a very exciting event. He actually communicated with me. A lot of the time he lays on the bed, staring unseeingly into the distance.

     I asked Jon to please go home for some rice for him. Because, well, if he could swallow rice, that would be great. I wasn’t sure that he had eaten anything all day. Meanwhile I tried to finish giving him the remaining liquid in the syringe.

     It was great when Jon came with the steaming plate of food for him. What wasn’t really great was when he immediately spit all the food on the shirt he was wearing or refused to open his mouth for it, after we had gone to all the work of getting some for him.

     We shook our heads, gave the plate of food to his friends and decided to call our night at the clinic finished. Was this man in his right mind? Had he gotten so sick at one point in his life that his brain was not able to connect things? Or, Was there a spiritual battle going on?

    We started the next day with some of the same questions stuffed in our minds. I asked Fre. Noaz to help me hold the man while we squirted the crushed pills slowly into his mouth again. Fatigued after minutes of coaxing and reasoning, we left the room, with wet gauze’s in the trash can to finish the story of how it went this round.

    As I walked into the room later in the day, to give Batel a new bandage, I was shocked to see Denis sitting there with bread and coconut candy, munching away happily. “Is it good?” I asked. I didn’t ask a million other questions that my mind wanted to throw at him….

Here is our friend Denis sitting outside
getting some fresh air!!!!!!

    So the days are passing. Each one surprises us with him. Sometimes our curtain gets a shower of juice or medicine during an episode, or sometimes he will actually swallow a pill just fine. Last night he decided that an IV was not what he wanted at all. He wasn’t begging for his medicine to all be put in the IV. Not now. Now the IV was NOT all right. Doctor Michael decided that it wasn’t worth the fight. Now this morning he is just fine with an IV. We are thinking, that maybe tomorrow he will be able to go home.That is, if we don’t think about the fact that tonight, again, he stiffly refused to swallow his meds. He sat up. He said, “I won’t take medicine, I won’t eat food. I want to go home, now.” I did not say, ” I would love to send you home, too, when you are naughty like this.” But like the human that I am, I did entertain some unsaintly thoughts.

    His temperature is fine, he seems mostly stabilized, and we planned to discontinue the IV permanently, along with stressing the fact that he needs to drink by mouth now. Of course, he needs to eat, too. So, since he doesn’t want to do that, when he was SO close to being good, I guess we will need to decide if he is allowed to go home or not. Possibly it would be just as good for his family to take up the battle, I don’t know at all… I hope you are happy to meet Denis from a distance. I think it is cleaner that way. Grin.
I just got a picture of the pregnant lady with the pre-
eclampsia in the back of the ambulance when Steve
left to take her to Laogone. Notice the IV hanging
from the ceiling?

     Then we had another lady joining Denis and Batel in the clinic one night. I will give you a brief run-down on her. She is pregnant, and pre-eclamptic, with approximately two months left until her due date. She was having pain, and didn’t take her Methyldopa one day. She ended up in the hospital bed here overnight, with a very endangered baby included. The baby lived through the night, thanks to God. Doctor Michael helped me transcribe the transfer paper for the hospital in town, where she could be closely monitored in the dangerous situation she finds herself in. I don’t know what we would have done if he hadn’t jumped in and handled the stress with these cases that showed up in Anita’s absence.

     Another Grandma came one day and spent the night in our hospital room, on IV.  

   Another young lady is currently sleeping in our 
hospital room, too. She seems to be fighting shigellosis. So, yes, our cleaning ladies are busy washing sheets, we are busy watching IV’s and the people who they are connected to. We are so glad you are busy doing the praying, which we feel gets so interrupted so often in our little compound here. God bless you!

The “grandma” right after she came in on a stretcher.
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