Tuesday, March 22, 2011

One of my patients brought me

Hey look what one of my patients brought me. She brought me an Obama bag since she knew he was the President of the U.S. She saw these bags for sale in Harare and thought of me and bought it for me. It has pictures on all sides and bottom has a flag of US. when I offered to buy it from her she said "no, you are keeping me alive on ART and I appreciate that!"

Monday, March 21, 2011

Please come and celebrate!

A special weekend event for all you alumni of Chidamoyo and supporters--please mark your calendar and join us!

Benefit of Hope

Project is to Raise money for a new ambulance for the hospital

For Chidamoyo Christian Hospital
Please come and celebrate with us on
July 16th 6- 9 p.m.
Bitter Lake Community Center
Seattle, Washington
Special events:
Sadza—all you can eat and Mexican (kapenta and Mopani worms too!)
Face painting
Silent auction (Zimbabwe things)
Marimba band
Dancing—Zimbabwe style
Special guest star: Major Mereki

Special Braii (BBQ)
For Chidamoyo Alumni
Friday night July 15th—Cedar Ridge Christian Church, (suburb of Seattle)
5:30 p.m. onwards
A time of get together, eating, sharing stories and fellowship.
Please RSVP: friendsofchidamoyo@gmail.com

This is a pre dinner for our Benefit of Hope on Saturday. If you need help with hotel bookings please indicate.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One of those days!

We started yesterday (Sunday) with both of our doctors gone and so I started the day by making rounds and making sure all the in-patients were settled. While I was making rounds Major came and said the Chinese company putting in the cell tower behind our hospital (yes we might have a phone in 1 month!!) had extra cement they wanted to sell us from their other site at Makande about 2-3 hours drive from here. So we decided to send our lorry (yes it is up and working-finally!) for it. Of our driver and helper went.

By 7 p.m. Sunday evening I had a prior C/Section in labor and not having strong contractions to progress well and the lorry was not back! So we called our back up driver and another helper and sent them with the LandRover off to find our lorry. We had expected one of the doctors back by combi or bus but none had come by then and we kept hoping he might make it back in order to do a C/S here.

By midnight by lady was still not progressing and no doctor we thought. I had sent the guard to knock on the doctor's door and he came back and said no answer. This morning when the doctor showed up for work he said he actually came at 11 p.m. so we think the guard knocked at the wrong doctors house! So I had to send our lady in labor off to Chinhoyi for a C/Section (Karoi doesn't do C/S)--3 hours away! Woke up Major to say all the drivers are gone what do I do? He came prepared to go and then we decided it was better to send our other driver who was on leave with the patient if he would go. So Major went to his house to see and drove back with him. We got the patient off about 1 a.m. and back to sleep waiting for other trucks to come.

By 5:15 a.m. when I got up, still no lorry or LR so woke Major up and he took another person with our last vehicle here to find the other 2 . After they left I remembered we were starting a new ART clinic about 45 minutes away from here today and now i had no car and no guarantee when one would be back-yikes!
When I got to the hospital about 7 a.m. all 3 trucks were now back. Major had met them about 5 miles from the mission! The lorry had loaded the cement at Makande about noon and drove only about 45 minutes when it got stuck in mud. It waited the whole day trying to dig itself out and when the LR arrived they proceeded to unload all 70 bags of cement and pull the lorry out of the mud and then reload (in the dark!). They got through that mud hole and proceeded to get stuck 2 more times! Each time they unloaded the truck of all 70 bags of cement and pulled the lorry out and then reload each time. We saved $2 a bag by picking up ourselves--after that we felt like paying the $2! When they got here I said ok--unload again! They said NO WAY! Then they reported the company has more cement for us if we wanted it and Major and I yelled--NO!
They all went off to eat and to sleep! I am sure they dreamed of loading and unloading cement in their dreams!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

New Doctor Arrives

Dr. and Mrs. Kajese

Last week on Tuesday Major and Tapson Jr. left with 2 trucks at 3 a.m. to travel to Bulawayo (9 hours away) to move our new doctor to his new home with us. His name is Dr. Shield Kajese (ka jessie) and he has just finished his housemanship. They packed him up and got him moved here safely arriving at 3:30 a.m. on Wednesday, very exhausted.

The next morning when I was in the maternity ward talking to Dr. Zimudzi he showed up. I had only met him once during his interview and I didn't expect him up to the hospital so early and so when he walked in I thought he was our local policeman that we had sent for. When he followed us to the office I wondered what was going on and thought this policeman was a bit pushy to just follow us around and then finally figured out it was Dr. Kajese when Dr. Z said he was surprised to see him up so early--oh he is the new doctor!

Then we sent him on a tour of the hospital with Main Munemo (mother) and everyone thought it was her son until she introduced him! the best thing is that he couldn't find his brush when he woke up and so he went to Lori's house to "borrow" a brush so he could come to the hospital and her maid gave him the dog brush! When he thanked Lori for using the bursh, she thought "I don't have a brush" and then figured out what brush he was given! What a welcome we gave him!

His wife is a nurse and doing a theater nurse course in Harare until December, but we were able to bring her out Sat for a short visit so she could see what he got her into!

We are happy to have Dr. Kajese and we are thankful for his work. He is getting oriented and it is very busy this week, so he is being thrown into the fire! Welcome to Chidamoyo!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Judy Pickett, RIP

We were sorry to hear this past week of the death of our fellow missionary who lived in Chinhoyi (3 hours towards Harare from here). Judy would have been 75 years old in April. She has been sick for a long time with Arthritis, Diabetes and Hypertension and heart problems. She started feeling ill on Friday and her foster daughter, Kina, came out from Harare and was there with her. By Sunday night she was unable to walk or talk and Monday they moved her to Harare where she died about a day later.

Judy worked with women's groups in the area around Chinhoyi, teaching many to read the Bible, sew and cook. She worked at Chidamoyo for 9 years as secretary at the hospital. She moved to Chinhoyi when the mission was evacuated in1978 due to the increased civil war.

I replaced Judy for her first furlough in 1978 when I had just turned 18 years old. It was through this experience that I made the decision to become a nurse and return to help at Chidamoyo. She had a big influence on my life.

Her Homecoming service was on Friday at Hillside Chapel in Chinhoyi. Many people came together to bid her farewell. She was buried with her foster daughter Ireen who proceeded her in death in 1999.

We are rejoicing with her that she is now out of pain and sickness. A memorial for her is being set up which will be a scholarship fund to sponsor students through Zimbabwe Christian College where her foster daughter Kina and her husband Edmore work. I will pass on more details when we get them.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Life at Chidamoyo

Back of Gadhafi T-shirt
Obama and Gadhafi together sitting on the bench

This week I decided to write about some of the funny things my patients tell me. I know as health professionals we have to maintain dignity no matter what our patients say—but sometimes you just have to be on the floor doubled up with laughter!
• One patient I saw this week, as I was reading their X-ray and seeing esophageal cancer I asked him if he smoked. He said No. Then I said are you sure you have never smoked before? He said well I don’t really smoke because I roll my own tobacco in newspaper and then smoke! When I said that is smoking—he said, well I didn’t really thinking that was smoking since I didn’t buy the cigarettes!

• I asked a patient if they had ever been treated for TB before and they said no, but VD yes!

• When we start patients on ART we have to ask people their birth date—always a challenge here. Most people have no idea when they were born, but they always try to guess. Recently I have a very old man who said he was born in 1998. When I said no way, he said ok, how about 2003?

• One of our visitors recently asked me if we had any lepers around. I thought they had said “leopards.” So I replied—no we used to have a lot of them around here but they shot them out in the 60’s and 70’s when the first missionaries came. When they said really? I said yes—we used to put meat out at night and when they came out to get it—we would shot them! Then I went on to say some of the missionaries even skinned them and had the skins hung on their walls. The visitor looked like they were about ready to fall over and by their reaction I knew something was up and I said leopard’s right? And they said no “people with leprosy.” Oh I said, we didn’t shoot them out! She looked greatly relieved!

• One of my patients I recently gave him 3 sputum cups and told him to come back in the morning with 3 different samples taken at least 2 hours apart. The next morning he brings me a cup with sputum and another with urine and one with stool. When I asked him why he didn’t bring 3 sputum samples for us he said “I think you should look at all things—not just whatever comes out of my mouth!”

• I recently delivered a patient who was a breech presentation. We kept telling her in Shona to push and push. We got the buttocks out and always the head was a bit of a struggle. We pulled and kept yelling at her to push—pulling her legs further and further apart, and with me sweating and pulling hard. Finally after what seemed like hours but was only a couple of minutes we got the baby out and it cried the mom said very clearly in English “shit that was hard!” I said Amen to that!

• An old man recently came to my office and kept saying in Shona “sister I am so sick.” I asked him to be a bit more specific but he just kept saying over and over “sister I am sick!” So then I started going through each system and asking if this was the problem. He just kept saying “I am so sick.” After about 10 minutes I was very confused as to how I was going to help this patient when he couldn’t tell me what exactly was wrong. When I finally said to him in Shona I really want to help you but you have to tell me what exactly is wrong. He said “what kind of nurse are you that you can’t figure out what is wrong—I told you I am very sick!” (Major was sitting in his office overhearing all of this and laughing—big help he was!)

• I had a patient once who I asked to say “e.e.e.e.e.” while I listened to their lungs. I did this to several patients in the ward and one started saying “e.f.g.h.i.” when I asked why he didn’t say “e.e.e.e.e.” like the other patients he said “I thought they didn’t know the alphabet!”

Today as I was walking by the queue for the Lab I was Obama sitting next to Gadafi! yes right here at our little rural hospital. Thought you would enjoy this picture--ant notice the back of Gadhafi's shirt. Maybe he is planning to hide out here?