Saturday, October 15, 2011

Another busy week!

The Jacarandas in bloom in Harare!



Jeep Wrangler--Sahara



Handing over of the keys of the Jeep from the salesman Mr. Blantyre



Major starting the Jeep




Back of Jeep






Major and the New Jeep


This has been one of those weeks (I have been saying that a lot lately!) Our new doctor—Dr. Kabanzi has been all by himself as Dr. Kajese went off to pick up his new car from the Zambia/ Zimbabwe boarder over the weekend and planned to be back here by Monday. On Monday he received word that his father-in-law had a stroke and was in the hospital and so he and his wife left for Bulawayo to assess the situation. While they were taking care of the father-in-law in the hospital, his own father visiting his sister in Bulawayo got sick. He recently had one kidney removed in February and now was anemic with cardiac failure and his only kidney left seemed to be in renal failure. So the whole week they have been trying to get proper medical care for the fathers, which is always a challenge in Zimbabwe.
I got back on Friday night from my conference in Harare and got to work with the doctor for the first time on Saturday and by Sunday I had to ask him to put a urethral catheter in me as my constrictures were blocking off the way for me to urinate! Nice way to meet your colleague! I kept the Foley in for almost 2 days and then took it out—it usually does the trick. But this time I was in a lot of pain and no better, so Wednesday when we went to get the new Jeep we had ordered 2 months ago, I decided to see an urologist in Harare. So while Major went running around I went to the doctor who said lets do a dilatation under anesthesia in 3 hours. I said first I need to go and pick up a new car. So we ran to do that and then I drove to the hospital and checked in while Major ran other errands. By 3 p.m. I was in surgery and by 5:30 awake and ready to go home. He had picked up the kids from school for their exit weekend (mid term break Thursday-Tuesday) and they traveled home with us. He had to call one of our drivers who is on leave in Karoi to take a combi and meet us in Harare to drive my car home since I couldn’t drive after anesthesia.
This procedure I have had lots of time and with little pain but I started severe pain all the way home! Major wanted to take me back to the hospital and I kept saying no, we need to get home! I took about 2000mg of Ibuprofen on the way home and every 15 minutes had him stop to let me try and pee to try and relieve the pain but it didn’t. So much for my first ride in the new Jeep—couldn’t really enjoy it much when I was doubled over in pain, moaning in the back seat! We finally got home at 1:30 a.m. and I slept on and off all night, but couldn’t even think about getting up to go to work.
During that day we had a non-profit group show up to distribute food to some of our AIDS/TB patients—over 1000 people showed up hoping to get something, and one of our staff members wives took poison to commit suicide and they ended up intubating her and bagging her all night by hand until she recovered! A human respirator! And she made it! And our new doctor didn’t pack up his bags to leave yet! Does this sound like a good medical drama or what?
We got a Skype call through to the doctor who said I could put a catheter in again, and so Dr. Kabanzi put it one in again—2 times in one week! Gave me some oral morphine and I slept almost continually until 5 p.m. Major and 10 men left for the men’s conference in Bulawayo finally about 11:30 a.m. he kept hanging around to see if I needed to be rushed back to Harare. By 5 I got up to shower and sat up for the first time in a day and then visitors started arriving—because they know if I don’t go to work I am dying—so they wanted to check! Then they told me exciting news—our cell phone tower had been turned on that afternoon and we could make calls from anywhere on the mission! I picked up my phone and called Major right away who was still on his way to Bulawayo! I called to say “Major, this is sister, I am in heaven and it is a good place!” He didn’t think it was very funny, but was glad I was a bit better. Then he proceeded to tell me how wonderful it was to drive the Jeep and so comfortable and how many times he stepped on the brake thinking he had to clutch—it is an automatic! He just went on and on about the truck and how people stared at it everywhere because they had never seen one before! He told me had at least 50 calls from people that day telling him that we now had network coverage!! Of course where they were headed had no coverage so he can’t call all weekend!
Friday I got up to go to work and felt better. I went with my catheter in and my patients and staff just stared at me! I stayed until about noon and then came home and slept for 2 hours and then went back at 2 until 4 and then came home to sleep again! I was just so wiped out but the pain was so much better!
Friday night is Pizza night at Chidamoyo, so I invited the doctor and the 3 female medical students over for pizza. Then after prayers we turned on the generator to watch a movie with Monica, Mereki’s and the students and doctor—I went to bed and slept until 7 a.m. this morning.
I made the decision to take at the catheter because it was so irritating and now am doing much better. Major had gone into Bulawayo to get diesel for the car and so he called to say hi and make sure I was still living! He kept saying the Jeep was the big attraction and everyone wanted their picture taken with it! Then got up and was able to go to work until 11, finished up discharges and came home to sleep—now I am feeling better. No electricity since 6 a.m. this morning so wish it would come on for the fans to cool us off a bit!
A big Thank you to all “Friends of Chidamoyo” and “The Benefit of Hope” in Seattle in July that raised the money for the new Jeep! We are so happy to have it and it is a true blessing to us! Come and visit us so you can ride in it!
We were told to come on Tuesday next week to get a letter to tell us if Dr. Cheryl Kellert has been approved for her medical license here. We are praying for the best and hope she will be here soon to add to the excitement of our work here.
Major will take the kids back for school on Monday afternoon and stay to get the letter for Dr. Kellert. We are all praying for the best! Major is so happy to go to Harare with the new car—he doesn’t mind going 2-3 times a week! He finally is learning to drive an automatic! I asked him how fast it can go and he said “Unlimited! But I keep to the speed limit!” Yeah, right! Thank you, thank you to all our donors!
We do hope to have a non-exciting week next week—is it possible?
Phone numbers for you from US:
Kathy: 011263772416270
Major: 011263882348309
We will get a hospital number soon and let you know! We have noticed that the coverage comes and go depending on electricity or not--so don't give up if you are trying to get us. Email is the best way to contact us.

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