Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Concern for his family

I see lots of patients each day, some are worried about today and some are worried about tomorrow.  R was worried about tomorrow.  He is sick and he knows it, he doesn't feel good, he can't do everything he wants to, and yet he is still trying to figure out how to care for his family, even while he is sick.  He thought if he stopped his medicines he would get better and would be able to take care of his wife and 3 kids, instead he shows up today, feeling worse than he has before.

I talked to him and his wife, explaining what was wrong with him and how the medicines were the best way to care and look after his family.  We also talked about Jesus and how this life doesn't have to be the end for us, so another way to take care of your family is to help them know and understand God's love for them.  R and C were very thankful for the time we had in the clinic today and we left praying that God will be with them as he fights his illness and does his best to look after his family for as long as he has.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Human Tree

We saw a human tree yesterday - a tree that produces humans, in this instance we had about a 5 yo boy that grew out of this tree.  Just kidding.  A boy fell and landed on a tree and a branch went into his leg - thankfully with a little Ketamine, we were able to remove the branch from his leg and he will be just fine, but the branch didn't make it unfortunately.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Miracle of TB medicine

We see a whole lot of TB here, everyday we see TB in the lungs, the abdomen, the brain, the spine, around the heart and other places as well.  We see people who are in a coma, who after a few weeks are talking and walking.  We see people who are paralyzed on one side, or who have significant weakness on one side of their body and after a number of weeks, they are walking again on their own.  We see people with fluid around their heart or lung and after just a few days/weeks - the fluid is gone as the medicine starts working.

Junior was one of these miracles.  It has taken 5 months, but he went from a coma, not talking, having weakness of one side of his body, to being awake and talking, but confused and with headaches and vision problems, to then walking and talking and returning to almost the same young man he was before as he was discharged.  The 5 months weren't easy, there were tears and frustrations, but also lots of prayers and care by his family and our TB staff and now a happy home going.

Tuberculosis is a disease that has the potential to wreck a lot of havoc on those it infects, but thankfully the medicines have the power to do so much good.  We would be seeing hundreds of patients each year who would be dying from TB, if it weren't for the medicines we have.  We are starting to see some resistance, having about 5 patients in the past 2 years, but so far, for most everyone, our standard 4 drug regimen is still effective and doing it's job.  Medicine still has a long way to go to curing a lot of diseases through medicine, and TB is certainly one of them, but I am sure thankful that for many here, the diagnosis of TB can end in a cure for that person.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Charlotte Joy

On March 27th, Charlotte Joy Thompson entered the world.  Her parents and brothers were happy that she arrived, and the rest of us are happy to have a new little baby on station again.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Sand Angels

What do you do when Uncle Don puts in new sand on the volleyball court - you act as if it is your own huge sand box and make sand angels because you have never seen snow.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Caleb's graduation

The Barnabas House was full as we celebrated Caleb’s graduation from HS this past weekend.  He is looking to go into being a BioMedical/Electrical Technician when he leaves PNG.  For years he has been helping the hospital out through fixing different pieces of equipment that break and through helping the BioMedical Engineers when they have come to fix and install different pieces of equipment.  Over the years I have spent time with Caleb through PE and quizzing and it has been fun to watch him grow.  We will miss him, but trusting that he will take what he has learned these past number of years and find God’s path for his life. 

Friday, March 2, 2018

Most important members of the Hospital

Some people would think that the most important person in a hospital is going to the nurses or doctors or surgeons, but the truth is the most important members of the Hospital are our Maintenance staff.  Sure nurses, doctors and surgeons all have special skills that allow them to bring physical healing to patients when they need it, but without power, water, hospital buildings and autoclaves, the care that happens at the hospital can't happen, as we recently discovered ourselves.

Autoclaves are big machines that sterilize instruments and drapes and keep surgery going.  For our hospital it is more than surgery that depends on autoclaves so does the ER, our Labor and Delivery Room, and even our Medical, Surgical and Pediatric ward.  We take for granted that each day when we need a clean and sterile suture set to sew up a chop in the ER, that we have one.  Or when we need more OB delivery bundles to deliver a baby, that we have them.

We have 2 large autoclaves (one bigger than the other) and then 2 tabletop autoclaves.  On most days we are using the 2 big ones a few times a day, and only the small ones for a few special instruments.  About 1 week ago that changed.  Our one autoclave had been broken for a while and we hadn't been able to get the part we needed, and then the one we were using each day, also quit working.  We thought we had it fixed, but then it broke again.  So we went from usually using 2 big autoclaves, to 1 big one, to no big ones and only 2 very small ones.

Despite using the 2 very small ones pretty much around the clock, we couldn't keep up with the demand our hospital puts on our Central Supply.  The Delivery Room delivered 6 babies the one night I was on call this week and I did 2 Csections in that time and we pretty much wiped out all our supply of OB bundles.  So when no solution to the problem was insight, we actually had to close the Hospital and just become a clinic - where we could see our outpatients and give medicine, but we couldn't do surgery or deliver babies, we didn't have the supplies we needed.

For a number of days, our Maintenance guys (especially Jordan, Nolly and Kulang) have been working around the clock trying to figure out how to fix the 2 autoclaves, even to the point of taking one of them apart and putting it back together. When I was doing the Csection at midnight, they were out there trying to get it going.  These guys are really the most important people of the hospital because without them we can't give the care we need - we can't deliver babies or do surgery or take care of sick patients when they come to the ER.  Too often we take them for granted, but this week sure highlighted just how valuable they are to our Mission Hospital.

After putting in many hours, they got us up and running, with still some kinks to be worked out yet, but we are able to run most of our hospital services now, just not quite fully up to doing all the surgery we would like, but hope to get there soon.  After having the unusual site of empty delivery beds this past week, it was nice to have each delivery room full this morning, and is a good sign that we are able to be functioning again - thanks to our Maintenance guys.