Saturday, May 24, 2008

Priscilla and Daren

I returned from Madang at 6pm on Tues and started my on call responsibilities as soon as I dropped off my bags and got to the hospital (great welcome home). One of the pts I saw that night was Priscilla who was brought in by family after delivering twins at home a day and a half ago. The story from the family wasn't real clear, but she had a seizure at home and in the ER. They said she had fever, abdominal pain, and headache. I was looking for any medical cause that could cause these things - here meningitis and malaria are something to consider on all pts with seizures, but she didn't have either of those. I wasn't sure what was going on, but I admitted her and kept trying to figure it out. I got a call that her BP was 180/120 and then knew she was having eclamptic seizures. I quickly put her on Magnesium and prayed for the best. The following day, she was still having seizures in the morning on rounds, and wasn't very responsive when I examined her. I talked to the family about her condition and explained how serious it was, and that sometimes people die from this. We prayed, but I really thought she might die. How surprised I was today to find her sitting up in bed (as above), smiling, talking normally, and answering all my questions - Praise God. One of her babies died, but the second one, which was a little bigger, is currently okay.

Daren is a kid that always brought a smile to my face everyday on rounds. He came to the hospital over a month ago with what was thought to be pneumonia. He ended up having a pleural effusion which required a chest tube, which turned out to be a chylothorax. It took a long time, and I wasn't sure if he would get better. I would often pray with his mom for his healing, and thankfully he got better. When I first started seeing him, he would cry as soon as he would see me. Over time, he quit crying. The day before he went home, I said hi to him and put out my hand to have him shake it (a common thing parents teach their kids to do here). He had a kaukau in both hands so he couldn't put his hand out to shake mine. Instead he moved his head closer to me to shake my hand - it was cute. Although I enjoyed seeing him everyday, I am thankful that he is now home with his family.