Friday, May 9, 2014

Hard days, ambulance rides and a smile

So it’s been a tough few days we have had a few unexpected deaths of children and young people. When things are hard I cling to 2 things
1.       Despite it all God is Sovereign and I will continue to praise him.
2.        I remember the ones who get better. So walking home today I met someone who brought a smile on my face.
I met this father a few months ago he had come into casualty looking bad. Without going into the medical details we thought he may have had a bleed in his brain. He had stopped breathing once in ER and as we did not know the cause we were worried it could happen again. He needed a CT scan and the machine at Tenwek was broken. As transport was going to be a few hours someone needed to go who could place a breathing tube, if necessary. So that person was me, I ran home to get some food (wish I hadn't) and cell phone credit. I knew that our ambulance would not have all the supplies I needed if he stopped breathing so I filled a basket with everything I needed to keep him breathing.

We (the nurse and I) loaded up the patient in the ambulance. His wife accompanied us and off we went. We had one monitor - the SpO2 monitor that lives in my pocket, and no IV pumps. Off we went to our 6 hour trip. A few miles down the road we stopped to swap oxygen tanks, one was empty and they had just picked up a few from the next town. O2 tanks picked up, we were set until our next stop. Our patient was awake and in a lot of pain. His wife (who was with us) called some family who lived down the road. We stopped and they gave us some pillows. From there is was smooth sailing as smooth as it can be riding backwards in an Ambulance on curvy roads, and roads under construction. My stomach was unhappy, thankfully the windows would open so I could stick my head out.

Throughout the trip (all 6 hours) I was happy that our patient was doing well, we safely arrived at our destination met a wonderful neurosurgeon and got a CT scan. We were pleased to see the scan was clear. Still with a question of what had happened that morning we traveled back to Tenwek for further tests. We could not find IV fluids in the ambulance so I went to the hospital pharmacy where we were getting the tests done and bought a few bags of IV fluids, and some pain killers. Not a question asked. Not routine for a transport in America, but it was really no different than stopping at the grocery store and buying some flour and sugar.

The trip back was uneventful, we thanked God for safe travel in the dark. The patient never had another episode and went home. I have seen him walking around the Tenwek and today when I saw him it brought a smile to my face. I don’t know what happened, maybe God healed him, maybe it was a strange migraine. But seeing his smile today was exactly what I needed.

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