Thursday, October 23, 2014

Secrets and work

Wow, it has been a while since I have written. So sorry. At one point I thought I should see how long I could go without writing a post but that kinds of defeats the purpose of this blog so I better write something. Why so long without writing – I guess life is normal and I am not so quick to think “that would be an interesting blog post”. That being said, I am by no means an expert now at life here. I am still learning every day.
A lesson I have learned the past few months is about privacy and secrets.  To explain this I will give an example. In North America a girl goes on a few dates with a guy gets excited and tells all her friends. Sometimes she will tell all her friends to not tell anyone yet. But usually in a week or two she is fine with the news being out. She also is proud of her boyfriend and a boyfriend is a status symbol and therefore will be mentioned in conversations with friends and co-workers. Here it’s a little different. If someone is dating someone they don’t tell very many people at all. If they do you are expected to keep it a secret – it’s not your news to share and sharing someone else news may be the end of a friendship. Until the couple has met both families and the dowry has been exchanged its not official and therefore not talked about. Even after it is still not your news if you are friends and she wants to tell you take the news and treasure it, but don’t share it. The telling of the whole world via Facebook is much more uncommon.
So I know there are a few Kenyans who read this blog and if I got it all wrong please tell me.
I am continuing to learn about life here and I will never be done.

On another note things have been busy at the hospital I am excited to be having more ventilators as we have added two, soon to be three, Servo 300 ventilators to our vent pool. These are good machines and I am excited to have waveforms for teaching. We recently used the servo to ventilate a 6 month old with bad pneumonia/ARDS. Unfortunately,  despite three weeks on the ventilator this little one did not survive; please pray for this family. Life in the ICU is always up and down with some patients getting better and some not. A few weeks ago we had a big success. It was a weekend and I was helping out the medicine team on call. We had a bad asthmatic come into casualty. We gave her the cocktail of meds we have access to (Ventolin, steroids, Magnesium, she may have even got some Epi) despite all these meds her lungs refused to open up and she was getting tired. I tried bipap with no success. So we had to put this young lady on a vent. Acute asthmatics are some of the hardest patients to ventilate and this lady was the worst I have seen yet. When she was on the vent we paralyzed her to squeeze all the trapped air out of her lungs, gave her ketamine as a sedative – it bronchodilates, and still after a few hours her vent pressures were still in the 80’s. We threw some more meds at her:  aminophylline, more magnesium and of course a continuous stream of Ventolin. She came in on Saturday and started to get a little better on Tuesday, finally on Friday we were able to take her tube out and she could breathe on her own. This young lady took a lot of my time, energy and prayers. I am thankful she finally turned around a week later she went home. She now has medications in her pocket and hopefully she will be able to control her asthma better. If this lady had not made it to us when she did or had gone to a district hospital which do not have ICU care she would have died. I am thankful that God uses us to help people like her.

So that’s a little of what I have been up to. Hopefully in the next few weeks I will have an update for you regarding what’s next. Also I am excited in a few weeks my friend Shawna, who also edits this blog for me, will be coming for a visit. I am excited to show her my life here. Also from a work/educational standpoint we say iron sharpens iron. I have not had a lot of iron to sharpen against so I am looking forward to that as well. 

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