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Friday, June 29, 2012

Take It In and Live It Up

As my time in Kenya comes to an end I've been trying to get as much in as possible and cherish every moment.
Monday I saw some more surgeries and hung out with the CURE doctors and residents.

Dr. Mbugua, Mr. Bones, Dr. Theuri, Me, Resident Dr. Victor, and Resident Dr. Chege

I don't get to work with the doctors very often because they're always tucked in their OR cave and I'm tucked in my PT cave, but when I do get to work with them I love it. It's a lot different than working with Mirriam and Elvis. And surgery is pretty cool too I guess :)

Tuesday I visited Bethany Kids, which is basically a wing of Kijabe Hospital that focuses on children with neurological problems like hydrocephalis and spina bifida.

This kid with hydracephalis was having the fluid drained out of his head. The yellow stuff in the tube is his cerebral spinal fluid!

I had met James, the Bethany Kids physical therapist just that morning and he was more than willing to show me around the ward. It was so different from the CURE hospital! Every bed was full and patients were lined up all along the hallways. I saw some adorable children, and the mom of this little boy told me I could take him home. I almost did!

While I was in the ward at Bethany I heard nurses calling for help and I saw them rushing a little kid with hydrocephalis into a private room. It wasn't until I saw the mother of the child on the floor crying hysterically that I knew something was terribly wrong. I left the ward before I could find out what was happening, but I was crushed seeing that mother helplessly calling out to her baby. CURE specializes in orthopedic cases so all of our patients are relatively healthy besides their deformity. The biggest emergency we see is a chest infection after a spine surgery. That was definitely something I wasn't ready to see. 
On Tuesday I also went to my first rugby game! RVA played a Kenyan team for the semifinals, and unfortunatley they lost. I had no idea what was going on, but I can definitely say that it's an intense sport. 

Wednesday was a clinic day, so I followed around some doctors and saw some patients. We got done early, so I went up to the PT department to talk to Mirriam and Elvis. I just love them. Elvis thinks everything I say hilarious and his laugh is super contageous, so I feel like we're always laughing. For some reason the topic of peanut butter came up (probably because I eat it for almost every meal here in Kenya) and Mirriam had no idea what it was. I had to explain to her what peanut butter is made of and what it tastes like. Needless to say, I bought her some peanut butter. I'll definitely miss them when I have to leave. 

Thursday was really slow because a cleft lip and palate clinic is coming in next week and they want to have the ward empty for those patients. We had 4 patients left in the ward and only one CP patient (out of the 3 that were supposed to show up). 

Today we had the clubfoot clinic. Mirriam left for her home village today so it was just me, Elvis, and David. I did a lot of casting and watched a few tenotomies (cutting of the Achillies tendon to release stiffness). This afternoon we had a going away party for the Executive Director, Jack, as he moves to another job in Nairobi. We did this Kikuyu tribal dance around the hospital in honor of Jack, and it was SO much fun. We were cracking up the whole time. I wish I had a video. It was bitter sweet though because I had to start saying my goodbyes. I'm not looking forward to saying goodbye to everyone on Monday, but it will be exciting to be home after 7 weeks away. 

I've been realizing how many people I've gotten the opportunity to meet and grow close to in my short time in Kenya and I think I'll realize it even more after I'm gone. It's crazy how eager I am to be back in the US, but at the same time so sad to leave. Kijabe has started to feel like home in a way and I can't imagine not going to work in the hospital everyday, walking to the dukas for food, and coming home to Kenyan John building us a fire and doing homework in the kitchen while we check facebook and write our blogs. I'm glad I still have the weekend to live it up and take it in! Tomorrow we hike Mt. Longonot :) I've been so blessed, and all the glory goes to God. 

Now, I can't post without showing some pictures of the kids in the ward this week. So here they are!







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