We hope you area all doing well and getting ready for a relaxing weekend. We have had a roller coaster ride of experiences and emotions and are ready for a little downtime this weekend :)
I (Jen) wanted to tell you a little about the medical experiences I've had during the past week. I've taken charge of the isolation ward in the hospital, where tuberculosis, burn and wound patients are located. Every bit of experience I had on the Burn Unit at the University of Iowa is being put to use as I care for these patients (I never thought that rotation would have been so important in my future medical career :). Every morning I'm doing the dressing changes and then performing debridements and skin grafts during much of the day. I'm also seeing lots of children in the weekly clinics (Mon, Wed Fri), many of whom who are malnourished and suffering from malaria or other parasitic infections.
Patient care is so drastically different here. There is quite a large language barrier, so obtaining a history of very limited. In addition, there are few to no laboratory tests or x-rays available to assist with obtaining a diagnosis. So the only thing you have to rely on is a physical exam. Practicing medicine here is like starting all over again with all that you think you know about medicine, and truly relying on Christ for your knowledge and skills. Unfortunately, several of my patients have passed away from diseases that would have been very treatable if the patients were living in the U.S. The people in this country experience loss and pain as a way of daily life, and continue to amaze both Ben and I with their graciousness and incredible true and natural joy.
I don't have too many photographs yet, since I've been so busy and haven't thought to bring my camera to the hospital every day. So there will be more to hopefully come...
Here's one of me helping in the traveling dentist and evangelism clinic.