Saturday, April 10, 2010

Haiti: Day 6

Apres la pluie…le deluge

So, I initially awoke at about midnight last night to the sound of James moving about the room. It had begun to rain pretty heavily, and after some discussion, we agreed to close the window. James was also kind enough to move my luggage away from the window for me, to prevent my things from getting wet. With that, I rolled over and went back to sleep. About forty-five minutes later, I awoke again, this time to James saying, “Uh…Kobie? We have some flooding?” (If you know my former attending, you know he likes to make statements in interrogative form.)

And boy, did we have some flooding. We were standing in about two and a half inches of water. I got out of bed, and rushed to save my belongings from any further assault by the water of unknown origin. After doing so, (my things really weren’t in too bad of shape) I walked out of the room, to find that the entire first floor had at least an inch of standing water, and the residential staff and residents had begun to frantically try to remove it. I grabbed the nearest mop I could find, and started to mop the water in the direction of the first door…and the handle promptly popped off the head of the mop. Not to be discouraged, I popped it back on, until it popped off the second time. I fought this battle with the mop and the water repeatedly, until we realized that buckets were probably more useful. All four rooms at the end of the hallway were covered in water, but with the help of most of the residence, we began to make progress in getting rid of the water.

Most of the residence, that is. I forgot how much I hate doctors. And yes, I am aware that I am a doctor. For the most part, everyone pitched in and helped each other out. But one doctor, whose own room was one of the most flooded, kind of sat back watching while everyone else mopped/swept/wiped his room. So I hand the guy a broom, while I go and dump some of his water outside. I just assume he’s chilling because he didn’t have any tools. Five minutes later, I look up again from sweating in his room, and I see him chilling again, sans broom. Thirty minutes later, he’s back sleeping in his bed. Frickin’ surgeons, I swear.

Finally, by 2:30 in the morning, I made my way back to sleep, with a very sore back, and blistered thumb. I awake the next morning still very fatigued of course, with the goal of just making it through the day. But though it started slow, it turned out to be a very interesting day. We formally saw our first child and first adolescent, and actually hospitalized one patient. But my blog is getting long, I’m still tired, and I have one more quick story to share. Tell you about the patients tomorrow.

So, at about noon, I was sitting at our desk in the clinic, talking to Ali, waiting for the next shift of students to arrive. Our office was in a new location today, owing to the heavy rain last night, and our usual area was pretty muddy. The fifty or so patients waiting to see the medical doctors were also sitting all around us. Right about that time, we got hit by a pretty strong aftershock. It was like a really loud thunder, only you didn’t first hear it and feel it resonate through your body…you felt it rumble under your feet and the sound felt like it came second. Every single waiting patient leapt from where they were sitting on the side of the outside of the building, and scurried towards the open area. It was over nearly as suddenly as it started, however, and the group let out resounding nervous laughter. All and all, the people took the aftershock pretty well… though in truth, it definitely rattled them. A couple of hours later, patience began to run thin. Patients quickly grew weary of waiting to see the doctors, whereas every other day patients have been grateful to wait hours upon hours to get medical care. People began to attempt to cut the line, causing a bit of a commotion. Also, we got a few extra consults after that, with patients specifically stating they were disturbed by the aftershock. Who can blame them?

No comments:

Post a Comment