Thursday, May 5, 2011


This is the end of my first week of nights. It hasn't been too bad, I got to lay down every night so far. Monday night was rough as I had worked a 24 on Sun and then slept a whole two hours before my next shift of 14 hrs, ugh. Now I have off until Sunday.
I have to work on my M&M for next week. This schedule in not at all conducive to making it to the gym except for Th/Fri/Sat...I hope I don't lose my motivation but I plan to go when I get off today.
I got to go home for Easter but had a cold and was really tired, boo. My community group from church took me out for my birthday, love, love love them! Mexican food and bowling, yippee.
I have every night that I am off this month booked with stuff with them so it should be more fun times.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Bloggin Again

I decided that I am going to start writing on my blog again, I love reading my friends' blogs. I think it might be somewhat therapeutic too.

I started working out at a gym which I never though I would have time for, I have since become addicted to it, and its hard to find an excuse not to get to the gym. I have new work out clothes, my sport drink packs and the necessary post workout protein shake. My ipod with angry music and my gloves make it that much more a"comfortable" experience. Plus, it a great people watching place...yes I am that girl.

Well, off to bed to start a day of surgery with the privates, always a toss up. Then I am sure I will make it to the gym...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Best for Last

Today could have easily been our best yet! We joined the World Vision Outreach organization for a day of health/vision screenings in the surrounding villages for children that are sponsored. We went to five villages all in the hill areas nearby. Winding gravel roads with very sharp switchbacks made us glad that we were in an SUV with an obviously experienced driver. While this is the dry season and much of the landscape is brown( the rainy season in July and August turn everything lush and green), we were in awe of the beautiful scenery that the villagers are undoubtedly accustomed to. At the first couple of villages, there were many children to be examined so we rushed in and out of the school buildings that housed our make shift clinics. At the last couple we ventured down the main street of the villages greeting kids and giving them starbursts and skittles. Hannah and I felt like we had stepped into a National geographic picture. In fact, before coming to India, I had read in a national geographic about government sponsored village health workers who help with pregnancies, childbirth and immunizations. We were fortunate to meet a lady who does exactly that for her village. These excursions are very important for the hospital because many of the villagers would never venture away from their homes in search of medical care. However, after becoming familiar with the community outreach team, those who need referrals to the hospital are much more open to the idea of making the trek to Kothara which is by bus.
While we took many pics, here are some of the scenes that captured our attention: children hiking/running down a steep hill with water jugs on their heads on their way to the community well, an infant swinging in the breeze in a homemade hammock near the edge of the cliff. We were invited to one home to see a very sick child who most likely has a genetic syndrome(?), cerebral palsy(?), malnutrition and an enlarged spleen. The infant was lying behind the bamboo hut(that I could not stand up in) right next to the cow and pile of cow dung. We were taken to an outdoor restaurant for lunch. The kitchen was well equipped for all of the local favorites. we discovered that the way to ask for mild food is to ask for "chili light". A couple more villages and we were headed back down the switchbacks more tired than we had realized. I watched as we passed by many women and children carrying loads on their heads. I couldn't help but think of the story in the bible that says that not one sparrow falls to the ground without God knowing so how much more valuable is each person to him! While many of these children will never venture beyond their place of birth their whole lives, the value that they hold in the mind of God is unimaginable.

Monday, February 16, 2009

tasty travels!

There is so much to share! We have ten work days left here! We have become pretty close to Mitalee the counselor/social worker. We have set her up an email account and facebook to attempt to stay in touch with her. She seems to do everything/anything that is needed. She leads devos, facilitates church and any other meeting that occurs. She teaches the children's Sunday school. Her work ethic is amazing. While, her duties keep her busy seven days a week, she is happy to serve in all these areas. At the hospital, she stays until the last patient is seen because her job is integral in every patients visit. Most would not know how to open an eye drops bottle or how to put in eye drops if she did not show them. I hope that we are an encouragement to her like she is to us!
Hannah and I ventured out into the unknown last week. We have spent just about every hour of every of every day within the confines of the hospital compound. Pastor Silas the father of the bride of the wedding that we attended took us to our "luxury" bus Thursday night at 8. He got on with us to make sure we got situated and confirmed with the drivers where we were headed. I thank my dad for teaching me resourcefulness. I rigged the curtain closed to that we could have privacy in what I call our "cubby" of a matress with enough ceiling room to sit up but not quite enough leg room for me to stretch all the way out. Mostly bumpy and surprisingly chilly, we slept most of the way to the city. I woke up and started packing up my things to find that there was a gap in the top of the curtain and a little Indian lady just watching every move that I was making from the bunk above and opposite ours. Even with my pseudo brown eyes, I am quite the spectacle.
We rode auto rickshaws to all our stops in the city and managed to book a hotel for the night and find the bust to Ellora. The latter was not as simple as we had hoped. We naively thought the bus stop would have soemthing written in English since that is were manyu tourists make the trek to the caves. Thankfully we discovered bus lane 8 was the one we wanted...waiting...being stared at....finally, a man comes up and questions Ellora? The bus was about to leave but we would never have known cause it was behind several in lane 8.
We found people to be really helpful like that man. If anyone was too helpful, I was of course skeptical with my pepper spray at easy access and was prompt to loudly say "nay" and keep walking. Hannah got a kick out of how bold/rude that I can be if imposed on. I guess my brothers would be proud.
While we left the caves with tons of amazing photos and a new appreciation for the hard work of thousands of men who carved the temples out of the side of a mountain - quite insane actually, my favorite part of the trip was eating. Still trying to learn Indian cousine, we made excellent choices and enjoyed it all - even with a mouse making himself known at one of the "hot spots" for north indian food. I managed to have a veggie cheese burger, fries(finger sticks), and a coke for lunch on Saturday- wooohooo!
A stop at a coffee shop - cafe coffe day- made us equally excited and after searching for the location for two days ( most streets are not named and we only knew the district it was in), we really got the most out of our time to chill in the a/c. Our dinner on the way out of town - ob valentines day- was by far my fave. Buffet style and at a fancy hotel, we felt like queens savoring every bite and appreciating variety like never before. The icing on the cake for that dinner was the guitar/harmonica player who meandered thru the tables playing relaxing music that hannah quickly pointed out to me was songs that we know and love - hymns! We instantly knew we had a lot in common with him. Minorities in the religious hodge podge that India is.
We are happy to be back to work especially since out job description has changed a bit. We help with physio, lab draws/iv's, and only pop into clinic with unusual cases. I am a hands on person so I was glad to poke and prod a man (to body map his deficits) who came into physio post stoke and neglect of his left side.
He will be coming twice a week and the PT tells me there are signs of at least partial recovery - yay!
More later and Hannah is working on a super long post that will be done one of these days:)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Light in the Darkness

I am grateful that I have a firm belief in who I know and believe is Jesus the Christ, who the angels announced would "save his people from their sin". Last week, we were seeing patients for the usual high blood pressure and diabetes when a little old man came in with no different complaint than most of the others. He was here for his blood pressure reading and to see if his diabetes meds needed any tweaking. Speaking Hindi, he suddenly got excited while he was talking to the doctor. We looked at her inquisitively because he was smiling and waving his hands in the air while he went on and on about something that obviously was important to him. The doc responded to our nonverbal inquiries by telling us that he was a hindu pundant or teacher. He had practiced Hinduism his entire life of 81 years. While coming to the hospital for his medical check ups, he had noticed the Bible verses on the signs and asked for a bible. He was given one in Marathi, the local dialect. He had gone home and started reading it. At this visit, he asked for one in Hindi so he could understand it easier, but he loved what he could understand. His waving of his hands had been to express the bright light that had came on in his life. He has never ever felt the joy that he has since discovering the purpose for the world and the God who is the real God. He went on to say that the gods that he had followed only wanted food offerings and such and would never respond to its followers-they were dead. The God in the Bible however worked in the lives of his people. He wondered how he could love so long without learning of this! He visited with the docs some more and he left with his new Hindi bible in hand. Later, we learned that his wife is an invalid whom he was the primary caregiver and she was still Hindu but he was determined to go home and read to her the Hindi bible so that she could share in his new found belief. He was going to maintain his teaching duties because he feared the consequences of conversion. Wow. God truly does draw men to himself where hi is lifted up.

Friday, February 6, 2009

things i love and could do without

Nice! I could keep this up....
  • wearing chacos everyday to workall the colorful saris that the women wear
  • cute indian children that just stare at us and say "good morning!" when we walk by their school at 4pm
  • roti - the flat bread that i eat 3 times a day just to feel full but hey i still like it. today we melted cheese on it!
  • our gas stove that we light with my lighter that I got through all the airports in my carry-on
  • the namaste greeting that patients give us everyday on rounds - they are so grateful for attention
  • not fixing my hair or washing it for that matter...saves on shampoo too! but this is no surprise to any of my loved ones!!!
  • my i pod dock that i bought the day before we came. we couldn't have gotten along without internet, tv, or phones in our house without it! ("The heart of Life" hien)
  • open windows - 24/7
  • the slow pace of life
  • my cocoon silk sleep sac that i swear i am going to use even when i come home
  • our neighbors - who are like the family we never knew
  • the badminton court
  • tea time BID
  • living, working, playing with my friend hannah
  • the lemon and lime trees outside
  • bible study
  • yoga
  • hannah's singing and dancing shows that are just for me!

really? must this be so???????
  • ants that swarm our kitchen table, sink, everything else
  • hindi obnoxious music blasting outside
  • the smell of ten bodies in one exam room without ac but with infectious skin disorders that smell and kids without diapers and untreated tb patients breathing in my face as i auscultate their cavitary lungs
  • nonsterile technique...somebody please wash your hands
  • eating lunch at 1:30 - don't you know i need my snacks
  • lack of food variety...i learned that if i blend their rough sugar into a fine grain that i can add it to absolutely everything!
  • hand washing all my laundry - well at least i get some kind of physical activity
  • the smell of mothballs
  • nightmares from our malaria medicine - watch out for the men without heads
  • the heat that is creeping into our days
  • we know how to treat this illness, we just don't have what we need to do it
  • while the slow pace is a nice change....sometimes things just dont get done in the same week that you need them to....PTL for wireless though!!!
  • the monkeys that think our roof is a jungle gym at 5 am!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bright Eyes and the most contagious smile

Saturday's are nice because they are half workdays. India is different from the US in that school and work are usually six days a week - one reason to be glad that I went to school in the states. Last Saturday, a young father brought in his four year old little boy for examination. Looking at him I was somewhat surprised that he was four because he was the size of an average two year old. One other feature was alarming in such a small child - he had massive ascites causing his little belly to be totally distended and tense. He was breathing rapidly and would cough intermittently. Being a small hospital with only xray imaging in house we sent him to have an ultrasound at a nearby clinic. Today father and son returned with the report was brief and handwritten on a folded piece of letterhead. Liver masses with blocked portal vessels. We have no other investigations at this point and his history is only significant for ascites starting in the first week of life! He is a bright eyed sweet natured little boy who was staring intently at Hannah and I. We immediately grabbed our cameras and took pictures of him as most kids love seeing themselves on the digital cameras. His smile blew us away and he even started laughing in a high pitched little squeal. We worked hard to distract him with finger puppets from the procedure to drain the fluid from his belly. After several hours we only got a little fluid to come out. We have no way of knowing the prognosis since we have no idea what is growing in his liver. As father and son left the clinic, the father could not keep back the tears from flowing and soon the little boy's flowed too. We hope to refer him to a University hospital where the facilities are better suited for diagnosis and treatment. For now, all of our hearts are heavy as we think of the little ones in our lives and how dear they are to us and how helpless we feel toward this little bright eyed child of God.