Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Day 1 and 2 and TMI

random photo I took while driving in the van.  There is a lot of traffic and with miscommunication Jay and I spent 2 1/2 hrs the first day getting to the orphanage to teach. 

 On Monday Jay and I taught the caregivers at Food for the Poor, an orphanage for disabled children and adults.  The class participants learned and practice transferring patients using a blanket, appropriate lifting techniques of assisting their disabled patients up from the ground with a draw sheet and many other subjects.  I was surprised their interest in massage.  Thanks to Jay's D.O. schooling he was able to give them a few good tips regarding massage. 

Our students at Food for the Poor with Teachers Jay, Jordan, Marcus and me.
On Tuesday Jay and I went separate places.  I worked with Penny, a pharmacist, at General Hospital.  Our assignment was with an American doctor who has been working in Haiti for 2 years and set up a TB clinic.  We spent the first hour assisting patients with feeding and ambulating.  Many of the patients were severely malnourished and literally just skin and bone.  Sorry no pictures of the patients at the clinic.   

Jay spent the day at the Healing Hands for Haiti clinic with a Haitian spine doctor.  Healing Hands for Haiti specializes in bone and muscle injuries, strokes, and patients needing prosthetics.  With a Haitian doctor at the clinic, he saw some pretty incredible 3rd world medical patients.  One patient had a broken jaw that was never reset.  Another patient with a T-11 spinal cord injury was given instructions for the MD a few weeks ago in treating bed sores.  The patient decided to see a voo-doo doctor for a second opinion, a common practice here in Haiti.  The second "doctor" told the patient to not allow anyone to move him and to leave the compression stocking on his leg and not remove.  After 3 weeks of not moving, this paralyzed patient returned to the healing hands clinic with the worst bedsores I've ever seen.  Stage four sores on coccyx, bilateral ischial tuberosities, and up the entire side of one of his legs.  Although Jay took some very incredible photos, I will forgo posting as it will probably not be appropriate for non medical people to see. 

Jay and I under the mango tree
 And as for the TMI-the mosquitoes are plentiful, especially at night.  On one of the first nights here Jay experienced the hard lesson of mosquitoes.  They don't always pick the most ideal locations.  Jay got two mosquito bites on his upper thigh while using the toilet.  Talk about major itch!  Last night before bed Jay said to me-in all seriousness-I really need to use the bathroom, but I think I'll wait until morning.  I just don't want to risk getting another bite.  I couldn't help but laugh.  The sacrifices we make in order to prevent malaria.  Thanks for the doxycylcine, which we take nightly, to prevent the disease while here in Haiti. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Haiti 2012

First Haitian meal-Goat Vertebrae.  Don't beleive my face-I eat goat every year.  It tastes good.  Jay was giving us an anatomy lesson of vertebrae while we ate.  

Dillon and Jay playing around Sunday afternoon at Healing Hands guest house

Here's the team.  3 pharmacists, 6 nurses, 1 nurse practitioner, a med students, a nutritionist, a pre med student a prenursing student, and Marcus, the comedian. 

At church.  I see this little girl ever year I come.  She is getting so big
Some of the Haitians lives in houses and others are still living in tent cities.  This is a view of one of hillsides. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

After 16 hrs of traveling

We arrived in Haiti at noon today after a red eye from LAX into MIA.  Due to schedule changes, the flight arrangements were a mess but luckily Jay was able to fly standby on my flight and we ended up being able to be seated next to each other on the red eye.  Hooray for a shoulder to sleep on. 

It's my 5th trip to Haiti and, as always. it feels a little like coming home when I arrive at the Healing Hands for Haiti property.

It's Jay's first trip and so far he says he loves it.  (Granted all he has seen if the traffic between the airport and the guest house and the beautiful property, including a swimming pool, here on the compound).  After arriving we unpacked bags of supplies, organized it and then spent some time relaxing by the pool waiting for the rest of the team members to arrive.  I took Jay on a small tour to see the 7 acres of property here including where the clinic was before the earthquake and where the new clinic is being built.  He also got to see a view of Boudon town next to the Healing Hands for Haiti compound.  (pictured below)

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Oh the Places We'll Go

While Jay brings birding to the relationship, I will be bringing a passport full of stamps and a computer full of photos from places I've been.  With the expenses of dating long distance, wedding stuff, a move to AZ, med school loans, needing to find a job in AZ post move and graduation, family, etc. it appears that my traveling bug may need to take a hiatus for a few years.  (How did this frugal Dougall end up with such an expensive hobby, anyway?!?) 

I had a spark of creativity this year for Christmas.  Actually, it was less creativity and more of a wandering mind while attempting to study for finals that came upon a perfect idea.  (finals are good for something!).  I decided to give Jay an Around the World themed gift tying in my love of traveling and providing him with fun gifts to open each week until we get married.  I think we are on week 6 of 22.  So far he has been to Antarctica (a coupon good for sno cones this summer), the Far East (to celebrate the Chinese New Year with a package of spicy ramen noodles), Africa (a small donation to an organization that supports humanitarian work in Africa), Mexico (ingredients for Salsa), Europe (movie tickets to see Sherlock Holmes), and my favorite, and the first envelop he opened to kick off the Christmas gift, a tour around Utah the week of Christmas (plane ride in a 2 seater plane). 

If you look really close you can see a dot right in the middle.  That is the plane.
 Perfect weather for flying and a fun way to celebrate Christmas

Birding is little bit more of a budget minded hobby and one that we will enjoy until we can afford the places we wish to go someday together. 
Jay suggests that we can go birding in some of the countries we will some day travel.  This will increase the expense of birding exponentially.  I think we'll be staying but in Tucson for a while and enjoying the birds in a landlocked community.