Sunday, March 18, 2012

The 3 Week Settle

Wow. I set up a calendar for myself this weekend and realized it'll be 3 weeks on Tuesday that I have been here. Time is flying.  This week I have definitely settled in better and have started to form some 'groupies' for my downtime which really helps.  P90X (workout DVD) in the Queen's or International Lounge is much more fun when you have some 'groupies' to do it with.
I'd like to spend more time doing some running too, as there is a ton of people who are always running 5 or 10k.  There is a "Run Across Togo" at the end of the month, that I'd love to be a part of, as it is just for fun. I'm hoping my back is going to pull through as it hasn't been overly cooperative when it comes to running. For those of you who pray, that is something to petition.  Maybe it sounds minor, but back health is a constant battle for me, and crucial to my overall physical life and strength.

I wish I could drop you into hospital life... In some ways it's definitely nothing glamorous, but in so many ways it's the most awesome thing I get to do here (which is a bonus... since that is wHy I am here : )  I love my shifts there.  We have an open ward of 20 beds, in B Ward at least - the "Plastics" ward.  Open ward concept makes for great community.  I've seen family members of the patients really open up and settle in over the last couple weeks.  I love some of those peeps.  Once again, so cool that I can talk with them, en Francais, because so many of the short term crew feel a bit more disconnected due to language gap.  Plastics is fun cause the patients generally stay 2 weeks or more. Mostly more.  The skin grafting is a long healing process and that's all of what I've been caring for. Old contracted burns, released by skin grafts.  Sounds minor, but when the side of your face has melted/healed to your neck, it's pretty huge when you can live upright again.  Or when your knee has melted/healed into a 90' angle, it's pretty huge when you get a skin graft that allows you to straighten, strengthen, and walk on your leg again.  These are seriously life changing surgeries.
How about a 40 pound growth hanging from your left leg. It's like cutting a toddler off your leg.  That aught a change yer life.  Or how about the same off your back, that grew in the shape of a 40 pound tear drop.  These are actual current cases. These are my patients!
Finger contracture release, toe contracture release, leg contracture release, are some of my pediatric cases.  Release of those contractures means use of those joints again.  Pretty awesome for kids, since they potentially have the most 'lifetime' left. 

There are moments here where I try to remember as I walk down the hall and into the ward, or even to the dining room that already seems pretty normal life now, that I am 'living my dream'.  I challenge you wherever you are as you do some of the things you have wanted to do for sometime, whether it is get the groceries bought, clean the house, visit a neighbor, talk to a friend, travel to another country, finish a class, or whatever.  I remind you as a friend reminded me, to look through an empty picture frame that has the words "Dream" written across the top.. and just place in there the moment you're in.  It has made a lot more moments here, and in my past adventures, special. 

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