Heidi’s Patient Last Seen at Funeral

Heidi’s patient from this morning all better nowLate this afternoon I went to a funeral in a village about 20 minutes away (more about that later). When I came back I was showing Heidi my photos and she stopped me on one and said “Wait a minute! I saw that guy this morning at clinic!”

Apparently, she gave him the right medicine because when I saw her patient he was dancing quite a jig at the funeral. Good work, Dr. Heidi!

Harmattan is Here

Harmattan is the name of the dry season in West Africa. It gets its name from the winds that blow south from the Sahara Desert bringing with them fine particles of dust and sand.

With no rain to settle the dust it fills the air. You can see it, you can smell it, you can taste it. Your lips crack, your eyes burn, your floor is always dirty no matter how often you sweep/mop it, your pretty little white MacBook slowly turns brownish-red, your camera lenses have to be wiped clean after almost every shot. Read More

Photo of the Day – By Heidi!

I took the afternoon off yesterday and went hiking with Elizabeth Faile and William. I got my hands on the camera for the first time in a long while and took some photos. William told me this shot was worthy to be “photo of the day.” In it you can see the haze and red dust of harmattan settling in.

Red Grass

Spinal Anesthesia

Heidi prepares to give a man an injection in the spineMost surgical procedures at the BMC are done under either spinal anesthesia or with the use of ketamine (a dissociative anesthetic which blocks the connection between one’s consciousness and the pain). Rarely is a patient put under general anesthesia.

Giving a patient spinal anesthesia is the same basic process as doing a lumbar puncture (aka spinal tap). Instead of taking out a sample of spinal fluid, a local anesthetic such as lidocaine or marcaine is injected into the canal. Read More

Photo of the Day

I posted an interview a couple weeks ago with Kathy Van Bibber who volunteered as a music teacher at a local primary school. She worked at the Happy Child Learning Center most of the time but also spent some time at St. Patrick’s School, another primary school in town.

This photo was taken at the entrance to St. Patrick’s. The kids at this school wear purple uniforms to differentiate them from the yellow toting kids of Happy Child.

Cephalopelvic Disproportion (w/ slideshow)

This past week, a young first time mom had been laboring for a long time without any progress. She was a small-framed woman and finally it was determined that she had a cephalopelvic disproportion, meaning that the baby’s head was too big to pass through the mom’s pelvis.

Heidi assists Dr. Faile with a C-SectionI scrubbed in acting as scrub-tech and first assistant with Dr. Faile. He did most of the C-section, but allowed me to pull the baby out of the womb. It was not as easy as I thought it would be. Read More