September with no college football.

Sunday, September 5, 2010
I always know it's been too long since I've posted when I can't remember what I did yesterday, much less last week. There has been so much change these last ten days that I'm not sure I can explain it all. I think I already mentioned the departure of David Harris (see I can't remember anything). He was the incredible individual in charge of all things supply. Just getting a hold of the keys to central supply since he has been gone is quite a task in itself.

Dr Scott Nelson, the orthopedic surgeon who put this entire Ortho program in place came and went last week. Brooke Beck who has been running this hospital since February from a nursing point of view officially moved on to greener pastures as well. Jean Junior, the orphan who had been living with us since my first week here and his father's death also moved to Frantz's mother's orphanage, definitely the best thing for him right now, but all the same very hard.

I've never been one that hates change. I don't love it either. I've discovered that I get bored with things after about two years in the same place, or two months if we're talking boyfriends. Overall I think change is good. I can't stand feeling stagnant or unproductive. Same ol' same ol'. It makes me want to scream.

But this kind of change is hard, especially because it has come with a lot more responsibility for me. But I think God likes change. I think He intended it. We should always be moving when it comes to spiritual things. And I believe that everything in life is it should all be moving forward.

My heart has felt something the last two days. I've told my parents, though never mentioned it here, that I feel incapable of processing emotions here. Of any kind. I haven't been truly happy or sad. I haven't cried (except for almost as Brooke drove away). I haven't really let myself love either. I feel so distant.

Yesterday a sweet 15 year old girl named Kensia invited me to her home. After a scolding from Frantz because I didn't know exactly why I was going, I went anyway. (Yes he came along). She has a serious heart problem. I don't know what because all of her medical records were destroyed in the earthquake. She lost her family in it as well. You can almost hear her heart murmur standing next to her. She comes to the hospital to find Brooke, or now me, when she is having trouble breathing.

I went to her home and she and her cousin sang for me, she gave me a picture she had drawn and a coca-cola, and she asked me to adopt her. She lives with her neighbor, whom she calls her aunt. Her Aunt told me that they can't afford to help her medically. Even if they could I've never heard of heart surgery in Haiti. She makes me sad.

We got confirmation over the weekend that Joseph has bone cancer. He came in to preop this morning. We have to amputate his leg tomorrow. Other than a second earthquake, amputation is every Haitian's biggest fear. I can't tell you how many patients in ortho clinic have agreed to surgery as long as we promise we aren't cutting their limb off.

Joseph is 21 and at this stage in the game he wouldn't have another option even in the States. This is his only chance, although without chemo before and after he still might not make it. He has a perfect smile and speaks some English. He is terrified. He made me so sad.

Some good changes are happening as well. Brian arrived. An architect from Oregon who is hopefully going to make some real changes happen around this place. He's also a our little family is growing.

My parents are coming to Haiti this weekend and I will get my first real break in two months in the Dominican Republic! Just in time.

The weather is starting to cool off...or maybe I'm just used to it. But I haven't been hot today.

My kitten looks healthy now and actually runs to me when I enter the room rather than hissing at me.

My Creole is ...slowly...improving...and my new teacher is supposed to come by tomorrow!

I hear it's fall in Georgia and thus the SEC has begun to take charge. All the teams I care about won yesterday...which really just means Auburn.

War Damn Eagle.


Valerie said...

WarDamnEagle! SEE you Saturday with CoCo Krispies!

Amanda said...

So glad your heart is starting to feel and you still have a great sense of humor. maybe the two months for a bf will move up to 2 years next?? Go Gators!!

Kevin Healy MD said...


Glad to hear that Jean Jr. has found a place with children his own age. I don't have any concept of what the first ten years were like for him but I think he'll benefit from a peer environment. Enjoy your time in DR.
I'm off to Mongolia and then Israel, beginning Thursday. I'll be back in USA first weekend in October.

Justin Scott said...

"I've discovered that I get bored with things after about two years in the same place, or two months if we're talking boyfriends." Hahaha I love you.

I wish I knew how to respond to your confession that you are emotionally disconnected. One day I feel that's important, the next I feel it's a hindrance. One day I think it will hurt you, the next I think it will save you.

Peace to you. I am thinking of you always.

Leonard Kozak said...

Jessica, I just read your blog and I love it. Even though I have been here working with you for the last five plus weeks our areas of focus are so different that I don't always hear a lot of what happens on the medical side unless something breaks or quits working. Hope you have a great break in D.R. Do you mind if I add a link to your blog on mine? It's been a slice working with you. Keep your chin up and that warm smile of yours. Keep in touch!

Sarah said...

I tried to call you today! I hope you are having a relaxing time in the DR with your parents though. I like to read your blog.

Joseph is great. He's sad, but he still has his perfect smile. He wants your phone number, but I haven't given it to him - unless you want me to!

When you come back from the DR, I go to the States. When I get back, maybe we can hang out? Beach day???