plenty of mess without a hurricane.

Saturday, November 6, 2010
I think a baby has died everyday this week in Peds. Or at least it feels that way. I haven't been able to sleep two nights because wailing mother's are being consoled outside of my window. Mother's losing babies that have nothing to do with earthquakes, cholera, or hurricanes. It's just life in Haiti.

I haven't been involved. I haven't been involved because both the other hospitals in Carrefour who we have great relationships with and who often save patients we can't closed this week. What a disaster. They were both planning on closing in December, but with the cholera and hurricane one stopped serving orthopedics and now is a cholera treatment center (for one patient that might have cholera). The other was a tent hospital that wanted to disband before the hurricane (that did not hit our area).

They will both be missed. But they were closing in December anyway...I think we are now the only hospital in Carrefour. I wasn't involved with the babies because I think we are the only hospital in Port-au-Prince doing orthopedics...maybe the only one in the country...

I have gotten a phone call everyday this week about a fractured femur transfer. We just don't have the capacity to be seen as a trauma hospital. It's really frustrating because at the end of the day, there is probably nowhere else for a femur fracture to go. We have eight trauma patients in house waiting for major surgeries. They were waiting for blood. Now they are simply waiting for manpower...for a doctor that's staying for more than eight days.

Our patients are still only getting one meal a day. I think that is perhaps the worst thing of all. We're talking about developing a new wing to the hospital and a great rehab center when the reality is if Elenor or I doesn't remember to go feed Paul (a patient here with no family) he will only get rice and beans at 1pm. He won't even get any water. That's a problem.

I believe we are in way over our heads here. We are all trying as hard as we can to make a difference and "improve healthcare in Haiti" and all that mess, but truthfully, the disaster doesn't seem much better than eleven months ago.

Tuesday night we had five trauma patients come in within an hour and a half. It scares me to think that if that had happened just six weeks ago I would have been the only ex-pat nurse here. Fortunately we had a great OR team and three full time nurses to jump into the action and get the patients straightened out. Everybody lived, and for now that seems to be the only goal.

I apologize if this post is a mess of ideas and complaints, but as the end of my time here approaches I wonder what, if anything, I have actually accomplished. A friend told me the other night that she would love to work long term in Haiti as long as she didn't have a job someplace that she felt would completely fall apart when she left. Sometimes I fear that's what we've gotten ourselves into. I pray that it's not true.


Justin Scott said...

Jesssica, if there's anything I can do for you, please just call. This was so hard to read, so awful.

Amanda said...

I believe that you have done something, many great things while you were there, God has used you. you have brought organization, you have given guidance to a young mother, you have assisted making sure patients get blood they need to survive or to walk. don't underestimate what you have been doing the last 4 months and think that its not important, many lives have been saved that may not have if you weren't there. God has used you in a beautiful way and has a plan for you and for Haiti after you leave. I'm praying for your hospital and hospitals in Haiti that they may prosper and grow and save more lives, even when that seems impossible. Its not. Love you.

Unknown said...

I know that you may feel you have not done enough for Haiti, when I returned to Calif. after spending only 7 days in Haiti I too felt that way. But you quit your job, put everything you had in storage, and moved to Haiti for 6 months, that alone is a great wonderful thing you have done. And you helped save many, many lives.You put out the fires and made the hospital run smoothly. You said you feel like you are over your heads, but I remember Dr. Scott saying at morning meeting one day, you save the lives you can, and you pray for the ones you cannot save. You have made a big difference in Haiti, never doubt that for a minute. You are amazing! I wish I could have made a difference, I wish I could have walked in your shoes. You are all so awesome, for all your hard work. I pray that someone will come and fill your shoes, so that you can leave Haiti and know all will be as well as it can be.
Blessings to you and your team, and for Haiti.
Cyndi Moss

Valerie said...

Steve B preached last week on Ps 22.What struck me was that he said he wouldn't have recognized Christ the 1st time: "We don't expect God to weep, we don't expect the Sovereign God of the Universe to bleed, to be tired...but He did. Hebrews tells us that His response to us is not anger, or notching it up more, or turning His back, but "I know child, I know". He mixes His tears with ours."
Steve also said that" almost all truth, if it is God's truth, on the face of it seems obtuse, foolish and weird because it the is infinite (Holy God, Sovereign Creator, sustainer of all)communicating truth to the finite (us). That was a light switch for me in terms of why Gods ways sometimes seem so unreasonable. You seem to be getting a drilling in Heb 11:1.
I love you. I'm sorry. Following God is so painful some days and we feel so impotent. He knows. He weeps with you even when you're too tired to know He's there.

Anna Grace Scott said...

I can't help but think when I read this - Thank God its not all up to us. Because yeah, when you look at it from man's perspective, you are probably going to leave Port-au-Prince with it looking pretty similar to how it did when you arrived. But the Lord sent you there for 6 months, not until the work is done. And you have been faithful with your time there. And when you leave, He doesn't. He has every day already planned out. He knows every patient and every need. It's not in your hands to fix it all. Rest in the belief that the God of the universe is doing exactly what He wants. And he loves you and the people of Haiti more than we'll ever understand - no matter what you "accomplish" or don't accomplish. He is the author of it all.
Love you. Can't wait to have you home.