Happy Halloween!

Monrovia Travel Blog

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Joshua hanging out outside

This week can be summed up in two words: crazy busy. (But that didn't stop us from causing trouble!)  Started the week out on call, we did 3 cases on Sunday- dressing changes on children who had encephaloceles- a birth defeat where the skull does not fuse together in the front and the brain seeps through causing a large deformatiy and possible death.  We did 3 cases in 2 weeks and in order to make sure the swelling in under control we have to do daily dressing changes and lumbar punctures.  The rest of the week flew by.  We continued on with all the pediatric cases, added some maxfax cases and a whole load of eyes and you have one crazy busy OR.  The days are long and the nights are short here. 

A couple of our long term patients left the ship this week.

Mickey in his mercedes
  Mickey, our little king, had his own mercedes and would be driven up and down the hall.  He had the biggest smile and would wave as he 'drove' by.  The only one was Joshua, a darling little boy who was as sharp as a tack.  You could usually find him reading to one of us Curious George or Dr. Seuss.  Both boys were burn patients and have been here for a long time, due to the extent of their surgeries and healing times.  The halls seem really empty without them here.  But old patients go home and new patients arrive.  Our new little star is a baby by the name of Eddie.  He is a darling 4 month old who has a tragic story behind him.  When he was 2 months old, the mesquito net over his crib caught fire and fell on his face.
Breakfast out on deck 7
  He is perfect from the neck down, but his face is horribly disfigured.  His anger red face is mostly covered by dressings.  We started the first of many surgeries on him, releasing his eyelids so they can once again protect his eyes and also we did a couple skin grafts to the top of his head.  Hawa, one of our translators, held him while he went to sleep, she made strange noises and funny faces and he just giggled and cooed like babies do.  He is so cute!

The good news is that we had power and oxygen for the whole week.  But if we have plenty of one thing we are lacking in another.  This week we are very short of water.  One of the agreements with Liberia's government is that they will provide us with all our water.

First Mate Sarah
  There is a problem at the hydroplant and our water supply has been shut off.  We've been operating on emergency stores, meaning no laundry, strict 2 minute showers, we use disposible plates/cups/silverware, etc, in order to cut back on our water usuage.  We are very near the critic stage here, but everyone has pulled together and our water usuage has been cut in half.  Yeah team!

So today is Halloween, not something that is really celebrated here in a christian community, but some of us got into the spirit of things.  The morning started out with an OR breakfast on deck 7.  I arrived in true Halloween style, dressed as a pirate.  Everyone thought that was hilarious.  The pirate made severaly appearances in the OR during the day, First Mate Sarah, who when she's not pilaging, she dabbles in anesthesia, went around making sure people were doing their jobs.

Yummy popcorn balls
  Because we are so diversed here on the ship, we are constantly teaching people our culture and vise versa.  Friday evening I educated people on the time honored tradition of popcorn ball making.  Cooking is a communal thing across all cultures.  The crew galley is usually full of cooks from all over the world.  So here I was with a South African and a Canadian getting really sticky making popcorn balls.  You would think they would go fast, but most people have never heard of them and so you have to explain what they are and assure them that they are very good.  Even had a  few trick or treaters knock on my door.  The night ended with fun games and fellowship in the lounge.  Yeah for Halloween!

What a week!

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Joshua hanging out outside
Joshua hanging out outside
Mickey in his mercedes
Mickey in his mercedes
Breakfast out on deck 7
Breakfast out on deck 7
First Mate Sarah
First Mate Sarah
Yummy popcorn balls
Yummy popcorn balls
Playing Crainium
Playing Crainium
Its a lowrider!  Cant you tell?
Its a lowrider! Can't you tell?
Monrovia
photo by: Bluenose