A Long Week
Monrovia Travel Blog› entry 19 of 34 › view all entries
Who would have thought a 4 day work week would be so long?
Monday was a ship holiday, so they had shuttle services set up for White Sands Beach (which has brown sand and even browner water). After 3 full days of blaring sun, who would have thought on the day I was planning on going to the beach it would be cool and cloudy? Such is life. Still it didn't put a damper on our fun. We played in the waves, trying desperately not to think about why the water was a lovely and disturbingly shade of brown, built a replica of the ship in the sand and played frisbee to our hearts content. It was so much fun just sitting on the beach, away from the ship and watching the sun set behind a giant thunderhead forming over the sea.
Tuesday was back to work. Its our first week of eye surgeries, we have 2 eye surgeons on board now, so the 2 eye rooms are kept very busy. Over the weekend we had 6 new OR nurses arrive and said goodbye to 2. Morning report is getting very crowded as we gather around the board. The eye rooms are interesting to watch, its like a dance. They have 2 eye beds head to head with the microscope in the middle. Most of our eye cases are done with local anesthestics, meaning that we numb up the eye and the patient is awake.
I've been doing maxfax surgeries all week with a surgeon from the UK. I think those surgeries are very interesting, we don't do a whole lof of maxfax surgeries at home. But, we've been doing some long cases and have had very long days. Often, we didn't finish until after 6pm and would have to have dinner saved for us.
On top of these long days, I had a really bad tooth ache. My front tooth has been bothering me all weekend and so finally Tuesday I went to the crew clinic to see if I could get in to see the dentist. She told me the earlist appointment would be in 2 weeks! I told her I would have pulled my tooth out by then. She assured me that I could probably get in sooner, maybe tomorrow. Sure enough, the next day, as I'm holding a terrified 3 year old, rocking her gently as we are giving her gas to make her go to sleep, the phone rings and I have an appointment at 11.
So, Thursday afternoon, Alison, our OR supervisor, pulls all the longer term staff into her office and declares that Friday is our day off! Since they don't do eyes on Friday, there are plenty plenty nurses to staff the rest of the rooms (we've been running 5 rooms all week). So, Friday Erika, Laura and I decided to charter a taxis and head across town to another beach, ELWA, not as secure as White Sands, but the water is cleaner and the beach is very nice.
So my plans of going back to 'my' orphanage today was put off today by an emergency in one of the wards. At 6 am this morning, a ship wide page went out declaring an emergency in B ward. I wasn't on call, so I didn't go. At 8, another page went out. This time, I made my way down to the OR to see what was going on. A lot of activity, so I popped my head in to find out one of the patients from yesterday was having trouble maintaining his airway and they might have to put a trach tube in (a tube directly into his trachea). I quickly scrubbed in and set up while the anesthesiologists tried to intubate him. Luckily, they were able to put a regular tube in his airway and a trach wasn't needed. He's currently in ICU on the vent, but he's going to be fine once the swelling goes down from his surgery. Unfortunately, that meant I missed the orphanage today.
Instead of going to the orphanage, I ended up going back to White Sands Beach with a large group of Mercy Shippers. It was a perfect afternoon lounging on the beach, a cool breeze coming in off the waters, the waves just big enough to body surf and not too hot to enjoy laying out. God is good!
I am exhausted after my long week. Three days of work and three days of beach, what is a girl to do?