5 days...

Five days from now I will be flying over somewhere far away from here, headed for Delhi! I can't believe it is February and my trip is at my fingertips. Years ago I heard about Operation Smile, before I was even officially a nurse. I knew I needed to do this. I applied in May, I received acceptance of my application in September and here I am in February. Time flies when you have goals and dreams and are actively working towards them. Okay that's enough sappy stuff.

SO, I heard that my mom's 5th grade class will be checking in with my blog while I'm gone. I wanted to take this little paragraph to say hi to them! I want you guys to know that, yes, I did know in 5th grade that I wanted to work in the medical field! I wavered between veterinary medicine, nursing and medical school until about half way through high school when I set my heart on becoming a nurse. Making all of those decisions all the way back to about 4th grade led me to the place I am today! (Or I guess I should say, led me to the place I will be in 5 days!)

Here is a question the kids in my mom's class had: How does Operation Smile pick the kids who get the surgery? Why do some kids get turned away?

I will probably have a much better answer after I am done with my first mission and have experienced the screening process personally. However, I know there are 2 situations that will keep a child from having surgery. The first is illness. To put it simply, if a child comes to be screened but has another active illness (fever, cold symptoms, anything else) then they can not have surgery. Their bodies may not be strong enough for the anesthesia and for the recovery process. It would not be safe to move forward and have the surgery. The good news is that they are always welcome to come and be screened again the next time Operation Smile comes to their area. The second situation that might cause a child to be turned down is having a cleft that is very severe making surgery during a short mission trip risky. The goal is safe surgery for everyone; the benefits of surgery must always outweigh the risks. If you guys have any more questions tell Mrs. Lay to leave me a little comment or to e-mail me and I will try my best to answer them!

I'm going to leave you with a video from Operation Smile!