Today was our day of screening. My mission is tacked on to the end of another week long mission to make a ‘Mega Mission.’ Our goal is to complete around 500 surgeries in the 2 or so weeks OS is here. The previous group did a lot of our screening so today was relatively slow for a screening day. We arrived at the mission hospital around 7am. Our whole team was finally there and we are 100 strong. I helped at the very last station today. We reviewed the chart, made sure everything was signed and filled out then completed the surgery cards. The cards are amazingly organized and the OCD person in me was jumping with joy. The patients are color categorized by priority, with five different levels. The 1st priorities always get done as long as they are healthy (and show up the day of surgery) and it trickles down to the priority fives who may only get done if time allows. After I filled out the cards they got put in a book and at some point transferred onto the sugery day schedule then after the surgery takes place they will go back in the binder for archiving. We screened about 130 kids and adults. There were actually way more adults than I expected. So many cute kids, I just about died multiple times. I was overjoyed playing with these children. How happy and giggly they become playing with bubbles or blow up balls.
I was working with the coordinator to learn how to make the schedule and we also started deciding who not to operate on. To Mrs. Lay's class: I have learned a lot more about why some do not get chosen for surgery. SOme times the blood lev el are too low, sometimes they are sick (so we give them antibiotics to take), they may be too small or too complicated. They may not be high enough of a priority. It is heartbreaking turning people away, but as I said previously the goal is safe surgery for all.
The recovery room where I'll be working is awesome. I think I am being spoiled on this mission compared to other. It is huge, we will be doing about 10 surgeries at a time! So anyways, the screening day was a success and I worked over 12 hours. I was so delirious by the time we got back. At dinner my table was just laughing and making nurse (crude) jokes. It was definitely bedtime!
Oh, the bathrooms! OH man. I need to get a picture. They are squatting toilets at the hospitals. The smell is overwhelming. I actually only went once in the 12 hours because I couldn't stomach it again. I am just going to have to get used to it I guess!!
India is mind blowing so far. I truly wish I could describe my experiences better but the mix of exhaustion and feeling like I'm in a time warp is turing my memory to mush. Tomorrow is our 'team bonding' day. I believe we're going to a temple and then to the big river here. Then shopping! I am definitely buying a sari (or two). The women are always looking beautiful it seems. The fabrics are unreal.
I will hopefully be able to update more regularly in the future!