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Friday, February 12, 2010

Hope I don't fall asleep writing this...

These last few days have been crazy. I feel like I've been here forever but its just been a couple of days. Everybody says they feel that way and I think its bc you get so used to the chaos and insanity. I'm apologizing in advance if this post is extremely scattered but I can't even begin to put all of this into words so its just going to be a hodgepodge of stories I think... Sorry.

First to finish the story of last night where the doctor locked himself in his office so we were trying to fly in his pt to deliver the baby, he did unlock the door and come out of the office and agree to do the c-section. But only if he could do a different one first. So last we heard everything was fine! And unfortunately the doctor was an American which is kinda embarrassing.

Well I've been running the OR and its been running pretty smoothly. Most of our cases now are amputated limb stump revisions and dressing changes and skin grafts etc. We're moving out of the acute phase and into more of a rehab phase which is going to be a very long process. We had a great ortho group from notre dame that left yesterday and I have 2 general surgeons from new York leaving tomorrow which leaves one surgeon until the big orthopedic group arrives Saturday.

On my first day running the OR I didn't even think to check if I had a PACU (recovery room) nurse and sure enough when our first case was over I realized I had none and had to recover the pt myself. So I got on my cool walkie talkie that I wear and called the guy in charge of the nurses to try to round up some help for me. Thankfully he came walking over with two Haitian nurses and one of them spoke English very well. I was way too frazzled to find out much besides their names and that they were my new PACU nurses. Well at the end of the day I talked to one of the nurses and asked her what shifts she worked bc I wanted her to come back (she was absolutely WONDERFUL! In her downtime when I told her to just relax she was begging me to give her something to do and I jokingly said she could go to the ICU and help out if she wanted, and she actually did!) and I had just assumed she was from Milot and worked at the hospital. Well then she told me that she was actually from port au prince and was there during the earthquake. She told me about her house being absolutely destroyed and her friends dying and that she and her son came to this area bc her mother lives in cap haitien. She decided that she wanted to volunteer for a few weeks and help us out. I was almost in tears by the end of our conversation and the only thing that stopped me was I could see the tears welling up in her eyes and I knew if I started crying it was all over but she was truly amazing.

We had some more patients choppered in today and it was pretty funny bc most of us were at lunch. All of the sudden this silence comes over all of us as you start to hear the helicopter sound (we didn't know when they were coming) and everyone shoveled a couple more bites in their mouth and scattered. I have never seen that room clear out so fast. Well I went to the OR and there's a giant UN truck outside the door to the hospital. The UN rarely drives down the street and takes pictures of themselves but never actually does anything that would remotely help the situation. So I walk in the front door and these Chilean UN guys have carried in a man seizing on a stretcher into PACU. They placed him on a bed, took a picture and walked out the door. Needless to say the UN is not on my good side right now. We didn't know the man's name, where he came from, if he was choppered in, or anything. I even want to go into it bc it will just infuriate me. (but now the guy is fine just apparently had not taken his seizure meds in months...)

I'm so tired and falling asleep and have so many more stories but i'll end on a positive note. There were a few extremely sick children that would most likely not survive staying here bc of infection risk, lack of equipment, etc two of which were the 5 year old boy and girl. So a group of people worked incredibly hard and got Shriner's hospitals in the US to accept them. Well everything was all set to transport them and get them there and everyone was so excited. The parents had been told that their children would be back in a few months and given all the contact info. Well 10 min before the kids are supposed to be taken to the airport, a message comes over the radio that the UN had stepped in and said because of what happened with the other group taking kids out of Haiti, these kids were not allowed to leave. Well phone calls were made and finally the prime minister of Haiti called the UN and said that the kids were leaving and they needed to back off. About an hour later the kids were headed in the ambulances to the airport. They took great pictures of them on the plane-they loved looking out the windows! Long story short, they have all made it to their destination hospital safe and sound and have a much better chance of surviving. The message about their safe arrival came over the walkie talkies and they said "we want to thank you all-thats 8 more lives you've saved today" and there wasn't a dry eye in sight!

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


  1. i love this blog-you may have missed your calling as an author-you are very funny and witty-but just remember you didn't get it from a stick or a stone -as the Dillon/Lambert/Kearney families like to remind their gifted and good-looking progeny. xoxo mrs.perfect

  2. Wow Caroline. Amazing. I'm so proud of you.