Ah! The internet is working. The past two days I've been composing hundreds of blog entries in my head and came back to the compound each night to no service. Now, my head is empty. I can barely think. Today was a wonderful day and I am WIRED.
Last night I began to feel very immersed here. On the one hand, it's a good thing. But on the other, it makes it hard to come home. I feel like I need to keep in touch with my real home to ease the transition. It's going to be hard to leave. I already know it. I already dread it. That's why I signed in tonight. To remind myself of life beyond these mountains. Because, I know for you all it probably hasn't seemed like a lot of time has passed. But here I've found a rhythm. I don't even set an alarm clock. I've moved in.
What to tell you? What to write? About the patients more, and how amazing they are? How I can't believe how cheerful they stay? Or about how fantastic the medical team is that I find myself with? Or do I talk about how cool it is to be at a sleep away camp for medical personnel every night? (To my left a group of surgeons from Germany and France are smoking cigarettes and trading stories about how to drive a helicopter- WHAT?). I want to tell you how scared I am for the future of my patients. I want to vent how frustrated I am with "the system." I want to gossip about the tension between Haitian and American staff, and how, in my tent at least, we seem to have overcome all the nurse vs. nurse obstacles that may have put patient care in jeoprpdy for the week. (Thank goodness).
I want to tell you specifically how my tent is. Just my tent. How Oklahoma, RN and I have set it all up. (How I really think God was looking out for each of us when he brought us together to this tent since she has tons of IV experience and I have tons of wound care experience). Or about how awesome Dr. Glasses was, and how I was worried when he left today but how my new doctor and the intern are fantastic.
I'm going to want to talk about all of it. But I don't know if I'll ever know where to start.
I said today was wonderful, and I was telling the truth. But in a way, there are no good days or bad days here. It's very moment to moment. Some moments are so overwhelming. Like when I''m the only nurse (or medical person) in a tent with 36 patients and it's 110 degrees and they are saying they are in pain and we are out of morphine and a family member points out that someone's IV has run dry, and a dressing in the back of the tent has begun to leak. Some moments are so hard like when I'm walking down the back row, behind the tents and a little girl approaches me and says she is hungry. And she pulls my hand and makes me touch her stomach. And I have no idea who she belongs to. And I not only have no money, I also have no food to give her.
And some moments are so, so triumphant. Like watching one of my bed ridden patients today get up. And (with help) take a couple of steps. His first steps in weeks.
And all of those kinds of things happen within 10 minutes sometimes. It gives you emotional whiplash.
How am I going to walk away from this?
I should go. It's cookie party time in the "dorm," and Sam wants to use the computer.