Friday, November 15, 2013

A glimpse of ortho

Prior to admission, patients and caregivers arrive at the train station parking lot about 1.5 miles away.  A Mercy Ships vehicle brings them into the port, where they wait until they are screened one more time to be deemed fit for surgery.  They are then escorted up to the ward, where they are explained about the process of surgery and soon after take a shower.  The surgical patients take another shower prior to surgery the next morning as well.

All of our ortho surgeries are performed on lower limbs, not arms.  Most of our patients wake up in a cast and the first 2 days after surgery usually stay in bed.  Then rehab starts with the gait training.  Before they are allowed to put pressure through their casts, the bivalved casts must be overwrapped with fiberglass to be strong. 

Once the patients can walk fairly well with crutches, we send them home or to the Hope Center, then they come back in 3-4 weeks for cast change, Xray, and suture/staple removal.  We just started having a few outpatients this week, and boy are we going to be busy!!

I learned how to remove pins, staples, and sutures this week!  Often this involves a screaming child (doesn't always hurt, just really scary often.  But sometimes it does hurt...

As always we have some pretty adorable patients...

Michael --> (with dad on the right) is a chubby 4 year old who had a tibial osteotomy and dad had walking up and down the halls constantly - always ready to give a high five and ask for a balloon.  The only time I saw him frown was when his pins were getting ready to come out...and man did he poke that lower lip out there.  Super cute.

Hardy --> (next 3 pics on the right) is a skinny, timid 7 year old who had a quadricep release with very little quad strength whose knee hyperextended prior to surgery.  Currently he is using a knee immobilizer to walk as we try to get him stronger.  Sometimes he would be sitting on the edge of the bed crying as dad had him practice his exercises of dangling his leg off the edge of the bed to increase knee flexion.  He never complains, but you can always tell by his face when it hurts and it just breaks your heart.  Hardy is now back at home, and I've seen him once in outpatients, and he is very happy.  We left the crutches in the tent as he doesn't need them as long as he's using the immobilizer right now.

<---  Ravette (with mom on the left), had severely hyperextended knees and we were precasting her to try to gain some quad length before surgery.  Please pray for her legs to continue to grow to accomodate into a straight position as she continues to grow.  It is hard to predict exactly what will happen for the kids that keep on growing sometimes.  Ravette is ALWAYS smiling and is a joy. 

A praise report regarding Geril, one of our plastics patients still in the hospital (we still have 3 plastics patients hospitalized to protect areas of open wounds).  Two out of the 3 web spaces that had open wounds when I last mentioned it are now closed up, and the deepest one continues to improve. I will definitely miss him when he starts to outpatients.  I enjoy teasing him in the hallways and getting to work with him occasionally.  Twice I've snagged him to help me do something with the ortho kids, and one of the nurses introduced he and the other plastics guy patient remaining to a bit of hair bleach so they have a lovely rust brown strip in their hair now!  hahaha. 

I would also appreciate your prayers as this weekend Nick leaves, and I am officially official in the rehab team leader roll.  I think my biggest concern right now is figuring out how to have the best interactions with our I covet your prayers on attitudes of myself and the rest of our team of crew and daycrew.  Thank you!!

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