Thursday, November 16, 2017

Africa Mercy - Quick Update: One Nurse's Story

My friend Marilyn is in Africa serving as a nurse on the Africa Mercy. She emails me and I share her words with you. For those of you who know nothing of  Marilyn's story, the Africa Mercy is a hospital ship that travels the African coast with a crew of nurses and doctors. They come from all over to give of their time as volunteers. 

"Quick Update"

I meant to attach this picture to the last email. I think it
interesting how they cope with rain while riding a motorcycle. There
are only two people on this bike, but I've seen up to four on a single
bike. I have yet to see a helmet in use. I do wonder what the casualty
rate is... An amusing side note...each morning we count the hearses
lined up in front of the hospital where our eye clinic is
it like lawyers chasing ambulances at home?

Yesterday was our first day of surgery, so today was our first day of
post-op appointments. Nine patients had surgery (10 were scheduled, but
one got too afraid). They all had at least some improvement in vision,
but often, the day after surgery, there is still enough edema to blur
their vision. Most will experience even more improvement over the next
couple of weeks.

Today we scheduled one 18-year old for surgery with general anesthesia
(instead of the usual local block) because he is severely mentally
handicapped and engages in self-mutilation for stimulation. Our hope is
that if he can see, maybe his world will expand and he won't have to
live in the isolation that he currently experiences.

If you are interested, my workmate Amber writes a really interesting
blog, complete with pictures. You can check it out at: She even has a video of our day crew singing
at the end of a work day. Too bad that I'm technologically
challenged...but Amber's blog will give you a fuller taste of our life
here, if you are interested. The other two pictures I've attached to
this email are of Amber and me at work, scheduling patients for surgery.

Until next time,


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You could call me an eternal optimist, but I'm really just a dreamer. l believe in dream fulfillment, because 'sometimes' dreams come true. This is a blog about my journey as a writer and things that inspire and motivate me.