Haiti Day Six: Hospital Part One

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Today has been a whirlwind of a day.  It started off normal, we got up, ate breakfast, and played with the babies.  I loved on Lovena for awhile until she fell asleep in my arms.  I've fallen in love with that sweet little girl, I could just eat her up she's so cute!  When I went to lay her down I noticed Tamara was awake.  When I went to talk to her, Tamara had this weird expression on her face like she was in a lot of pain.  I reached to pick her up and as she tried to lift herself up she started crying and stopped trying.  When I picked her up she just started wailing, and I mean WAILING!  That was when I knew something wasn't right.  You see, Tamara has brittle bone disease which means she breaks bones VERY easily.  I gave her to one of the nannies and as she sat still the crying stopped. The nanny kept asking her where it hurt and she wasn't responding.  We left her to the nannies and didn't think much about it.  We spent the majority of the morning outside playing with the older kids until they had to eat lunch.  After we ate lunch around 12:30, I noticed one of the nannies trying to pick up Tamara to feed her and that's when her wailing began again.  We all immediately knew she had to of broken something.  The nanny sat down and we noticed Tamara's left thigh was very swollen.  Jesula, the nanny in charge of healthcare, got Sha Sha to come to me and translate that they thought her femur was broken.  From what they could gather they think Tamara tried to stand up in the crib, fell, and landed badly on her leg.  Jesula asked that we call Dorothy, since she was away in Gonaives, but we had no phone.  The nannies were all out of minutes on their phones, so we started racking our brains to figure out what to do for Tamara.  We gave her some ibuprofen for the swelling, and then decided to walk to Katie's house to have her call Dorothy.

When we got to Katie's they were busy cooking spaghetti for their youth event this evening. Katie called Dorothy, and she recommended we splint Tamara's leg and take her to the hospital.  Luckily yesterday morning we had just learned how to splint a fracture, so we got the supplies and I was able to wrap Tamara's little leg up.  It broke my heart to hear her scream as I did it, but I had to.  Katie, Meredith, Jesula, Esther (another nanny), Tamara, and I packed into Katie's school car and headed to the hospital.  Haiti is a very bad place to drive an injured person around.  Katie tried so hard to drive slowly as to not hurt her more.  Luckily Tamara didn't cry the whole way, we think the splint helped keep her leg stable.

When got to the hospital, were able to drive straight in, and headed to the orthopedic doctor's area.  A nurse told us that the orthopedic doctor was not in that day but that they could take an x-ray to see if it was broken and then we could come back.  Katie, Meredith, and I had originally planned to drop the nannies off and come back later to pick them up, but they said the x-ray wouldn't take long so we waited.  When we got to the waiting area, an American doctor came over to check on Tamara's leg.  As she felt the right leg, she couldn't feel any abnormalities but as she lifted it Tamara started crying so she figured there was some sensitivity in her hip.  As she undid the splinted leg and started to push on it, while Tamara is screaming out of control I might add, she described her femur as feeling crunchy.  They rushed her to the x-ray and took it from her hip to her knee.  When it came back, about an hour later, they let us know that Tamara had indeed fractured her left femur and it would need to be taken care of.

The orthopedic doctor had come in, but was in surgery so he could not cast it.  They said they'd give her an IV to sedate her and just splint it again, and that it'd only take an hour and we could come back Monday for a cast.  We decided again to wait with the nannies thinking it wouldn't take long and about thirty minutes later they called Jesula and Tamara back.  It was at least two hours before we ever heard anything from the doctors.  Two hours later Jesula came out, holding her side, and informed us that they made her stand inside, holding Tamara the whole two hours.  They would not let her sit and she had really bad cramps.  When Jesula came out they had just taken Tamara to start her IV.  To say we were a little frustrated would put it lightly.  Again we thought the IV/splinting process would only take an hour so we stayed figuring it was pointless to leave and have to turn right back around.  It was another good two hours before we heard anything at all from the Doctors.  Katie finally found a doctor to ask and he let us know that they were able to cast it, and she was awake, but that Tamara would have to sit up and drink water before she could leave. An hour later Jesula came out holding Tamara who has a cast from her foot all the way up her leg and over her hips.  We packed the car and headed home with her after dropping Jesula off to go home.  What we thought would be a one hour hospital visit turned into over 6 hours.  To say we are exhausted is an understatement. The Haitian hospital was an experience to say the least!  We all left very thirsty, hungry, and weak, but happy to have Tamara taken care of and be on our way home.  Once we got home we filled Dorothy in on the day, made some dinner, and chugged water since we had only had one bottle all day.  There are so many other stories to share about our experience at the hospital, and this is honestly the short version of Tamara's day but I am exhausted and need to head to bed.  Hospital Part Two to come tomorrow.

Please keep little Tamara in your prayers as she heals!

Beach here we come tomorrow!!!

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