To keep things interesting (as if they weren't interesting enough), we docs switch ward responsibilities every once in a while. I just finished a few months on B-ward, so after returning from Australia I rotated over to A.
Things are a little different from my last time on pediatrics. The ward was previously overflowing to an entire third row of kids on the floor. Now we are only about 2/3 full. Much more manageable! And my new partner in crime is Dr. Andy Bennett. Dr. Andy is a family doc. His wife Judy does all sorts of things around the station, her biggest job is to manage the storeroom of donations that come in to the hospital. And it is a very big job! They have been at Kudjip for about 6 years now. It is a privilege to serve along side this wonderful couple.
So A-ward rounds generally go something like this: pneumonia, malaria, gastroenteritis (diarrhea), penumonia, pneumonia, TB, gastroenteritis, abscess/pyomyositis/osteomyelitis, gastroenteritis, pneumonia. As you can see, pneumonia and GE are probably our two most common diagnosis. The good thing is that most of the kiddos do well and recover quickly.
This time around I started out with some out of the ordinary cases. Let me share about a few of the patients who have touched my heart this week.
Esther is 6 years old. She came into the ER when I was on call two weekends ago. Her story goes that she had two weeks of hip pain and fever. The pain had become so severe that she had been unable to walk for a week. I checked x-rays, blood work, gave her antibiotics and pain meds. For the first week after her admission she continued to lay on her bed, unable to move because of the pain. The diagnosis was still unclear. I sent out an update and asked my prayer partners to pray for her. Today she is smiling and walking with very minimal pain! I am planning to send her home tomorrow. Thank you for your prayers. God hears and He answers.
Roger is just a little guy with Down syndrome. At two months old he weighs only 6 pounds. He was admitted last week for pneumonia and failure to thrive/malnutrition. He is quite sick, but I can tell by the way he wiggles around that he is a fighter. We are treating his infections and giving him supplemental feeds with formula. Grow, baby grow!
Billy is one sick kiddo. I took his picture today and he couldn't even smile :(. He is 9 years old and was admitted with a WBC of 75,000 and suspected leukemia. He has one of the biggest spleens I have ever palpated; it fills up the entire left half of his abdomen. Diagnosis was confirmed today: ALL. Luckily ALL is a type of leukemia that we can treat at our hospital. Billy needs a miracle. He needs the healing touch of Jesus. I am praying for that miracle.
I have enjoyed being back on pediatrics. I love the kids. I love to treat their sicknesses and help them smile again. It can also be challenging. Some do poorly. Sometimes we loose one. Maybe I don't have the right test to make the diagnosis. I can't do it. I am not enough. Perhaps I am just not smart enough to figure it out. I have felt that way this week with these and a few other challenging cases. But God is enough. The very Creator of the human body walks with me through rounds and sits with me as I see patients in the clinic. And He loves each one more than I ever could.
Here is one of my favorite verses, from The Message:
"This is God's message, the God who made earth, made it livable and lasting, known everywhere as God: 'Call to me and I will answer you I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.'"
~ Jeremiah 33:2-3