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2/10/07 (Saturday)

Sleep was a little better last night.  At least the fan running took care of the outside noise that seems to go on all night long.  About 5 AM the trucks start running and traffic noise picks up quickly.  I awoke with a lot of itching on my legs and upon looking I had several insect bites all over my ankles and lower legs.  I have a mattress cover around the mattress and slept under a sheet and inside a full mosquito net.  My guess is these critters were sharing my space in my bed and had a good meal time while I slept.  They even invaded territory where the sun doesn’t shine and I didn’t appreciate that at all! 

Our day today will again be in the clinic seeing more patients.  I think we will see another 20 to 25 patients and will likely add more surgeries to our schedule for next week.  Certainly, there was no discussion of any cold front moving through that would make the temperature of the exam room any more tolerable.    

Father, another day to serve You here in San Lorenzo.  Thank You for this privilege.  I pray for this day.  I pray for strength and endurance for all of us.  I pray for tolerance for the heat.  I pray especially for wisdom as we make decisions in the patient’s behalf with not nearly as much information as we are used to having in our work back home.  Father, some of these ladies will have problems that are seriously affecting their health and well being.  Allow us, Dear Father, to do the right thing for these people and to bring them a measure of hope and better health.  Thank You for bringing this day and allowing us the opportunity to do this work for You, to be Your agents of healing and hope.  This is an awesome responsibility and we certainly cannot do this without Your empowerment.  Thank you, Lord!  Amen. 

Our day in the clinic brought us one minor surgery and 23 patients.  The temperature equaled yesterday’s level of 88 and the humidity again went over 95%.  We thought our surgery schedule for next week would be slower in that we didn’t have more than 15 cases scheduled.  However, by the end of the day we now have 21 major surgeries scheduled: 13 hysterectomies, 1 thyroidectomy, 1 gall bladder, a couple exploratory surgeries for pelvic masses, one lady with what appears to be ovarian cancer, 1 lady wanting a myomectomy to remove fibroids from her uterus so she can conceive, one lady wanting a tubal and a bladder repair, one lady needing to have her ovaries removed.  We also have a couple minor surgeries on the schedule.  Our anesthesiologist already has limited our surgery time.  She does not want to work after 4 PM on Tuesday and Friday and will not be here on Saturday.  So we lose one full surgery day plus part of two others.  In previous times I have been here we have usually had 30 cases.  Our surgery schedule is about as full as it can be now.   

We are back at the house at 5 PM and our plans this evening are to relax and enjoy the fresh cool air and the quiet neighborhood.  I say that jokingly because I don’t think there is any fresh cool breeze around here and certainly being next to the highway there will not be any silence.  So, I guess I will sit and scratch at the insect bites that have added an extra dimension to my day today. It is now almost 9 PM and Greg Sutton should have landed at Quito.  He was due in at 8:42 PM.  Loita and her husband will pick him up at the airport and get him to the hotel for his overnight stay.  They will then bring him to Ibarra tomorrow.  Ibarra is about halfway from Quito to San Lorenzo.  We plan to leave for Ibarra in the morning and will meet Greg there.   Loita will be coming with us to stay the week and help manage the front desk in the clinic during surgery week.  Damarys will be heading back to Quito with Loita’s husband.  The process starts at each end about 8 AM.  We will meet each other in Ibarra about 10 or so and then make the switcheroos and head back to our home ports.   

Monday we start with our surgery week.  We have some big cases that will be a challenge for us.  Some of the patients we saw today could present some tough surgery in that we are not certain about what we will find once we get into the abdomen.  A couple we saw today present with painful masses in the pelvis.  One lady has had a hysterectomy in the past but still has her ovaries.  I assume the mass relates to one ovary but could involve multiple adhesions and loops of bowel.  I know from experience with my own patients that these cases appear to be straightforward and simple but can become significant challenges, especially when the anatomy is all distorted.  Working here where we have little ability to get all the diagnostic studies done beforehand makes it even more of a challenge.   

We finished our dinner and now are having some microwave popcorn as a snack before heading to bed.  I hope to sleep alone tonight and I don’t really want to share my space with a bunch of little intruders intent on using me as a food source.  Jane told me she frequently will spray around her bed and on the sides of the mattress with insect repellant and this will keep the bugs from getting in bed with you.  She said the ants that are so plentiful around here will crawl right in bed with you and then one of them hollers, “Mealtime!!” and the picnic starts.  I am going to use some repellant tonight, on myself as well as around the edge of the bed.  We’ll see how that works. 

I have been working on my Spanish some.  I brought my Spanish books, especially the one for health care workers.  It has some CDs that will help you as you listen to them and read and study the book at the same time.  I had copied the CDs into my computer so I could listen to them easily without bringing them along and take the chance that they could be damaged or broken.  I hope to spend a little more time tonight on this homework and continue working on this over the next week.  I do notice I can read the medical charts and lab and x-ray reports much more easily now.  Many times one can figure out the words since the spelling is similar to English.  However, I have been pleased at how much I can read even though I have not learned these words yet.  Maybe there is a chance that an old dog like me can actually learn some new tricks! 

Lord, thank You for this day and how You helped us with the patients we saw today.  Some of them have some difficult situations and You gave us the answers that were accompanied by a sense of peace and confidence that we were going the right direction.  I pray for these people, all of them, on our surgery schedule.  I pray for their protection and healing.  I pray for their safety.  I pray for guidance for Jane, Greg and myself as we work through this coming week.  Wrap Your hands around our hands and guide us all the way, Dear Father.  I so much like the one painting I remember seeing where You are standing next to the surgeon in the operating room and giving guidance and direction step by step.  That painting means so much to me because I definitely feel You there with me.  This is part of walking with you, Lord.  My intent is to be at Your side sharing the path You choose step by step.  I don’t want to be distracted by anything that would draw me off Your path.  Help us, Lord, to always focus on You and stay in step with You and not be pulled away by any scheme Satan might try to frustrate us and pull us away from You.  We depend so much on You, Dear Father.  Thank You for the indescribable peace that You so graciously bestow upon us.  This peace truly passes all levels of understanding.  Yet, You so freely allow us to experience it to the fullest.  Thank You, Lord, for Your unfailing love and commitment to us.  To You goes all the praise!  Amen!

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Comments»

1. McDuck - February 11, 2007

Hi Marv,

While praying Saturday, this verse came to mind:

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.” Proverbs 16:3

You have done this, I know


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