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8/11/05 (Thursday)

Phyl didn’t sleep well and had a lot of trouble falling to sleep.  I know because she kept waking me up to tell me she couldn’t sleep. 🙂  We left this morning at 6:00 and I wanted Phyl to see the scenery so she sat up front with Jane and I sat in back.  Riding for 5 hours in the back seat going around mountain roads curving and swerving all the way took its toll on me.  About 20 KM from San Lorenzo I asked Jane to stop so I could get out and walk around a little.  My stomach was really turning flipflops.  I got around to the back of the car and then hurled all over the road.  People drove by and watched this gringo making a nice deposit on the highway.  I didn’t care.  I won’t go into any more description of the details.  I then took some Dramamine to help stop the nausea.  It kicked in about 2 this afternoon in the middle of seeing patients.  I got so sleepy I could hardly function.  Jane and I saw 18 patients today and already have our surgery schedule filled with 6 major cases for Monday and Tuesday and a couple on Wednesday.  I saw this 64 year old lady today with bleeding.  She gave a history of being told she had uterine cancer 7 years ago but she never went through any treatment.  She did fine for 4 years and then had a 3-month episode of bleeding which again went untreated.  She started bleeding again a few days ago and came in for treatment.  I found her pelvis full of cancer with at least a Stage III endometrial or cervical cancer.  We had to tell her that there was nothing we could do for her and the only treatment at this point would be radiation therapy.  She will have to travel to Quito for this and pay cash up front before receiving any treatment.  She will likely go home and die.  Sunday we have 7 women coming from villages on the rivers to see me about hysterectomies.  Jane and I figure we will do about 6 hysterectomies a day.  We also have a gallbladder to do as well as a couple other general surgery cases.  It should be a very busy week. 


Phyl spent the afternoon folding sponges and wrapping them for sterilization.  This was a big job and the crew here was very, very happy to have this job done.  The clinic is its usual hot and humid.  We just roasted in the room seeing the patients.  We have 30 patients scheduled for tomorrow and 30 on Saturday and about 15 for Sunday afternoon.  We will then start our surgeries on Monday and work through to Saturday afternoon.  We could easily do 30 cases this week.  I have one tuboplasty procedure on the schedule.  We saw her today and hopefully we can do something to allow her to conceive. 


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