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6/23/04 (Wednesday)

6:30 AM.  Another decent night’s sleep; however, the dogs had to bark occasionally.  There are two dogs that are pets of the family that lives behind the clinic building and roam the grounds.  They seem totally oblivious to the people who come and go.  However, if a stray dog happens by, these guardians of the clinic make sure that dog moves on.  Jane said they are good watch dogs.  In the middle of the night I was awakened by ferocious barking and human voices talking rapidly in Spanish.  It sounded like a lot of commotion happening outside the clinic building.  Eventually, everything quieted down.  I am not sure what was happening and I didn’t want to go look.

My feet are still swollen this morning but not as much.  I’ll try drinking more water today.  Lord, today is a full day with some potentially difficult cases.  And I don’t feel too good this morning.  I need Your presence and Your power and Your wisdom and Your grace.  Grant Jane and me the wisdom to do what is right for these women who seek care.  Help us give healing to their bodies.  Strengthen us to withstand the rigors of the day.  Help me to feel better, Lord.  I pray for this day.  I pray that You be magnified throughout the work we do.  I pray for comfort and peace for the patients and their families.  Thank You, Lord, for bringing me here.  Thank You for this mission opportunity.  I want to give You all the praise and I want to walk with You all the way.  Thank You, Lord, for Your love, Your hope, Your joy and Your peace.  Amen.

10:50 PM.  It is the end of a very long day in the OR.  We had several surgeries, one of mine turning into a real challenge.  I started with an abdominal approach to repair a vaginal prolapse with a paravaginal repair.  I ended up with a vaginal reconstruction and sacrospinous ligament fixation.  I was concerned about doing this but I feel God answered my prayers and led me that direction.  This was a big case to do in Fort Wayne, let alone San Lorenzo!  One lady who was scheduled as the last case to have her thumb nail worked on waited patiently all day, at least 10 to 12 hours only to tell us she felt the nail infection was doing better and she didn’t want the surgery afterall.  I am amazed at her willingness to wait and not raise a ruckus because of the long time involved.  It is now time for bed.

Surgery schedule for the week: Monday – 4 hysterectomies and 2 umbilical hernias, Tuesday – radical hysterectomy, colon resection, hemorrhoidectomy, Wednesday – excision of cervical stump, anterior and posterior repair, sacrospinus fixation, cervical polypectomy and anterior repair, cholecystectomy, anterior and posterior repair, Thursday – hysterectomy, Burch urethropexy and posterior repair, ventral hernia and Burch urethropexy, thyroidectomy, Friday – anterior repair, exploratory laparotomy, laparotomy with right salpingo-oophorectomy, conization and D&C, umbilicial hernia, Saturday – hemorrhoidectomy, D&C, inguinal hernia, mole removals, hydrocoele, and toenail removal.  All total: 26 cases, 16 major, 10 minor.

Waiting room

Waiting room

Patients show up and patiently wait for their clinic visit or surgery.  They sit on hard wooden benches and will wait several hours if not all day without voicing a complaint or even giving the body language that they are frustrated or displeased.  If I had a system like this in Fort Wayne, I would starve.  There would be no patients to care for because our culture is too demanding, too impatient, too self-centered to tolerate waiting.

When we were operating, Jane used a term, “Hodad.”  She said she was hodading on one case.  This involved some dissection with the fingers.  She said hodad means hands of death and destruction.  When she or I used our fingers to separate tissue and release adhesions instead of cutting them with scissors, we are hodading.  I need to remember that term.

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