Tracking Ed Monroe as he travels to Haiti and other exotic(?) places

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Saturday night July 18

Today 178 patients came through the doors of the pharmacy today between 7:30 AM and 11:30 AM. So, if each patient gets a vitamin, Tylenol or Motrin, something for their acid that is 534 prescriptions. Add to that the one or two anti-hypertensive medications, one or two diabetic medications, a worm medication, a scabies treatment, maybe an antibiotic or an anti fungal medication and you have some idea what happens in the clinic pharmacy. To complete the picture, add providers coming in for consultations, volunteers using the pharmacy sink for hand washings, and other major distractions to the mix. I do not know how better to describe what Becky Novack has described as organized chaos.
I have some very good news to report today. Sue Behrens, our team leader, came to me for something for rapid pain relief. I had something to give her in a liquid form that I’ll choose not to divulge on the blog. Sometime later, I was sitting out in the pharmacy waiting area placing labels on pill bags. Yes, I was cheating and sitting down. I can tell you that is a rare event. Two ladies came into the lobby with their dossiers. One of the ladies had been given a treatment and had her shoulder wrapped in an elastic bandage. However she was not able to close her blouse to cover her bare breast. I asked for someone to get the lady one of the diaper pins so she could have some modesty. I got up to look over her dossier and finally realized that this was the “January burn lady”. She was treated extensively by the January team and given supplies and instructions for follow up at the local hospital. They refused to treat her and she showed up in March and we had to start all over again. So every morning on the porch outside my door she was treated and it had to be very painful. He would not accept any pain medications and sat it the chair with a death grip on the chair and a grimace on her face. It is such a thrill for me to report her progress to you. I am tearing up as I write this part and have had a good cry of joy today.
Today is the day o choices for the team. Do I go to town and shop? Do I stay here and head for the beach? Should I join Ron & Peggy as they hike up the mountain trail? Or should I just stay here and take a nap? I’ll bet you all know the answer to that question.
Some of the team is waiting to go to town and are packing pills. This is a great help to my pharmacy crew. Somehow the Americans are better and faster than my Haitian pill packers. I still, however, do need to check over their work for unlabeled bags or mislabeled bags.
On the previous blog when I reported on our visit to Sonson’s bar I told you about Diana, my pill packer, and her beautiful baby. She came through the clinic today and I’ll soon post some pictures for you to view.
Speaking of views, we are presently watching Emil, the lobster man, swimming and diving for located about 30 yards off the eastern shore. He comes up only for a moment and resumes his dive so he is hard to spot unless you really concentrate. There is no boat near by and the he is usually found at the cove by the hotel which is almost 1 mile away. I wonder how many lobsters he will catch today with his spear gun?
We have posted the visual aids on sheets of paper in the pharmacy waiting area. All seem to agree that was a good idea to put a graphic, such as a picture of a blood pressure cuff, on the bottles of medication that we send home with patients. It is also possible that this could cause further problems id the Haitians share their medications with their neighbors as we suspect that do already.
S0o I see that it is ever cool back home. What gives with that? 68 degrees on July 18? Unreal. I am sitting out on the third floor balcony enjoying the breeze. We will so leave for our Saturday night party. Details to follow soon.

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