Jan 30, 2016

January 30th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen

Yay! The weekend! I slept in 15 more minutes than usual before rounds, rounds went pretty well with lots of discharges…which was great because we are so full we had several people and kids on the hard floor for a bed. I saw most of the same patients I saw yesterday…which is great for continuity of care and developing a relationship. I saw the older woman from a few days ago too who had the emergency surgery; she is doing well aside from pain. I held her hands today and asked if I could pray for her; she smiled and said yes please (at least that is what I think she said). Afterwards, she seemed to be a bit relieved. God is good.


When I was finished with rounds, I made my own rounds on the kids. I handed out coloring books and crayons again (kids come and go frequently). They were so happy to get the books! One girl, who previously was upset at her mother and had a hysterical episode at home, followed by other outbursts in the hospital, sat on her mat quietly coloring…it was calming for her. Again, a simple gift had such a profound impact on those kids.


After rounds, Dr. Tim and I checked on one of my sickest patients. She was previously admitted to the hospital with pneumonia, treated, and sent home on treatment. After she was home for a few days, she started coughing up blood, so they brought her in. We immediately started blood transfusions and several antibiotics. We also evaluated her CXR and found that her pneumonia now involves her entire lung…and that her blood is not coming from her stomach. We decided that it might help her to drain off some of the blood fluid, but it was too thick to drain. We were stumped…she could have a cancer, some weird infectious thing, or she could have ingested some local “herbal medicine” that is somehow causing her to have a hemothorax…or for her lung to bleed. After asking multiple questions multiple ways, we finally learned that the family had given her some unknown herbs before she started spitting up blood. We still do not know the exact cause and can only provide her with supportive treatments like blood transfusions and pray that she gets better.


I’m about half way finished with my rotation here…time has sure flown by! I feel like I have gained lots of medical knowledge on tropical diseases and management of hospital patients in a low resource setting. I am also learning and practicing integrating my faith into medicine…and loving patients and those I work with. It is incredible how God uses people…many of you are praying and supporting me, and I am working and supporting the local missionaries here, who in turn support the community of Nalerigu, who support the missionaries in tough times, and the missionaries support me…it all comes full circle. Thanks for taking this journey with me…and being faithful to pray. It means the world to me!