Jan 27, 2016

January 28th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
Posted in Uncategorized|

Thanks so much for your prayers! Chelsea passed the stone last night and is feeling 100% better! God is so good! She even felt well enough to round and work in clinic!

 

Wednesday went off without a hitch. Again we were super busy (I feel like that is a recurring theme). We did rounds in the morning, followed by some procedures (by the rest of my team) while I went to clinic; I love the clinic! I get to work with awesome translators and nurses, see a variety of patients and problems, and gain more experience. I was especially busy and saw 10 people before lunch! Some were for simple things like headache and wanting Tylenol. Others were more complex, like a woman with palpitations of her heart, shaking tremors, and an unwillingness to talk about what was bothering her…I did not even know where to start. Or a woman who has all the symptoms of TB but completed therapy and has a card to prove it at another hospital in Ghana, who was told she actually does not have TB? Maybe drug resistant TB? Maybe lung or laryngeal cancer? Maybe something else?

 

For the complicated patients, I often order labs…so that I have more information to base treatment decisions on. The labs here are very limited…blood count for infection or anemia, urine sample, malaria parasite screen, stool screen, TB test, HIV test, Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C tests, and a pregnancy test. I can get a few kidney tests at an outside lab, but they are expensive. I can also get x rays and ultrasound of anything. That is it. So lots of treatment is based on the patient’s vital signs and symptoms. It is difficult when all the tests come back negative…at least I can say that they are not dying today…but I may not always get to the root of the issue.

 

I was convinced to see two more patients before I left for lunch…one was a man who cam in on crutches; he did not look too good, but after talking with him, his main problem was joint pain…something for which I can only treat the symptoms. Even so, he was grateful to know what was causing the pain and have some relief. The last patient was the woman I described earlier with palpitations…she became tearful as we were talking and was very anxious, but I could never get her to talk about what was bothering her…even using all my skills of empathy…sometimes you just have to leave it at “I don’t know” but will work with you to figure it out; however, the patient also has to be willing to discuss the problem in order to get better.

 

The afternoon was even busier, with me seeing between 15-20 patients…I stopped counting. This time, Dr. Tim was in the same clinic room so I could easily discuss difficult diagnoses or treatment plans. I also saw several pregnant ladies (and practiced using the ultrasound to see their cute babies!). It was great!

 

At the end of the day, I went back to the wards with a surgeon to discuss one patient with abdominal pain. She had severe abdominal pain since the day before and her labs and X-rays were normal; the surgeon was pretty concerned and wanted to take her to surgery that night. Perhaps I should have been a more insistent advocate for this patient…on the other hand, I was seeing lots of other patients in clinic and was responsible for several more on the wards. I was definitely pulled in lots of directions. In the end, the lady was diagnosed with severe pancreatitis…something that did not need surgery. However, we did not have the imaging or lab capabilities to give her this diagnosis; instead, a surgeon saw her (as did I and other physicians) and we were so concerned that she would die without surgery that we operated. Now, she has severe pancreatitis and a huge surgical wound; I am praying that both heal well and that her experience at BMC is positive…that she can see Jesus in those that are caring for her.

Jan 26, 2016

January 26th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
Posted in Uncategorized|

This morning, I gave my presentation on TB. I think overall it went well. It was good to get insight from some of the physicians on cases they have seen here at BMC.

 

One resident here started having abdominal and back pain last night…and is now passing a kidney stone. I cannot even imagine her pain. She has ibuprofen and flomax, and I pray it passes quickly. She started getting sicker, so now she has an IV and we are giving her IV antibiotics and fluids in our guesthouse. Dr. Cahill said if she does not get well within the next 24 hours, that she should go back to the US. She is here with her husband, and he has been super supportive of her health issues so far. They are supposed to be here for another week and a half…and they (and I) do not want them to have to leave early. Please pray for Chelsea that she passes the stone and starts to feel better (and that she as no more health issues this trip). I am thankful that I have not had any health issues thus far and pray that I continue to have good health as well.

 

With Chelsea being sick, that left us two medical students to round on the wards with Ghanaian physicians available if we needed something. This morning, I worked with a patient with Steven’s Johnson Syndrome where his mouth, hands, and feet peel due to a severe allergic reaction to a medication (he came to the hospital after taking a medicine from a Chemist, a man with a stroke, a man with uncontrolled HTN, another with stroke after severe HTN, a woman with cardiomyopathy, and a child with drug toxicity vs psych disorder. It is interesting to see the approach to medications and western medicine. For example, the man with peeling hands and feet used an antibiotic for cows and spread it on his hands and feet; it was not harmful, but it did cause his hands and feet to turn purple.

 

Today was also full of little frustrations…like not having labs drawn or ready for rounds (so we cannot make the best choices for treatment) or working with new nurses who do not know the local language to interpret (which makes rounds take a lot longer). But that is ok. Things do not always go the way that we think they should go; those challenges help us to develop character and we are a witness to others during those trying times. Reflecting back on my day, I wish I would have stopped to pray…I really think it would have helped my attitude; I also would have been more effective in my work.

 

All of us short term volunteers are exhausted with the long hours and complicated cases and at times hopelessness of the situation at hand. Please pray for renewed energy for the days ahead. Pray especially for Chelsea that she passes the stone today and starts feeling better ASAP.

 

Thanks for all your prayers! I’m going to go back to the hospital to check in on a few patients. I hope that you have a blessed Tuesday…and that you too can stop and pray if things are not going as planned…and that no matter what, that others can see Jesus in you.
This morning, I gave my presentation on TB. I think overall it went well. It was good to get insight from some of the physicians on cases they have seen here at BMC.

 

One resident here started having abdominal and back pain last night…and is now passing a kidney stone. I cannot even imagine her pain. She has ibuprofen and flomax, and I pray it passes quickly. She started getting sicker, so now she has an IV and we are giving her IV antibiotics and fluids in our guesthouse. Dr. Cahill said if she does not get well within the next 24 hours, that she should go back to the US. She is here with her husband, and he has been super supportive of her health issues so far. They are supposed to be here for another week and a half…and they (and I) do not want them to have to leave early. Please pray for Chelsea that she passes the stone and starts to feel better (and that she as no more health issues this trip). I am thankful that I have not had any health issues thus far and pray that I continue to have good health as well.

 

With Chelsea being sick, that left us two medical students to round on the wards with Ghanaian physicians available if we needed something. This morning, I worked with a patient with Steven’s Johnson Syndrome where his mouth, hands, and feet peel due to a severe allergic reaction to a medication (he came to the hospital after taking a medicine from a Chemist, a man with a stroke, a man with uncontrolled HTN, another with stroke after severe HTN, a woman with cardiomyopathy, and a child with drug toxicity vs psych disorder. It is interesting to see the approach to medications and western medicine. For example, the man with peeling hands and feet used an antibiotic for cows and spread it on his hands and feet; it was not harmful, but it did cause his hands and feet to turn purple.

 

Today was also full of little frustrations…like not having labs drawn or ready for rounds (so we cannot make the best choices for treatment) or working with new nurses who do not know the local language to interpret (which makes rounds take a lot longer). But that is ok. Things do not always go the way that we think they should go; those challenges help us to develop character and we are a witness to others during those trying times. Reflecting back on my day, I wish I would have stopped to pray…I really think it would have helped my attitude; I also would have been more effective in my work.

 

All of us short term volunteers are exhausted with the long hours and complicated cases and at times hopelessness of the situation at hand. Please pray for renewed energy for the days ahead. Pray especially for Chelsea that she passes the stone today and starts feeling better ASAP.

 

Thanks for all your prayers! I’m going to go back to the hospital to check in on a few patients. I hope that you have a blessed Tuesday…and that you too can stop and pray if things are not going as planned…and that no matter what, that others can see Jesus in you.

Jan 25, 2016

January 26th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
Posted in Uncategorized|

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It’s Monday! The start of another week! Rounds were finished in record time (which was great!) It gave me time to chat with my favorite patient…the older man with the stomach ulcer. He continues to improve daily. I told him that I prayed that the surgery would go well and that he would be better soon; I also asked him if he knew Jesus, and a great big smile came across his face as he answered that he knew Jesus. I hope that is true…I hope he has faith in Jesus; here, people often say yes to appease you…or say what they think you want to hear (sound familiar to some of you in the US?). I hope that his comments were true and that he has a relationship with Jesus. It would be great to be dancing together in heaven in the years to come.

 

Clinic was also good, but REALLY busy! In the room I was in, there was an attending physician, myself, and another medical student, plus 2-3 translators, plus 3 patients, plus 1-3 other family members…all talking at once. It was crazy!

 

I also saw some crazy things. One older man had Pott’s disease, which is TB of the spine, where the TB forms an abscess like area around the spine and the vertebra degenerate; in his case, his torso is at a right angle to his hips and legs; it was so sad to see him walking. Unfortunately, there is little we can do to help him except treat his TB so his spine does not get worse. I also saw several cases of HTN, constipation (because most of the foods here are carbs), or general body aches (almost everyone has this complaint). Other unique things include a man with severe osteomyelitis (infection) of his lower leg with multiple ulcers draining pus…that he has had for over 4 years…and is just now seeking care, a young woman with kidney disease, a baby with hydrocephalus (her 3 mo old head was the size of a large, round watermelon), kidney infection, eye infection, and an old lady with sepsis.

 

I became very protective of this old woman, ensuring that she got the labs and other tests we needed as well as treatments ASAP. She was super sick. After the test results came back, it was clear she had a severe UTI and pneumonia and that she was very dehydrated. We started antibiotics and other fluids and I wanted to start oxygen since her O2 sat was 79%. The problem was that the hospital has a limited number of O2 concentrators…so I went from ward to ward asking if anyone had an oxygen machine that we could use. I even reassessed some babies to see if I could safely take the oxygen away from them (if they did not need it anymore), but decided that they were too sick to be off the O2. After giving up on the search, I went back to the female ward, and an O2 machine was sitting by her bed! (so there are at least 3 working machines in the hospital). I was relieved! I hope that she will do well overnight.

 

After a long day of clinic, we returned to the guest house. We had pizza for dinner, which tasted great! It was a nice farewell treat to two residents who leave tomorrow. This leaves a surgery resident, a family medicine resident, and two med students here with the long term workers…I hope rounds go well tomorrow!

Jan 24, 2016

January 26th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
Posted in Uncategorized|

Rounds went well last night. Today, we rounded on all the patients in the ward, and discharged lots of people. It was good to finally be sending some of them home. The reality is that we healed some, helped others get better control of their chronic disease (like HTN or DM), or simply had to say that there is nothing else that we can do to help the patient…which is super frustrating.

 

Some common problems here that I see less often in the US is hepatitis (both from BBC and HCV) as well as from alcohol and other diseases, postpartum cardiomyopathy (large, less functional heart after child-birth) leading to shortness of breath, and tuberculosis.

 

I went to church with a family from Belgium who is working at the BMC right now. We went to a Fulani church; from what I have heard, they are a nomadic people group similar to the Gypsies of Europe. Here, they often have a poor reputation. The church was planted by a man who works in the pharmacy of the BMC. The church building was probably 10ft x 20 ft and was filled with about 20 adults and 40 kids; it was packed. I enjoyed the service which was in both English and Mamprusi. The key passage was in Ruth where it says “where you go I will go.” This passage was part of my wedding ceremony and it made me reminisce about times with Tyler. I am excited to be having these serving adventures as a couple in the future.

 

After lunch, I worked on a presentation about Tuberculosis that I will give to the other doctors and medical students on Tuesday. I was a little nervous about presenting on TB since it is so common here, but I hope I can teach someone something new. It was challenging to get the information for the presentation with a slow internet connection, but I made it work.

 

Sunday was a good day to rest and get other things done…like my presentation! It is definitely good to have some time off. Dr. Cahill invited everyone to his house for games that night, so I was definitely excited! We played Taboo and Cranium. It was so fun to hang out with his family and the family from Belgium again. What a great way to finish the weekend!

January 23rd, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
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It’s finally Saturday! Rounds this morning went well. The girl with heart failure is improving. Another girl, who I was sure was going to pass away a week ago is doing great! She had high fevers, seizures, and was pretty out of it for several days due to an unknown infection…but with several potent antibiotics, the infection is gone and she is doing well! I enjoyed making faces at her and seeing her smile and giggle in return. I thank God for hearing my prayers…for healing this girl and for me seeing a glimpse of the reason I am here in Ghana right now. After rounds, I passed out more coloring books and the children’s eyes lit up. They were so excited to receive something to do.

 

I got in a short nap before lunch…I was exhausted both physically, mentally, and emotionally by this week. I enjoyed my free afternoon to walk to the market in town look at the variety of food available (including greens, tomatoes, green peppers, ginger, yams…lots of yams, onions, carrots, oranges, bananas, and food from vendors including fried fish and other things). I did not eat anything…I have not had a GI bug yet and knock on wood that I do not. As I walked back from the market, most children I came across greeted me and wanted to shake my hand or give me a five. They yelled, “How are you?” Which was probably one of a few English words they knew. It was so fun to walk through the market and wander around town.

 

While English is the national language of Ghana, and the nurses and hospital workers speak English, 95% of patients do not. This language barrier is HUGE! I am never sure if the translator understood my question or if the patient did either; often, I get an answer that does not match the question I asked, and I have to try again by rephrasing the question. I finally get the information that I need, but the process can be frustrating. I also find it difficult to talk to patients about what we would consider sensitive issues ie assault because questions are phrased differently here. I am making it by, but definitely have a high value on language learning for possible longer term work in the future.

I have rounds again tonight at 8:30 pm (2:30 pm central time). Today is market day, which means lots of people in town and potentially lots of new admissions. Please pray that rounds go well and that we can be effective physicians and be attentive to both the physical and spiritual needs of our patients.

I am thankful for all your support for myself, Tyler, and my other family as I am away. I know it is not easy on them either with me thousands of miles away. We appreciate your prayers!

 

 

 

 

Jan 22, 2016

January 23rd, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
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Finally, it’s Friday! Which means another long day of rounds and clinic, but I was invited to a missionary’s home for dinner and I was really excited! Rounds went well. My patient from a few days ago who had the stomach surgery from an ulcer was doing better than ever; he even took a picture with me. Other patients seemed to be doing better as well.

 

One girl had severe shortness of breath and was coughing up lots of blood-tinged mucous…which here makes us think TB; she also had lots of leg swelling, so we ultrasounded her heart and found that her ejection fraction is <20%, AKA, she is in heart failure at the age of 18. I won’t bore you with the specifics of her ultrasound, but it is likely that she had an untreated strep infection, which later caused rheumatic fever and her heart failure; we are still waiting on the final TB results, but it looks like heart failure is most likely at this time. We are trying to get the fluid off her lungs so she can breathe and we are giving her antibiotics to ward off infection. I am praying that she continues to improve with out treatment.

 

Clinic was busy again; I saw a variety of things from post-op pain, to wound dressings, to headache, to abdominal pain, to UTI, to pregnancy dating and followup (I saw at least 8 pregnant ladies)! I love babies, but I definitely have a lot to learn on the OB ultrasound to perfect my technique for dating the pregnancies. All the babies were healthy, which is always a blessing. We are praying that the rest of their pregnancies go well and that they have healthy babies.

 

Afterwards, I went to Dr. Cahill’s home with some other volunteers; he is my supervisor here at BMC. His family is absolutely FANTASTIC! Laurie, his wife, made a delicious meal complete with pecan pie and ice cream. He has two little girls, age 4 and 2, who were cute as can be. God sure knows what he is doing putting all these cute kids in my path…they definitely brighten my day! It was definitely good to interact with him outside the hospital and to probe them with questions about life as a missionary…both the things that they love as well as some of the challenges. I appreciated their openness and honesty and will hold their words close to my heart (and share them with Tyler) as we pray about the future…and what God would have us to do in the future.

The difficult day

January 23rd, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
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Thursday was tough. I started my morning alone on the wards since my resident partner was sick; I walked into the ward hearing the sounds of a woman wailing and knew it was not good. They asked me to see this man right away and to confirm his death; I have never had to do such a thing before, but it was clear that he had passed away. I had no time to process this loss of life and his impact on his family and friends before I was asked to see the other sick patients.

 

I was also frustrated by the lack of resources (ie blood tests) and medications available. People would stay in the hospital for far too long since we have to make an educated guess from the patient’s history (which is always through 1-2 sets of translation) and our physical exam what the diagnosis is and start the most appropriate treatment. Sometimes, it takes days to get results; other times, we empirically start treatment while waiting for the few tests we have access to to come back.

 

Lastly, I was frustrated at the system. As I was leaving the hospital for lunch, I was stopped by a nurse and billing person and asked to assist them with figuring out a patient’s bill; the patient has COPD and needed an expensive inhaler to stay healthy and out of the hospital. I discussed this with the workers, the pharmacy, and the patient…multiple times. The workers stated that the patient could not afford the hospital bill and inhaler (which was about $30 for 2 months). They wanted me to pay for the inhaler. It broke my heart; Yes, I have $30 that I could use to pay for his inhaler, but what about all the other patients and their unpaid bills? What about next time when his inhaler runs out and I am not there to buy him another? This is definitely a dilemma in missions…to find the best, most sustainable way to help that is sensitive to the Spirit as well. In the end, I told them to discuss the bill with the chaplains (who handle charity giving to cover medical bills) and to call family and friends to collect money to pay the bill. It is a common practice here to discharge the patient, but not to let them leave the hospital until his/her bill is paid; I guess he came up with the money because his bed was empty the next day.

 

I left the hospital feeling defeated and alone; I desperately wanted to help him and others, but did not feel that giving money was the best way at that moment. I wanted other patients to get better, instead they died. At that moment in time, I was really upset…upset at the lack of resources, upset at my inability to fix things, upset with the seemingly endless list of tasks to get done, and upset that I do not have the knowledge or experience (or language…that is the toughest) I really need to work here effectively without the assistance of other residents or attendings.

 

I called Tyler crying my head off; it wasn’t a cute little whimper, but rather a ball my eyes out…this is not fair sort of crying. It wasn’t pretty. I sobbed about how people were dying, how people were lying on the floor for treatment, how others were getting sicker by the day, and about all my inadequacies. Tyler gently reminded me that I was not alone; the God was right by my side and that He gives me the strength I need to face every challenge…including this one. After I talked with Tyler, I was still pretty upset, but within a few minutes, the missionary kid wandered over to where I was sitting outside. He started telling me about these crazy books he is writing; he is hilarious! He turned my frown upside down; I know that God sent him my way that day. After cheering me up, he asked me to watch him climb this tree in his backyard; he climbed over 50 feet high…it was nuts! Then his mom came outside and we chatted a bit about being a medical missionary; I told her of my tough day and she told me some of her experiences. Afterwards, I assisted her with an operation to amputate a woman’s leg above the knee to remove a tumor on her leg. The woman was scared to have the operation, but she was excited that the tumor would be gone. Before we started the surgery, we prayed with the patient; it was such a wonderful experience to see them praying not only for the operation, but for her as a person to come to know Christ through this ordeal.

 

The day ended with the station meeting, a time when all the missionaries and their families on the BMC campus meet for food and fellowship and encouragement. We had lasagna, which was delicious and chocolate cake…which was even better! We had a sweet time of worship and a devotion about Martin Luther King…and how we as Christians are called to honor governments, yet live in accordance to Christ’s example and to advocate for the least of these.

 

This day was definitely my lowest point so far here in Ghana. It is difficult to be in the midst of the trenches (even though you are surrounded by lots of other believers) and still feel alone. But God promises to guide us even when we are unsure; as Tyler reminded me in Proverbs 3:5-6, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your path.”

 

Thank you to all of you who are praying for me. I can say with full confidence that the prayers are working and God is moving here in my heart and in the lives of others.

Jan 20, 2016 Updates

January 20th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
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Rounds this morning were pretty uneventful. Some patients are really sick and we are out of options and ideas to help them, so we have to transfer them to Tamale, a larger facility about 2 hours away. Others are doing well enough to be discharged. Like my med school professors say, common things are common. I have seen lots of HTN (high blood pressure), congestive heart failure, and viral upper respiratory infections here. Other common illnesses include TB, meningitis, malaria, anemia due to parasites or multiple infections, malnutrition, and GI bugs.

 

After rounds, we went to clinic, which was crazy as usual. I only saw 18 patients in 4 hours of clinic…so it was a slow day. I’m glad that I had my preceptor, Dr. Tim Cahill by my side so I could ask any questions I had about each case. In clinic, I saw people for headache, abdominal pain, pneumonia, cough, hernia, diabetes and wounds, pregnancy follow-up, seizures, infertility, and others.

 

I also passed out pens to the nursing staff in the clinic. They were so appreciative! They work so hard (some are Ghanaian volunteers). A pen seems like such a little thing, but here they are expensive and do not work well. I also greeted the children that we colored with yesterday. They are all doing better. Please continue to pray for their healing. There are two children in particular who need your prayers; they both have a GI parasite and it is taking them a while to get better. Please pray that they have no more fever as the parasites die and they feel well again. Bless their mothers and help them to come to know Christ in this time.

 

I work at the Baptist Medical Center, but not all the staff…and certainly not the patients are Christians; in fact, only about 10% of the people here are Christians; the other 90% are Muslim or animists. Please also pray for me to form relationships with people and for language to not be a barrier (most do NOT speak English, making deep conversation difficult). Help me to show Christ’s love and help the people to see that it is Christ in me who is doing the work.

 

Thanks for your prayers!

God is good

January 20th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
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Yesterday (1/18/16) was a LONG day! It was a Monday, which means rounds, then clinic all day. We were lucky that we got done by 5:30pm…but that was because there were at least 12 doctors and who knows how many physician assistants seeing lots of patients. I saw at least 20 on my own! In the room I was in, there was one translator/secretary and three to four doctors interviewing and examining patients at the same time. Talk about efficient (but not so patient centered or private)! It was nuts! Then, when I thought we were done at dinner, I heard that we were on call and had to go back to the hospital at 8:30pm…which is usually my bedtime! Last night, we also had a record number of new admissions and sick people to see. We were all exhausted after rounds were over.

 

A sampling of some of the things I saw include: hypertension, COPD, an open tibia (lower leg) fracture that has been open for months, a young girl with a mass in her neck, women (many) with infertility issues, body pains, urinary tract infections, and others. On the inpatient wards, I have been taking care of several children with malaria, adults with hypertension, pregnancy induced cardiomyopathy (heart failure), people with acid reflux and stomach ulcers, and a man with liver cancer, who went home today on palliative care.

 

The man with the perforated stomach ulcer who went to surgery the other day was found to have a 5cmx6cm hole in his stomach! It is definitely a miracle that he is even alive. He was doing well for a day or so, but now is having some problems with delirium and hallucinations; pray that his hallucinations stop and that he continues to improve day by day.

 

Other people on the wards include a kid with a snakebite, another child with massive burns, lots of people with anemia from poor nutrition, several with liver failure and its complications including shortness of breath, fluid build-up in the stomach, and abdominal pain.

 

Today, after rounds, we had the afternoon off. I definitely needed that time to recharge spiritually and physically. God is so good! During that time, I chatted with some short-term volunteers and one volunteer who served here for an entire year as a surgeon and is now back for 2 weeks. It was great to discuss the health care system in Ghana, cultural beliefs, and how to improve communication with the patients.

 

Afterwards, I went to the wards with David and Chelsea (other short-term volunteers) and passed out coloring books and crayons to the kids. It was great to see the smiles on their faces and to know that they would have something to do when they are bored sitting in the hospital bed. I also passed out cards that some of you wrote telling the children that you are praying for them; the nurses translated them so the kids could understand. Thank you for being faithful to pray months ago and to this present day and beyond.

 

One young man in particular was especially happy to receive the coloring book…this morning on rounds, I played peek-a-boo with him, so it was great to continue our friendship. This kid is incredible, he fell into a fire and is burned on his arm, torso, and back; he is covered in bandages, yet he still smiles and plays like any other kid. They are so resilient. Another child is really sick with Shigella, which is a bacteria in her stool that causes blood loss, abdominal pain, weakness, and even death; she is on antibiotics now and we are praying for her to get better…I asked the mom if I could pray with her today and she was grateful. It is so great to be able to do that here without fear. If only I could have such confidence in the US.

 

It has been an incredible, exhausting, yet invigorating past few days. Tomorrow is another busy clinic day. Things are going well. I appreciate your prayers; currently everyone is well and I pray that no one else falls sick. I also pray that the long term missionaries here have strength to endure the work load daily and for their families who are far away. Pray for Solomon, our translator in clinic, who has an appointment for surgery on his leg Thursday that things go well and that the surgery will fix his pain; I pray that in this experience he comes to know the Great Healer and starts a relationship with Jesus.

 

God is good, all the time; even when we do not know what to do, or say, or think, He is there guiding our every step (even when we put our foot in our mouth and get laughed at by 20 ladies in the nutrition center). I am so thankful to have this experience to serve Him and practice medicine. I hope all is well with your families and that you all stay safe with the cold temperatures and snow! Here, it is a cool 90 degrees most days lol, but beautiful none the less.

Jan 17, 2016 Happy Sunday!

January 17th, 2016 by Kristen Allcorn-Killen
Posted in Uncategorized|

10153810_10208617231050559_1236639207649070282_nThe Lord is good! We did rounds this morning before church and saw some very sick people…but we saw so many more who were well enough to discharge! Also, my patient with the perforated intestine went to surgery a little while ago…I am praying that the surgery goes well and that he has a speedy recovery!

 

While on rounds, this elderly woman with high blood pressure was ready for discharge. We found a good combination of medications for her and she was safe to go home. She wanted to stay in the hospital though because we take good care of her…I told her that she could come back and see me in clinic in a week and she was ok with that. It felt so good to see the fruit of that relationship even though the only words that we could speak of one another’s language was “hello” and “thank you” which we said at the beginning and at the end of our chatting each day. I look forward to seeing her back in clinic!

 

We stopped in the middle of rounds to go to church…which was a 1 mile walk away in the hot sun and dusty road…my nice black shoes are now nicely covered in a layer of red dust…but that is ok. We were 30 minutes late for church…but they were still singing hymns in Mamprusi…I don’t know Mamprusi at all really, so I just made up some words like “God is mighty.” Over and over. It was great! People were dancing and praising God. The village chief stood up and thanked the church for helping with the recent burial of his daughter. Mothers were taking care of other children. It was incredible to see the communal perspective here.

 

I also enjoyed the message, which was in both English and Mamprusi. It was about Luke 9:57-62 where Jesus is talking about following Him…and that you cannot bury the dead, say good bye to your household, or look back to your previous life. The preacher told us that we must all be ready to share Christ and that we must be a Christian and growing in our relationship with Christ before we can truly serve Him as Jesus commands. It was definitely a good reminder to make sure Christ is the center of our lives!

 

After church, I ate lunch with the other volunteers, then went back to the hospital. There is a woman who is very sick, almost comatose, and we do not know what is wrong with her. She is on lots of antibiotics and we have limited tests available. I’m praying that she gets better regardless of the cause of her illness.

 

I have to go, one of the missionary kids here wants me to hunt birds with a slingshot. We will see how this goes lol!

 

Thanks so much for praying! Words cannot describe how much it means to me. I can definitely feel God’s presence daily as I do things I never thought possible…and as people are healed in ways that are unimaginable. Please continue to pray for wisdom while treating complicated diseases with limited resources, good rest (I’m still recovering from jet lag), and for my team to be well (another member has a GI bug now). Please pray that it stops with her and that she feels better quickly! I am praying that each of you too can see and experience God in ways like never before. He is there…I promise…we just have to be still enough to hear and see Him work.

 

Kristen