My morning devotion brought me right back to the exact scripture I started this trip with: "Be strong in the Lord and His mighty Power." This was my reminder to suit up with the armor of God: the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the sword of the Spirit, the belt of truth, the shield of faith, and my feet fitted with the readiness of the Gospel of peace. Ephesian 6:10-18.
My success here and in everything hereafter will be determined by my reliance on God.
Bright and early we pulled into the clinic and were met with these sweet, pleasant faces seen in the below picture. The patients literally were seated outside every morning applauding us and cheering for us as we walked in. Sleeping on the hard ground with little to no water or food did not hinder their spirits. We cannot always change our circumstances, but in the midst of adversity we can most definitely change ourselves and our response to them.
God led me to a fresh, drink of cool water; He refreshed my soul. There is still so much good here on Earth.
|Those beautiful smiles. God provides.|
After walking into the clinic I asked the CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist), who was our team leader, what she would like for me to do and she said: "What do you mean? You're gonna go into that operating room and run a table. I'll be in and out and there will be another CRNA running the table next to you if you need anything. Your surgeon is Jerry and your first patient is getting ready in pre-op."
Whew! Alright, less than 3 months until graduation from anesthesia school and this was going to be a big test. All the mistakes, all the hard work, all that I had learned, the tears, the frustrations, the laughs was all coming to a head right here in the middle of Africa. "Be strong in the Lord and His mighty power."
The surgical schedule and cases were written on a chalk board in the hallway that we had put together the previous day: goiters/partial thyroidectomies, hernias, and lipoma excisions were all on the board for my table. Let's do this!
|Making it work with less! Here was my daily set up.|
|New machine to learn! Thankfully my anesthesia program had us travel to a multitude of clinical sites during our training so I was confident I could figure out yet another different machine. No leaks: Check! O2 sensor: Check! ETCO2: Check!|
|Never have I appreciated more the IV bags we use in America. These ones were plastic and they leaked terribly and didn't have any ports to add in and mix medication easily. Such simplicity at times we take for granted. But hey, at least we had them!|
|Off we went! And then.....|
Definitely peed my pants a little and thought my heart would beat out of my chest.