The Art of Cup Showering


It was an unbelievable day! Before I tell you about it, you need to learn about the fine art of cup showering. That is how it gets done around here since there is no running water. You see there is just a five gallon bucket in the bathroom with a bowl floating in it. I'm not sure how water can be colder than air but, just like KY Jelly, it is. So my strategy is to fill the bowl then dip my hand in it and splash the water on a section my body. Then soap. Then I move on to the next part of my body. Then I go back and rinse each part. Now Bill, on the other hand, pours the water over his head while squatting and somehow manages to get his whole body wet. Then soaps. Then he rinses by pouring two cups over his head. Good grief. Three cups total. How does he do it? Mystery. I spent the majority of the day at our hospital today. We had several breakthroughs. Today our other team arrived in two waves. It was great to see Dr Tom Haggard again. I haven't seen him since we were working at the New Orleans Convention Center after Katrina. He is a great guy with an amazing servant's heart. We also added Dr Todd Ulmar (Ortho), Dr Chris Achterman (Ped Ortho), Kathy McCoy (PT), Huston Hedinger (all around good guy) and Michael Graves (EMT and all around good guy). The second wave of folks came as I was heading out so I don't have all of their names yet. Stay tuned. Today the team worked hard and we were able to get our OR up and running just around noon! We were even able to treat the pastor's wife. The orthopods were able to debride her wound and, using external stabilizers, fix her leg so she can be transported to the United States so she can receive the treatment she needs to save her foot! Bill and I are taking her to the airport where she will be flown to Ft Lauderdale in a private jet. The use of the jet for one week was donated and we are using it to bring in supplies and volunteers. I am excited to see her someday with her foot still attached. I am celebrating today that she is still alive!! God is good. Today I also worked on organizational structure and figured out department heads etc. This evening I went to the UN field hospital and I was able to find some supplies that we desperately needed. I got some morphine, demerol, antibiotics, disposable surgical gowns, IV solutions and more supplies that were very needed. The new team is struggling with the fact that we don't have x-ray.  For difficult cases we write what x-ray we want on a Rx pad and then the patients family has to go and find someone with a vehicle and painfully place them in the vehicle and take them around to find someplace with an x-ray machine that works.  When I close my eyes and imagine transferring into a car (not a cushy ambulance), driving on horrible bumpy roads, transferring out to get the x-rays and then doing the procedure in reverse to get back to the doctor it makes me so grateful that I live where I do. My patients at home often put up with wait times that are embarrassingly long but these people have patience and gratefulness that would make Mother Theresa envious. I have much to learn from them. We are working on getting some intake forms up and running. They are installing a generator that should give us enough power. By the way, we ran out of fuel for the generator in the middle of a surgical case today. They had to finish without power. I was trying to get some forms downloaded from the Internet this evening and to do that in these situations we use a portable satellite link device. The fun thing was the dozen children that were hanging all around me while I was doing it. They sure are curious and full of smiles. I speak very tiny bits of Creole but I do speak fluent "Kid".  It was really fun with special handshakes and all that stuff. There were lots of giggles, even in the midst of all of this. Off to bed. I have to get up early to take pastor's wife to the airport at 5:30 or so. But first I have to get up early for my cup shower.  Perhaps I will try Bill's technique. Please keep the prayers up. I could sense His strength throughout the day.

Onward, Dan