Tuesday, September 9, 2014

I am an idiot!

As I looked at a pale frail sick looking little girl with big brown eyes my heart cried. Her name is Whitney. I knew nothing about malaria or yellow fever, her symptoms look like both. Lillie and her mother told her to allow me to check her over, Molly and I did a quick assessment, but I had no clue, fever, swollen lymph nodes, I did know she was sick and this was WAY out my scope of practice (I deliver babies for a living, from healthy mammas). I told Lillie that I need to go back to the school and get some more information and do some research but before I left I asked Whitney's mother if I could do one more thing, the only thing I knew to do at this point, PRAY. I prayed over Whitney, asking for God's healing, for Him to give her strength.
We left and went back to the school. I visited with Darren and Mame, the other nurse that had come on the trip and described what we found. Mame's response is if she is that bad she could die. Mame asked to go down and take a look at Whitney, so we journeyed back down the road to her home.
Upon arriving back at Whitney's home we found her mother had taken her to a pallet outside the home. She didn't look like the girl I left 45 minutes earlier, the sweat was gone her heart rate was down and she had a smile on her face. Mame did an assessment and looked at me like I was nuts, "she seems fine, I don't think she has malaria even" Those words stung, I knew what I had seen, I was not crazy and I do have good nursing assessment skills. I just new that Mame thought I was a flake, a poor nurse. We told Whitney to continue resting and we journeyed back to the school. I looked around and found some electrolyte replacement powder that people had brought and mixed a couple of water bottles up and walked back to Whitney's home to give them to her mom for Whitney to drink, explaining through Lillie how very important this water was for Whitney.
That night while I did my journaling, still irritated with Mame and everything that had happened, it struck me, actually God knocked me up side the head. What had I prayed before I left Whitney the first time? What had I asked God to do? Didn't He answer my prayer? I am an idiot, okay not really, but I was so concerned about how I looked, I didn't think to Praise God for His answered prayer!  I think we all have a tendency to do that, I still work on it at times.
I went back to Whitney's home the next day  to check on her, by the third day she felt good enough to go back to school, so I checked on her there making sure she was feeling well.
I have learned in my research that malaria is the #1 killer of children in Kenya. I have also learned that you can get it over and over and over again, that it  can make you very anemic. After visiting with Whitney's mother and through Lillie's interpreting, I learned that Whitney had "watery blood, anemia" and was prescribed iron, but they couldn't afford the medication. I gave her mother the money gladly, and told her to get it right away, she did.
Every trip since the first, I check in on Whitney, her mother and brother, to see how they are doing. I have kinda adopted this family.   Lillie is great about giving me updates and letting me know what they need. They are a reminder of  God answering prayers and not letting my pride get in the way.
 Me and Whitney the day I taught an art class at the school
Whitney walking the road to go to school.

You don't have to be a nurse to get involved on a Project Humanity trip, or even travel to Africa, there are ways to help here in the states! 
For more information go to www.prjecthumanity.com