Monday, November 5, 2007

small things

It really is the small things that matter most.

Yesterday, during my evening shift, I was in Faith ward which is filled with VVF patients. The last group of VVF ladies I worked with were a bit demanding and a bit draining, but this group of ladies is positively fun. Most of the women I was caring for were between 20 - 23. I'm 24.

At the last minute a VVF surgeon was unable to come, so several of the women have not had their surgeries yet and are still leaking. They are staying on the ward until we are abler to transport them to Sierra Leone, where they will receive their surgeries at the Mercy Ships VVF clinic at that location.

My shift was quite unbusy, which does not happen very often. And these ladies are great. So we just hung out.

The moving "Driving Miss Daisy" was the feature film of the afternoon and I sat on the end of a bed and watched along with patients seeing there was no urgent nursing care to perform. After only a few minutes, Betty, a patient who is waiting to go to Sierra Leone, informed me that I was needed at her bedside. The day before I has sprawled out on Joetta's bed (Joetta is another woman waiting to go to Sierra Leone) and together we had watched the afternoon's feature film. Betty wanted me to watch the movie with her. I obliged.

Earlier in the shift, Korto, a VVF patient who has already had surgery, told me her story. She had delivered the baby that caused her injury by herself, in Liberia's bush at age 15, while the civil war was still active. The baby dies and she leaked.

Korto is 21 now. She told me for the past seven years she has been sad. She told me no one would ever sit next to her because they would see the puddle of pee pee next to her and turn away. Sometimes they would go outside and talk about her.

As I laid in Betty's bed a group of people who were taking a tour of the ward walked by. They probably thought I was a huge slacker nurse. But it doesn't really matter.

These ladies have been shunned by their communities. No one talks to them. No one touches them. No one sits by them.

It is amazing to watch someone respond to love. As I sat on Betty's bed, on top of her blue chux pad that is there to catch her leaking urine, you could see her genuine appreciation.

Before long all the patients were requesting my to watch the movie with them.

It really is the small things that matter.

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