Last evening I worked. It was really quite a lovely shift; it struck the rare balance between having nothing to do and having all too much to do (of which the pendulum most often swings) that is a rare gem in the world of nursing.
My patients were lovely. I so enjoy taking care of them. There was Eve, a 56 year old woman who I was convinced could not be a day older than forty (I told her that and she laughed). Her face is deep and calm; her eyes are beautifully shaped. The moment I walked into the ward I could smell her sweet spirit permeating the room. She had a mass removed from her shoulder area that had been there for almost ten years.
Now it's gone. At one point I ran to my room and grabbed a mirror so she could see it's voided presence.
She was pleased.
Then there was my little three month girl baby who might be the best piece of evidence I have yet found for the case that African children are the most adorable in the world. She had thick chunky legs (which I strongly feel all babies should have) and was easy to make laugh. The ward was filled with her laughter for great lengths of the shift. No wonder it was a good evening.
I took her for walk down to A and B ward (formally faith and hope wards, they have since been renamed) to see the other patients, particularly the VVF ladies who are starting to arrive. The other patients, especially the older one, always enjoy seeing a cute baby. I don't blame them.
I also cared for a very frighten 11 year old who came in with a huge dental abscess. The entire left side of his face was completely swollen, it looked as if he had a baseball in his mouth. A scenario which is sadly common in a country with less than five dentists. He went for surgery yesterday, so he was still feeling a little uncomfortable with being on the ship. He told his mother, "It's like being in another land."
Maybe today we will be better friends :)