Dr. Steve, our frequent VVF surgeon, just finished three weeks of VVF repair surgeries on Thursday. All of the women who have received surgery this time a repeats. Sometimes it takes two or three surgeries before the women are dry.
This weekend of have been in A ward, home of the VVF ladies. It's the first time for me this outreach. Last weekend I was walking through the hospital and stopped A ward to see the ladies (I knew many of them from outreach). When I came in the ward was mysteriously silent. Let's be honest; any room full of women is rarely silent. I looked up at the TV and saw they were showing the documentary "A walk to beautiful." Check you local listings. This film documents a VVF hospital in Ethiopia and shows the painful and triumphant stories of five young women affected by VVF and there journey to finding healing. It's beautiful. It's sad. It's funny. You need to see it.
I sat on the bed of one of the patients and watched the film with the women. They were mesmerized. They were watching their stories.
I won't go into details so as not to spoil it for you, but it gave me a new appreciation for the heartbreak and pain these women experience. It broke my heart to think of how mistreated and forgotten these women are. I nearly broke down in the middle of the room. I wondered what they were thinking as they watched the stories of other women like them.
They VVF ladies are fun. And quite sassy. For example, tonight I was pouring meds at the nurse station when I felt two distinct pinches on my butt. Curious and surprised, (and possibly offended..) I turned around and saw Garmai laughing with a fixed mischievous smile.
Garmai is a very memorable lady. She is a bigger women (last night when I went to take her blood pressure she informed me,"It's two small. You can try, but it won't work." She was right; I spent 20 minutes finding a larger cuff) whoh wears a gaudy gold wedding ring on her right hand and she often speaks of her husband. She knows how to read and is working through the book, "Bringing God's Deliverance". Every night she puts on her silk nightgown and reading glasses; gets out her Bible, the book, a note pad and pen and reads. She takes notes and frequently says, "Amen," and "Yes, Father," during these sessions. Last outreach she regularly stood and gave sermons to her hostage ward mates. Tonight she asked me if I had a boyfriend and upon my answer of "no", she prophesied over me saying, "This will be your year." I'm just glad she didn't say I was going to have "plenty plenty babies".
I have decided Garmai is the ward's matriarchal grandmother. I really like her. She makes me laugh plenty plenty.
It's nice to be back wit the VVF ladies. A few of them are still teenagers. A few are depressed because the y are still leaking. A few are joyful because they are dry. But they are all God's children. They are all His precious little girls.
It's amazing to be able to tell them they are precious. To show them they are loved. Last night I tucked all my patients into bed and wished them off to sleep with a kiss on the forehead. It made them smile and laugh. My last few patients gave me an expectant glance after I took their vital signs and smiled and giggled when I tucked them in. No one touches these women. They are outcasts.
I love that I get to love on them.