de-swa (describes a person who was sick and now is better)

18 Jul

Yesterday, we all went to the escarpment with the Wilson and Hewitt families.  The escarpment is the one tourist attraction in this part of Ghana and was definitely worth the 45 minute bumpy drive in the crowded van.  It is a large cliff that overlooks a valley – you can see into neighboring countries from the cliff and it is just breathtaking.  To get to the cliff, you have to “hike” for about 15 minutes down a dirt path and over rocks through what seems like the jungle of Africa– very authentic.

Once at the top, there are two rocky cliffs to climb up and around.  The views are amazing and it was so nice to be outside in the fresh air.  We were glad we got the chance to see Ghana in this way.

The drive itself was also beautiful and interesting.  We passed through several villages with lots of waving children, huts, crops, goats, donkeys, etc.  We stopped in a few villages for snacks (cookies, peanuts, and dried dates) and sodas.  It was so fun to see a glimpse of the daily life of the people in the villages, sitting around selling harvested goods and enjoying each other’s company.

Today, we rounded on the peds ward in the morning after getting an amazing night’s rest due to a big rainfall with cool winds.  We finished early and had time for a short break before heading to clinic where we saw just under 100 pediatric patients.  Most were malaria or viral respiratory illnesses, and of course the rashes we still can’t diagnose with certainty.  We also had the joy of seeing follow-up patients from recent admission or clinic last week – most were doing much better with smiles on their faces.  We decided we should have had all of our patients come for follow-up so we could have seen then well and acting like children again.  Of course, that would mean seeing 200 patients in clinic, so probably not a good idea!  We’ll just be happy knowing that the majority of our patients go home and stay home, because they are well again.

Just an update – our two premature babies we have been taking care of are doing very well as of today.  One of them is 9 days old and the other is 5 days old (and feisty as can be).  The moms are so sweet and are doing such a great job of using the oversized diapers and clothing to keep their babies warm like we asked them to.  They are also trying to breastfeed them so the babies can learn how to, then cup feeding them so they can get the calories.  Both are on aminophylline (a medicine that helps them remember to breathe) and the younger is still completing a course of antibiotics (a measure taken here for all premature babies to give them the best chance).  We feel like we have finally gotten into the groove of taking care of these tiny babies in such a foreign way.  Because there are no labs or respiratory support or cultures, etc, we’ve decided they do best when you let the mom’s try to feed as best as they can and provided minimal support (a little IV fluids, antibiotics and aminophylline).  And so far, it seems to be working.  They still have a ways to go, so continue to pray for them and the moms, but we are happy with the progress they are making.  We took pictures of them side by side today and with their moms.  Adorable!

We had a term baby who had neonatal seizures and respiratory distress that we treated for pneumonia.  We were also concerned about brain injury during birth because she wasn’t feeding well and had abnormal muscle tone.  She got to go home yesterday after being weaned off oxygen, seizure free and starting to breastfeed.

Over the last couple of days, we have started to say good-bye to some of the people we have worked with.  We are sad to be leaving and feel like the time has passed by much too quickly, but have gained so much knowledge and understanding that will be priceless as we start to plan our future work overseas.

– Courtney & Rachel

One Response to “de-swa (describes a person who was sick and now is better)”

  1. Tommy Tucker July 21, 2011 at 9:09 pm #

    Girls – these are times you will remember for the rest of your lives. Keep them next to your hearts and remember the feelings God has given you during this time of service. He will always honor those who serve Him.
    Love you – Dad

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