Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Giving a Light

I’ve unfortunately been feeling sick the last few days, so work has been a little rough.  Cough, sore throat, congestion.  Today was interesting in the clinic.  In the morning I stayed far away from all the action to make sure I didn’t get anyone else sick.  Rounds are incredibly difficult to understand because I can’t read the handwriting nor can I understand Spanish at a whisper volume.  The staff tends to speak very quietly when around the newborns so as not to disturb them.  I fully understand that, but it unfortunately comes at the cost of my learning. 

When I again sat down with the med students to look over charts, there was only one woman in the dilation room.  It was a calm day compared to yesterday.  We didn’t do anything for a while, but I did get to talk to the med students which I always like.  Eventually the one woman was ready to enter the labor room.  I wasn’t sure if I was allowed in there without a mask, hairnet, etc., but I was invited into the room so I figured I’d check it out.  Watching a birth is entirely unlike anything I experienced previously.  I was shocked by how fast it all happened.  Once she was situated and her husband was behind her to help, she started pushing.  Almost right away I saw the little head pop out.  One more push and the whole little, adorable, wrinkly monster exited her mother’s body.  While more people worked with the mom to get her back to normal, I watched what was taking place with the baby.  She came out pretty blue but was breathing so her skin soon turned to a normal color.  She was cleaned, weighed, measured, and clothed before she could go back with her mom again.  I also thought about how this is such a pivotal moment in the lives of these people.  I bet the couple was around 23 or 25 years old, very young.  They will know this baby whose birth I witnessed for the rest of their lives.  They will remember this moment forever.  It’s cool to be present in that moment.  In Spanish the phrase that means “to give birth” would literally be translated “To give a light,” hence the title of this post.  Today was the first day I got to witness a beautiful little light entering the world.

As you can imagine, the rest of the day was comparatively very boring.  Luis came over and we chatted a little while after he dropped off my dictionary.  I asked quite a few people what I should get for my cold, and I eventually took the advice of one of the medical students.  The medication I got is called Nastisol, pronounced almost exactly how we would say “Nasty soul.”  Interesting name. 

The last important thing of the day was a representative from the med school coming in to talk to the 2 med students.  She was very insistent that they get more hands on experience since that’s why they are doing these rotations.  They already are given an lot of responsibility, and there really isn’t much more for them to do.  Apparently this was an important meeting, since one of the med students seemed quite relieved to have it over with. 

There wasn’t much to do for the rest of the day.  I am starting to dive into thinking about my senior project more, and shortly I’ll have my surveys up and running.  I should be getting some helpful resources from the friends I’m making here.  I also took out the down payment for the Inca Trail for Spring Break when Meghan and I will be trekking it!  

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