Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tweets from Haiti

So, although I wasn't really able to blog from Haiti, I tweeted my way through my adventure. Here is a summary of my tweets from Haiti for waht they're worth. Real blogging to commence soon. So much to write about.

Interesting crowd heading to Haiti! The adventure is about to begin! #Haiti 

Sitting next to me on this airport is a native Haitian returning for the first time with a disaster relief group. Amazing! #Haiti

And so it begins..... #Haiti

My first glimpses of Haiti reveal a beautiful lush tropical island, but even at the airport the damage is visible. #Haiti

Day 1 of Haiti is winding down, I'm finding my groove, amazing people, united for a goal! #Haiti

Camp is under lockdown tonight, but it's great sitting around chatting with all the other great people here in #Haiti

Happy Haitian Flag Day!!!! (ie. Haitian independence day) #Haiti

My friends were worried I'd come home w a Haitian baby. Holding a beautiful abandonned baby, they had reason for concern. #Haiti

This compound looks like it was taken straight from a scene in Mash! #Haiti http://twitpic.com/1oz1al

I'm melting.........

Finally venturing into the streets. Piles of rubble still line the road, although rebuilding is obvious too! #Haiti

As I watched this mom walk away with her twins the look of fear in her eyes tore through my heart. Www.callmedrlisa.blogspot.com

I just resuscitated a 2 month old while all the Haitians moms in the Peds unit were chanting some prayer. Surreal!! #Haiti

I'm eating a backpackers meal, cause I need the protein. Just realized it has more salt than I eat in a day.

The dedication and compassion of the volunteers here amazes me! #Haiti http://twitpic.com/1pes6m

Last night was a lesson in practicing medicine with limited resources. We do the best that we can. #Haiti

OMG! My ankles are so swollen from being on my feet for almost 33 hours straight. #Haiti

Liquid malaria prophylaxis once again! I deserve it after the last two days! #Haiti

Tonight's malaria prophylaxis was brought to you by these people. http://twitpic.com/1pk3gs

Leaving the Medishare compound today to run a clinic in Port au Prince! #Haiti

The view from the top of the police station in Port au Prince 4 months post earthquake! #Haiti http://twitpic.com/1ps96p

Driving through downtown PaP, there are tents everywhere, sometimes completing filling small streets. #Haiti

The countdown to flush toilets and handwashing has begun... #Haiti

Oh, and a LONG shower!!!!

I just consumed what is hopefully my last backpacker meal for awhile! #Haiti

As my time in Haiti nears it's end, I am finally beginning to process some of the amazing things that have happened this week.

I just took a cold shower outside in the rain, and it was AWESOME!!! #Haiti 4:43 PM May 21st via Twitter for iPhone

Student’s Ear Reattached by Miami Docs in Haiti – NBC Miami http://bit.ly/dduK8q #haiti (via @Haitifeed) So, I was a part of this....

Project medishare had 160 volunteers (doctors, nurses, SW, support) this week. Amazing the capacity of people to give! #Haiti

I've itched ever since clinic yesterday. Scabies is rampant in the tent cities! Gonna bath in permethrin ASAP. #Haiti

As much as I want a shower, debating if I'm really ready to go home! #Haiti

Post #Haiti the throngs of people in the Miami airport are overwhelming to me.

You know you've been somewhere crazy when the restroom on the airplane feels like luxury!! #Haiti

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

First Haiti Thoughts

Landing in Port Au Prince, my first glimpses of Haiti revealed a lush Carribean island like so many others. The large central mountains, relics of the islands volcanic origin, the rocky coastline, the lush vegetation, then we landed and we were shuttled to the boarding terminal. Damage from the earthquake was still visible in the buildings at the airport. Then we left the airport grounds, and on our short drive, the disarray of the city was obvious. Although despite the extant destruction there were many signs of regrowth.

The hospital at Project medishare is actually on the airport grounds and is one of the larger functioning hospitals in Port Au Prince even though it is basically a Mash unit. I have been amazed at the dedication of the staff, and at what we both can and can’t do. I have primarily stayed in the combined pediatric/ neonatal ICU area, but even there some of these stories are so tragic. For example, tomorrow we will discharge a set of twins, the children were born 3 months early just weeks after the earthquake that claimed their father’s life like so many other Haitians. They have suffered no major complications of their prematurity, but what is the world they are being sent into. Their mom has a spot at a UNICEF tent for Mothers and Babies.

So many more stories, so little time. Each one has its own portion that tugs at your heart.

This experience is incredible and reminds me of the good that still exists in humanity, and the challenges as well.

More yet to come.

Friday, May 14, 2010

T minus 2 days to Haiti

I leave for Haiti in 2 days. I planned on writing all about the build up to this trip, but I seem to have spent my time working instead, sorry.

I am going to Haiti to provide medical relief with a program coordinated out of the University of Miami (blasphemy to us Domers, but still..) called Project Medishare. They are running a Mash style hospital that is on the airport grounds. We will all be staying in a large tent in the compound. We will work at least 12 hour shifts caring for whoever is comes. I’ll be functioning as a neonatal/ pediatric intensivist. I’m a little afraid of the pediatric part, since I haven’t done that in awhile, but it will be fine and there are some resources.

I’m so proud of the number of people from my hospital who are working with this endeavor. The team from my hospital includes a pediatric surgeon, anesthesiologist, peds resident, several nurses and myself. We will be joined by groups from other hospitals. I have no good idea of what I’m getting myself into, but I’ll do my best. That is all I can do.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day in the NICU

Working in a Neonatal intensive care unit on Mother’s Day, I watch the mom’s of my patients coming in to spend time with their precious babies who can’t be home with them yet. It is poignant and heartbreaking. One woman, said to me the other day that she just wants to feel like her baby’s mom, and to take care of her. She acts as her mom in everything she does even if it wasn't what she imagined.

Still, I did get to discharge two babies today. Two mom’s got to take their children home for the first time weeks or months after their babies were born. One of these babies is extra special to me, cause I know the family in my real life. She looked at me and said, "I finally feel like I'm his mom." "Oh no," I replied, "you've been his mom and advocated for the best for him all along, but now its time for him to go home." I wish them all the best!

I wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all of you mom’s out there. And a special Mother's Day wish to mom's of sick babies, you often amaze me with your kindness and your patience!