Friday, June 10, 2011

What I've learned...

I was just going through all of my old posts and saw this in my Drafts bin from October.  I thought it was a good way to show the variety of work that we do there.


A few weeks ago Nick wrote a post about the things that he has learned here so far.  He was being very modest as he has learned way more than what he listed.  However, I thought I would add a few of the things that I have learned...

*I've learned all the different types of formula and why/when we would put a certain child on each.  Before moving here I thought the only difference in formula was name brand.  I now know that there is milk based formula, soy formula, lacto free formula (which is still milk based), theres gentelease for fussiness and gas, AR for frequent spit up, theres neosure which is high calorie, and sensitive soy as well as sensitive milk based, theres almentium which is for food allergies and colic, some with iron, some without, and oh so many more.  We use all of these!

*I can sort all these cans of formula into their appropriate bins in the depot, even when the labels are written in all French!

*I've memorized what formula each of our 35 children drink as well as what formula each of the 10 children in our formula program are on.

*I've learned how to pasteurize fresh milk, and I do mean fresh, directly from the cow.  I've also learned how to mix powder milk, which I prefer over the prior because it has way less chunks!

*I've learned to tolerte and even enjoy many foods I used to refuse to eat!

*I've learned over 250 names and faces, many of which are way different than anything I have ever heard of before.  These names include all of the 60+ children who have been in our care since I have been here as well as the names of over 80 people on our staff, members of the community, and all the long and short term volunteers who have come down.

*I've learned how to tell if a child has thrush (white bumps in their mouth that make it hard to drink) and that nystatin can cure not only this but also diaper rash!

* I've learned how to set up a gravity flow feeding system for children who are tube feeding.

*How to flush and IV and have helped (more just kept the child calm) while Amy put one in.

*I've learned that nothing is more frustrating than a malnourished child refusing to eat, but nothing is more rewarding than seeing them finally gain weight!

*I've learned how to calculate a child's tylenol dose based on their weight in Kilograms and have memorized roughly what their dose should be so that I can verify that I calculated it right.

*I now know how many ml are in an oz (30) and how many cups are in a pint (4).  This way when I syringe feed a child, I know how many oz's the have eaten.

*I have memorized the recipe for surum and can now make it from scratch for kids to drink while sick to keep them from getting dehydrated.

*I've learned that a dehydrated child shouldn't drink surum from a bottle and instead needs to get it from a syringe or medicine cup.

*I've learned how difficult it can be to work on scheduling for a staff of 60+ when opening a new room.

*I've learned that self-care time can be extremely difficult to implement into your daily life, but yet is extremely important to sustaining this lifestyle.  Now I just need to get my husband to realize this as well!!

*I've learned what a childs o2 stats should be and can now monitor this when they are connected to an oxygen machine.

*I've become and expert at checking kids temperatures, and now can fairly accurately predict a child's body temperature based on feeling their forehead... "Feels like they are about 99 degrees... (check it) Yup, 99.2!!"

*I've learned what an NG tube is and now can put this in if a child needs one and our nurses aren't there.

*I've learned that death in Haiti is much different than death in the US.  I've learned that when a child dies it can be hard, but we must continue on each day and focus on those we can help.

*I've learned that the face of HIV is precious and that we must do all we can to educate mothers to prevent this disease from spreading.

*I've learned that living in Haiti can be frustrating, rewarding, hard, fun, stressful, and busy; but walking into the baby house and having all the kids so excited to see you makes it all so worth it!

*I've learned that I can do great amounts of work on little to no sleep and that I am much better at dealing with diarrhea and vomiting than I once thought I would be.

*I've learned that my husband is one of the hardest workers I know and that he is very passionate about what he does.  I've learned that absolutely nothing makes me happier than seeing my husband play with kids!  He's going to be an amazing Dad someday, but I already knew that!

*Finally I've learned that in many circumstances all I can do is pray and leave the rest up to God!

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