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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Difficult, Mysterious, and Wonderful



Rain. "Yes!" I sometimes think when it rains. Its cooling off, I can just go outside to shower, and it reminds me of being in Seattle and makes me want to settle down with a good book, put on sweats, and drink coffee. The flip side: thousands of people are living in tents since the earthquake. A tent does not have a wooden or metal door. A tent does not have windows. A tent lets in rain, mosquitos, mud, and disease. Brooke, it is
not about you. A tent means that kids and adults are sicker, sleep less, and are preyed upon by rapists and thieves. Add rain to that and now you know (or maybe Haiti has fallen off your raider and you don't know. I pray that if so, maybe this blog or others will get it back on there.) why there is so much talk about getting housing for Haitians.

Pregnancy. I often have women come into my clinic asking to take pregnancy tests. A couple of months ago when there were two nurses visiting and helping, a 20 year old girl came in asking to take a pregnancy test. She seemed very sweet and innocent...and beautiful. Her test was positive. Other times, when I've had women test positive and I ask them how they feel about being pregnat, a few have said, "I feel nothing." This young lady's emotion was written all over her face. Tears sprung to her eyes. We prayed for her, I gave her some vitamins and instructions about going to another hospital for a more thorough exam and teaching, and then the three of us nurses sat there, quietly looking at each other with tears also in our eyes. On Tuesday of this week she came back. She'd recently had her period and wanted to do another pregnancy test. Before I handed it to her, she told me that when she told her parents that she'd had her period after already telling them she was pregnant, they told her they thought she'd taken a medicine to abort the baby. She swore to me she hadn't and I believe her. She took the test and it showed she was no longer pregnant... if she really was before. I explained that the first test could have been a false positive, told her to get checked out again by another doctor, then prayed for her. What hopes did she have for this baby and for all the newness it would bring in the midst of fear and uncertainty? She seemed upset again, but maybe she was actually relieved. Does she have money to visit a doctor? I pray I wonder if I should have offered her some.

Why do I do this work here? Because Jesus has given me a love and compassion for the Haitian people that I never thought possible. As I learn every day here, its not about me. Its about glorifying Him, the one who gave His life for us and loves the Haitians and knows their pain more than I ever could.

Poop. I recently had a conversation with an Haitian friend who started taking vitamins as he wasn't eating very healthy. His complaint about the vitamins? They make him poop everyday. "Well, how often did you poop before taking the vitamins," I asked. "Once a week," was the response. What The....? So the subject of poop came up once again in conversation with another Haitian friend. She was prescribed two antibiotics and if you are a doctor, nurse, or unlucky patient, you know taking two antibiotics at once can hurt the crap out of you! Her complaint: I'm pooping twice a day! Curiosity got the best of me and I asked, "How often did you poop before?" "Once a week. Sometimes once or twice a month." Are you freaking kidding me? Wouldn't one get a distended stomach with all that poop being kept inside? All this talk about poop transitioned into Cindy and I talking about Dr. Oz. You know the doctor who likes to wear his scrubs all the time on the Oprah show? I love the episode where he showed the intestines and described what normal, healthy poop looks like. Tonight I asked a group of our boys and a group of our girls how often they poop. Again, some said only once a week, others every three days. There was no embarrassment on anyone's part- just laughter. The girls said very few of them pooped the week they went to the Provence (countryside) to see their families because they facilities for doing so were less than stellar. I'm starting to wonder if what people call diarrhea is really that. Maybe its just that they are pooping more frequently than their normal? Let's get some more vegetables in the Haitian population!

To be continued.....


Meg said...

Thanks Brooke. I needed to get over myself today.

Michelle said...

And vegis they shall get. Keep advocating for them and their health Brookeeee!

Grace said...

When I was there a few months ago (for the two days :( ) They handed me food to feed Estaline.
They said not to give her the beans because they did not want her to poop.
They said the same thing to me when Daphne was little,
what do you do/say when they tell you things like that?
Once Katrina came up to me crying asking for water and no one gave her any because she peed her bed, this was at like 10 a.m.
what do you do about those things? said...

Hi Brooke, I love your writing. The poop is esp. close to my heart:) Thanks for the reminder and perspective that you share. It is very important. Thanks for posting the soccer pictures too. I am so glad those guys are still playing and grieve for their missing limbs. Maybe Luca will be on a soccer team someday. Wish I were there. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Love you, Katie

Robin said...

I was wondering if the poop issue was related to the type or lack of facilities available. I know many Americans that would have issues with a poor latrine or no latrine. What are your thoughts?