An unexpected night shift

Friday 25 April 2014

An unexpected night shift makes it possible for me to write again. Every day there are stories to tell through my head but time flies and stories fade away……
Esther, our 5 year old patient, is not doing well at the moment. I am immediately under stress because in the past two weeks we have lost two patients who I had thought would get better. Such events make me think, will I continue with the ward, are we too inexperienced and is that one of the reasons why generally too many patients die (in my opinion)? It makes me a little despondent and I also find myself unmotivated. I don’t have the perseverance for a while and I need a little miracle to realise that the ward clearly makes sense and that we are actually helping.
Esther, has severe oedema (lack of protein causing the whole body to swell), her skin is so tight that it tears, causing open wounds to reappear, causing infections to reappear more quickly, she has severe diarrhoea which increases the risk of dehydration and is life-threatening and she has no appetite which doesn’t make it any easier to feed her and so she is now being fed by tube. Bloody hell, and child of 5 doesn’t have to be malnourished at all, it is sometimes so frustrating and all we can do is feed and give medication.

Of course there are other factors that make her body so weak at the moment but due to lack of research, knowledge and the right equipment we never know the finer points and sometimes there is only a little gambling. It sometimes drives me crazy… we are always looking for answers. “How is it possible that her body suddenly becomes weaker, how is it possible that her appetite disappears, how is it possible that she has severe diarrhoea? With our western, advanced technology so much can be investigated and explained, here it is often God’s will and you can do with it. Ugh, I always feel guilty for the death of a patient and often blame the treatment, supervision or medication, but sometimes I have to resign myself to the fact that patients sometimes come in too sick and cannot be saved.
But for Esther I am going to do my best, let her be the miracle that kicks my ass again and see that we can do it. We will visit her at home in 3 months and Esther will greet us with a smile…. How beautiful that would be.