I ran. It was awful. I don’t want to write anymore about it. Okay, one more thing: I have a blister. Yah!
We pounded out 19 surgeries today. It was a herculean effort that was not without trial. The autoclave, which has given us problems for most of the week, gave up the ghost. It did so in grand style, with a loud pop and a small fire. Fun times. Steve Cotter was brave. I hid behind Adam. Steve got the unit shut off and blew out the pressure. It smelled to high heaven, and it left black char marks over the inside and outside of the electrical box. They are working on it presently, there is a good chance they will have it fixed once again, at least in the short term, but we are forbidden to leave it alone, even for a minute. It is a tempermental machine and a source of constant frustration. Regardless, morale remains high. We can conquer anything (mainly because it’s Wednesday and we’re almost done).
I haven’t written much about JoLee because she is working in the recovery ward and we do not see much of each other. Please know that she is a constant servant. Yesterday we had a 41 year old woman receive a mascectomy. She has cancer, and without further treatment her prognosis is not good. We do not know if treatment will be given to her. We did all we could. JoLee spent the morning knitting a mascectomy prosthetic pillow to offer some relief from the discomfort. She set two teenage girls (Alex and Lily–they wanted a shout-out in the blog) cutting a large block of foam into tiny little pieces to serve as stuffing for the pillow. The patient has yet to take the pillow away from her side. JoLee’s efforts were a touching act of kindness, the kind of real living that Guatemala provides.
Interestingly, there is an English website that reports news from Lake Atitlan in Guatemala that randomly scans the internet for blog activity mentioning Guatemala and then publishes links to those blogs. Yesterday Every Seven Days got picked up and I received referral hits from the site. You never know who is reading.
Other memorable moments: Jesse replaced the water in the water cooler and spilled far less than Adam did when he did it earlier in the week. It was an epic triumph.
Adam’s most memorable line from the day: When about to lead two girls to check out the swinging bridge in the town of Montellano, Adam proudly pronounced, “I know how to get there, I just don’t know which road to take.”
It’s 12:23 New York Time. I’m feeling a lot like our autoclave (burnt out). So night all, enjoy that 95 degree weather on Long Island tomorrow. We’ll be 15 degrees cooler. Go figure.