Adjusting to the new routine

Pet monkeys? I still don't believe it but the two Canadian residents working with us, Allison and Laura, were walking around town yesterday and a lady had a 1 month old monkey on a small leash and it was resting on her chest. It was about the size of a hand. I am still awaiting to see some more exotic wildlife as I have not been too far away from the hosptial in these first few weeks. Toni and I are adjusting little by little. She is doing well in conversations, I am still working on my Spanish. It is hard because I can be sitting next to someone and not be able to carry on too much of a conversation after a few sentences, but it is better then it was a few weeks ago.
The picture above on the left is from our departure early in the morning from Iquitos on Feb 1st to make our first journey over to and up the Napo River. These rivers are huge and quite impressive, both the Amazon and Napo. On Feb 2nd I turned 31 years old and began the day working at the hosptial. The staff took time out at midday for their weekly meeting and suprised me, little did i know they baked me a cake, actually 3 cakes. After the meeting everyone sang and people who knew how to play guitar passed it around to sing different songs. We danced, everyone had one shot of some tasty liquor and some cake. All in all we hung out for about an hour and then back to work. Two cakes at the party and on my way out they handed me a third to have later in the evening.
Work at the hospital usually starts with rounds at 8am. We have a meeting and then see all the patients with the entire staff of doctors, nurses, techs, midwife and dentist. We then finsih orders and go to clinic and see patients until about 2pm. After clinic we always eat a late lunch. Then around 4:30 or 5:00pm several people from work and the surrounding neighborhoods play either futbol (soccer) or voli (volleyball). Then the lab and clinic opens back up from 6-8pm. We each take a turn on call and there is usually between 3 and 5 doctors here at the centro de salud. The person on call for the evening usually sees the evening clinic patients and all emergencies that come over night- although really we all get out of bed for true emergencies.
We have seen several interesting cases here of stuff that I have never seen like Dengue fever, Malaria (falciparum and vivax types), snake bite, a small sawed off shotgun blast to a foot with 16 shell fragments inside when i guy set off a trip wire on an illegal animal trap. We have also seen things that are back home as well: bacterial diarrhea, heart attack, glomeulopnephritis (inflammation in part of the kidney), pregnancies/deliveries, malnutrition, chronic ulcers, colon mass-presumed cancer awaiting biopsy results and a uterine mass also presumed to be cancer. Last week, in the morning we did a c-section our first here in Peru. I am not an OB, so i did the spinal anaesthesia with the guidance of Fr. Jack and Antoinette completed a successful section with a healthy baby girl. We are learning and doing more since there are no specialists to call or refer our patients. It is just a little more difficult to do in another langauge. Two nights ago we had a normal vaginal delivery and I took care of the baby right after birth. I am pleased to let you know that the grandmother insisted on naming the child Brian. So maybe there will be an increase in the number of children named Brian and Antoinette in the next 2 years here on the Napo River. It is very humbling to me, especially since the baby was healthy crying and vigorous when he was born and i really didn't have to do much. Mother and baby Brian Lucas are doing well. Hoping to use the fishing pole tomorrow for the first time since we arrived.

18 Feb 2012

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