As a leader clinic day one was very difficult. The team was awake packing meds until 01:30 am, and we left at 07:30am for the ride to Susu. My plan for the day had to be changed due to the burial and so that put us down a nurse and Robyn who was going to do eye glasses for us. I didn't feel as prepared as I would have liked and the morning started out a little hectic. It takes a little while for nurses to get into the groove of what a mobile clinic is like and knowing which medications to prescribe for which symptoms.
I should have counted but I did a lot of running back and fourth, back and fourth, from the clinic to the pharmacy, to the Zambian nurse "office", to the church where we were teaching prenatal classes and feminine hygiene for young girls. It's not very far between the locations but it sure felt like it walking it so many times, my legs were exhausted, I was exhausted, emotionally drained. But it all changed once I saw everything fall into place, I started to relax and we did what we could with what we had.
I had the privilege of helping Megan set up and prepare for teaching the prenatal class she assessed each mom and we had a new fetal heart monitor and the mom's got to hear their babies heart beat for the first time. Some of these women were having their 6th, 7th, even 8th baby and have never heard the heart beating of their baby inside of them. What an amazing experience to see the smiles on their faces, the excitement of hearing for the first time! I remember that same feeling but I heard Teagan's at 8 weeks then again every 4 weeks after and then towards the end every week. And the same with Harper and Blakely, sometimes we take these moments for granted, sometimes we except the top best medical treatment provided yet these women have not even these basic medical equipment. The mom's were provided with education on taking care of themselves, labor and delivery, and post partum care. We passed out baby bags at the end that included a few onesies, teething ring, a book, and cloth diapers. Nicki's Diaper company online was so generous by providing us with several cloth diaper covers, some prefolds, and some safety pins. The ladies at my church also worked hard on making cloth diapers out of t-shirts, and then my good friends Amanda A. and Diana S. also gave me some gently used and loved diapers. And Envirosaks donated the bags. The new mom's were so appreciative of the education, bags and new stuff for their babies. Megan did a great job teaching and you can really see God has given her a gift of teaching and loving OB patients.
After the class I went back to checking in on each "station" and seeing if they needed anything else. As I was leaving the "pharmacy" my sweet daughter was peeking around the corner smiling at me. I was so excited to see her! She was with her cousin who watches after her often because her grandparents are sick. Her cousin is 13. It was exciting knowing Inez is now strong enough and old enough to make it into the main part of the village. Last year she was always at her home when we saw her. Her cousin then attended the feminine hygiene class where she learned all about the changes of our bodies and then given a days for girls kit. If you've never heard of them you should Google them they are an awesome group in the United states sewing cloth pads and making kits so young girls can still attend school during their menstrual cycle. I think Megan had 25 girls in the class. Inez is much too young for the class so she hung out with me and we played and she brought a huge smile to my face.
Brittany and Robyn returned from the burial and got started right away on helping see all the patients. Brittany was in the women and children area and started assessing right away. Brittany is a brand new nurse and was a little nervous this week but I have had the privilege of watching her grow this week and she is going to make an awesome pediatric nurse when she returns to Tennessee. Robyn ran our eye glass clinic and loved being able to watch people find the glasses that finally allowed them to see.
The team saw around 230 patients that day. For a variety of symptoms cough, headaches, back pain, hypertension, nausea, abdominal pain, parasites, anxiety, and more. Blair and Jackie ran an awesome pharmacy which can be stressful but they were able to distribute all the medications and we were able to head home around 1630 or 4:30 pm. It is important we head out of Susu before sunset due to the roads.
The rest of the evening will be spent preparing for kids day!