Sunday, April 21, 2013

It's been weeks and weeks since I've posted on this poor neglected blog.

Life has been crazy busy and when I have downtime I can't be bothered to write in my blog. Even though I do regret it as there's many a tidbit which will be forgotten.

Uni this semester is well underway. I'm only doing one academic subject and one practical subject. So in essence a very light load. Add to that two days per week on placement and it changes the landscape of my week drastically.

My placement has been at a Mental Health team that specialize in mentally ill people who've been through the system and are now living back in the community. While I spend a lot of time with nothing to do, the learning has been beneficial. I had now idea how devastatingly cruel serious schizophrenia was nor how much it was affected by the overuse of alcohol and drugs. The team I've been allocated to, are an amazingly dedicated and knowledgeable bunch of people. The team consists of nurses, psychologists and social workers. That team is embedded into a larger group of teams who all work with clients at a different point in their journeys. Recovery, if it ever happens is a slow process and would be impossible without the valuable input from these mental health workers. While it's an area I don't want to work in, I admire the people who do. Their undying hope and passion to help these people is truly commendable.

Kids stuff has been busy too. All three boys are playing football and are training and playing which of course involves driving around to various venues. I'm glad it's not on a Saturday!!!! Mickey's golf is going very well at the moment. He won the match at Alexandra Headland today against a boy four years older than he. Needless to say he's very happy with himself and we are very proud of him. Billy-Joe has also started playing again which is great to see. He's playing well too, and has won competitions. I'm delighted because it is creating such valuable father and son time.

The one academic subject I'm doing at university is unfortunately absolutely woeful. Apart from the boring content, the organization is sadly lacking. I can't wait for that to be over. The semester has been tough as we are all so acutely aware (and constantly reminded) that there are no jobs available. I don't want to hear it anymore. It's making me feel almost hopeless at times. I don't need that vibe. It's been quite difficult at times.

I put together a CV and addressed the selection criteria to apply for a post graduate nursing position with Ramsay Health. I'm hoping to get an I tear view and go through the process. One of my lecturers has suggested that it would be a good idea. Sadly there are no jobs on offer on the coast at this time. I've also changed my dates for when I'll complete my internship. I'll have a break at the end of semester and then complete my internship In October and November. I changed it in order to complete my placement at Nambour General.

During the week I received a phone call from Paul who was my facilitator at my Prac I did in the coronary ward last year. He runs a private ambulance service. They do patient transfers and specialize in servicing events. I was so pleased to have been offered a day of work with him and his team. Yesterday I was part of a team of medics who were at the Big Pineapple Music Festival. I had a fantastic day. It was a twelve hour day and I'm so rapt with how I coped. It was the exact thing my poor flagging spirit needed at the moment. I'm just so happy in that situation I don't even look at the time except to write up documentation! We sent four people to hospital via QAS and looked after quite a few more. Most more due to dehydration, a broken ankle and heat exhaustion. One young girl was quite unwell with some severe respiratory issues. We don't know what was wrong with her.

I worked with Paul, two other RNs, a doctor and three of us students. It was so exciting putting some first aid skills to use. Can't wait to be called to another job. I'll have two months off in October and November, so maybe au can work for Paul more then too. I was so concerned that my CV didnt contain any current work experience in the industry as many girls work as AINs (assistants in nursing) but I just don't have the time. I must admit though, work experience in what I'm doing is going to be much better for me than work as an assistant would. I'm so excited. I felt so alive yesterday. Looking after people is definitely where I'm supposed to be.

I also got to see Birds of Tokyo lol.

A new week begins tomorrow.

Have been playing Tribez in my downtimes. Nice and easy.

Bunny and I at Mark's 50th BBQ.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Location:Life has never been crazier

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Photo Bomb

Am enjoying being home with my family. Am also reflecting heaps, on all I've done, seen and heard. I definitely have my Dad's blood running through my veins as I can't wait to go away again. Mind you, it won't happen anytime soon, but it's great to dream. What the airfare cost to go to Tanzania, would take Bunny and I to Dubai, so anything is possible, once I'm working.

I feel so blessed to have been able to be involved in this entire experience, from the fund raising events, to the work and learning experiences I've been a part of. I will always be grateful for the emotional and financial support and sacrifices that were made to enable me to travel to Tanzania.

As an added bonus, my dedication and ambition toward becoming an RN is heightened in light of the work I've done.

Where we spent most evenings, on the patio at our home in Moshi.

Our first full day in Tanzania we walked to Materuni Falls. It nearly killed me but was beautiful.

Ally and I.

On the side of the road, a child plays while Dad cuts up a goat.

Mt. Kilimanjaro with the morning light.

Home in Moshi, the house, Hannna's office and below, is the sauna. (Hanna is Finnish), hence the sauna.

Debra, Daisy and Sarah ready for work.

All the stages in growing coffee, from plant to cup.

Banana soup.

Lunch on the coffee tour, note the banana stew on the back of the plate.

Children from the orphanage on Christmas Day, where we arrived bearing gifts.

One day safari, at Arusha National Park.

Hot Springs.

Ally and I ready for work.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Location:Home sweet home

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Dubai what a place.

We woke up this morning after very little sleep. It was well after 2 before we got to bed and then we were up by 7.30am. Too much to do and not enough time to do it in. What can I say about this place? It's beautiful and so incredibly clean. The buildings are amazing. Ally and I spent the entire day shopping and walking around the Mall of Emirates. Prices were so good on many items. Clothing is cheap and food is very cheap. We shared appetizers and the servings were enormous. The cafe would sit around 1200 people!!!!

AND we had cheesecake. Needless to say we couldn't eat it all.

For $15 each we had a buffet dinner at the hotel. It was late because we shopped for so long. Still can't believe we ate dinner!

It's late and we've more shopping planned for tomorrow at another mall and also the Gold Souk. Homeward bound tomorrow very late.

Can't wait to come back here.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Location:Holiday Inn Express, Internet City

Friday, January 11, 2013

Last work day.

How do I even begin to recap about my day today.

We arrived at Pasua this morning with the hope of being present at a birth. As we walked into the 'birth suite' we were pleased that two women were well advanced in their labours.

I spent almost three hours supporting a lady, she was prima gravida (first baby) she was in a lot of pain and I can only pray that our presence went some way toward making the time a little less difficult for her. There was no pain relief as she laid on a wet kanga which was soaked in amniotic fluid. The lady in the next bed ended up being sent to KCMC, the largest hospital facility in the area as they believed she had placenta previa which was dangerous. There are no stretchers, so she walked to the waiting 'ambulance'.

Not long after a new lady was lying on her bed and it wasn't long before her baby presented himself. It took us a little while to identify the protruding part as a scrotum, so this delivery was going to be a difficult one. The stint had no money for fluids or a cannula, so Sandy paid for it.

It seemed that the baby took forever to deliver. He was tiny and it took her so long to deliver the shoulders and head. The RN Heuston was in control, the birth suite was so full of staff us and their students. Finally the baby was born and to our stunned amazement another baby popped out. In the shock and lack of preparation, the babe fell on the floor.

It took a second to pick him up and see that he'd died at some stage. I held the little one and cried. I held him for quite a while. Meanwhile, however Sandy and the Doctor had started to resuscitate. The babe was not breathing and there was no pulse. I then spent the following hour and a half with Sandy, the Doctor and then Heuston to resuscitate the babe. Ally went outside and found hot rocks which we wrapped in a kanga but the baby was getting cooler by the minute. Thanks to Sandy we had an oximeter so we were able to monitor him while he was suctioned and his breathing was supported. There was no access to hot water so Rachel emptied tea into her water bottle. We placed this in the blankets to maintain the its warmth.

The heart rate and oxygen saturation went up and down and it took an hour and a half for the baby to be able to breathe on his own.

The Mama got up and walked to the ambulance, as they both needed support. We'd given her the dead baby to hold, hoping that it would help with closure. Rachel believes that as infant deaths are much more common than at home.

The doctor was incredibly grateful to us. It was an experience and a half. I walked away from there happy that I'd been able to help and shocked at what is seen.

The mothers have to supply all their own things. From sterile gloves to a huge roll of cotton wool, many kangas for themselves to lie on and then for the newborn. They bring their own food. They have a bucket into which the placenta is placed and they also have all their dirty washing, which they wash themselves soon after delivery. They have no nappies, again the kanga comes into force. They bath their babies in cold water.

I'll never look at a length of fabric, or bucket at the same way again. Not ever.

The lady I supported today, who went to KCMC.

Sandy and the Doctor. The resus team!!!

The mother and babe we supported yesterday.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad 3

Location:Pasua Hospital, Moshi, Tanzania.