Thursday, June 18, 2009

surgery, pysiotherapy, Battambang

Random Buddah in Battambang.

I made a split for this women who was stabbed in her arm.

Lengthening a triceps tendon. Ben is in the back and an American Spine surgeon on the right.

I gave up and getting Ben to post on our Blog. Ben has gotten to help with many surgeries while here and has enjoyed that. Some of the surgeries include: Amputating a woman's 6th toe; implanting internal fixatures on a woman's jaw that was cut by a knife; debreading an old woman's mostly rotten arm; clef lip and palate repair; scoliosis; tumor removal; and many others. The one in the first pictures is a surgery to lengthen a boy's tricepts tendon. I am able to walk in and observe surgeries when I can't find anything else to do.

Yesterday was particularly gruisome to see a skin graft surgery on a young boy's arm pit. After a burn, his arm was fused to his chest. The surgern cut out the scare and replaced it with a skin graft. The surgeons scraped little bits of skin from the health portion of the boy's arm and then ran them through a perferator device. Then tried to piece the scraps of fishnetting (skin) together and onto the large open wound. The head surgeon came in and betted $100 that the graft would not take so they had to start over and scrape skin from the leg to get larger pieces. The medical students, including Ben are able to do a bit of suturing, lots of holding wounds open, suction, pullion staples out, etc, and observing. My favorite is the watching the American Dr do consulataions and morning rounds and because it's in English and he takes a little more time to teach about evaluating and diagnosing.

I have been triying to do a bit in the physiotherapy department. The biggest frustration is communication. Documentation here barely exists and often I cannot find anything on patients. Doctors are certainly not in a habit of talking to therapists. I cannot talk to patients and often they don't even know what's going on. The one pysiotherapist here has pretty poor Enlgih pronouciation and sometimes I think he gets tried of trying to talk with me and just ignors me. I have started volunteering across the street for a couple weeks at a rehabilitation center that treats the non-surgery conditions such as cerebral palsy, torticollis, musculoskeletal, club feet, and amputations. They give a lot of orthotics and prosthetics and wheelchairs. There are a little more organized over there.

I am not sure what to do for the children with cerbral palsy. Any many cases the parents don't either. I worked with a young girl yesterday. Several months ago, her mother dropped her off at a NGO anonymously. The Khmer NGO worker was very nice. He did not know how old the girl was but guessed 3-4 years of age. The girl could not track objects with her eys, she could not stand up, and had zero attention span. The NGO mans' moto driver recognized the little girl and said that he knew the father. The father his wife that if she went and got their daughter from the NGO, then he would divorce her.

Last weekend we went to Battambang: A city 5 hours north where Ben used to serve. We visited some members of our church, and went a little out of town to see an ancient temple, and then climbed a mountain to see a more modern one. Also, we saw a cave where bats fly out at night. The bats flew out of the cave fore at least an hour because there were so many of them!!! Unforturnately I don't have 8 hours to wait for another couple pictures to download so these will have to suffice.


Laura said...

What an interesting and unique experience for both of you!

Cheryl said...

Wow! Awesome experiences you two are having. Thanks for sharing!!

Rachel said...

Sounds like you're keeping busy! There are a lot of sad stories of the people there. It's good that y'all are helping out.