Saturday, March 24, 2012

Fun with Lumen

Last week Lumen, the patient that Savannah and I have been paired up with to spend time with while she was on the ward, had healed sufficiently to be sent to the Hope Center.  The Hope Center is our offship facility that serves as housing for our patients that still need regular dressing changes, physiotherapy, or other interaction with the hospital. 

This building is beautiful and is a great home away from home for our patients and their caregivers.

So, we rejoiced with Lumen ("Lu Lu"), little brother Julien ("Ju Ju") and grandma (caretaker of these little ones, "Amelé") as they took their belongings and loaded into the Land Rover that carried them down the road to the Hope Center.

But not without a little bit of fun, first!

I heard this story through the grapevine (the grapevine in a community of 400 is VERY loud and active!!)

One day on the ward, Ju Ju decided it was time to go pee pee, despite the fact that he is still in a diaper.  He Pulled down his diaper and started going everywhere....  Lumen is sitting on the floor playing jenga with Nurse June, and Grace is trying to capture Ju Ju and his output (notice the cloth on the floor). 

Lu Lu is in disbelief!

Grace, Grandma, Lu Lu are all laughing at the craziness happening here!!

Jenny risks making a mess herself!

Oh the laughter outweighs the pain on the ward every day!

Every 48 hours Lumen comes for a dressing change in the Outpatients tent. 
Just as these nurses are caring for Tani, they gently and compassionately change bandages, inspect wounds, treat them appropriately and change into clean dressings, monitoring the progress each day.

Savannah and I were able to visit Lumen for each of her dressing changes this week, and a physio appointment. 

Lumen's eyes light up when she sees Savannah!  "Savannah! Savannah! Savannah!" rings out in her high squeaky (loud!) voice as soon as we enter.  I don't have an identity.  I am just Savannah, part two.  When Savannah has to leave for ballet class or piano lessons, Lumen throws her head forward with a giant pouty lip and whines.  I had to explain, "What am I, chopped liver?" to Rebecca, the translator in outpatients (seen in the background below).

Brenda is the main outpatients nurse and she has her hands quite full with the sheer numbers of patients that come through each day.  If we can distract Lumen and keep her smiling for the majority of her appointment, it's a bit of a help! 

We happened to have a fire drill this week while Lumen was on the dock waiting for her appointment.  As soon as we were visible at the top of the Gangway, Lumen started trying to flag us down and yelling, "Savannah! Savannah!"  We asked if we could abduct her from grandma for a bit, and grandma willingly and eagerly agreed to release this active little six year old from her care!

We brought Lumen to our muster station and she was the hit of the day.  Running around in her new fluorescent pink, velcro sandals she tried to evade the capture of our loving arms, giggling infectiously with every stutter step and turn.  She helped us pass the 30 minutes quickly as the fire teams fought the pretend fire on the ship, the muster leaders took role, and we accounted for each person that was signed in onboard.

Today we will go visit all our friends (big and small) that have moved from the plastics ward to the Hope Center, including:

Mokpokpo, the most patient, content, ticklish girl I've met!

Gnameko, the delightful boy with Down Syndrome who loves to snuggle, color, play with baby dolls, and encourage me to tickle Mokpokpo!

Abel, beautiful Abel!  He and his little brother LOVE the scooters in the ward - I'm sure they are loving the open air at the Hope Center!

 Tani, whose giant smile outweighs the fact she's missing an eye and her nose has had to be reconstructed.
Comlan and his sassy caregiver, Amelé (same Ewe name as Savannah: born on Saturday)...

Jemima - this beautiful girl from Ghana can light up a room with her gentle smile!

Looking forward to seeing these friends again!

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