Tuesday, January 31, 2012

.going home

I am going back on Feb. 19 - probably.

liver enzymes on the decline and trying to remember to take my 30 days of steroids.

have discovered I have an affinity for non compliance to treatment regimens and that I am in fact a far better nurse than patient.

I am excited to go back and be a nurse again.

on the other hand, i feel like I am missing out on alot. One of my best friends, Abbie, is a nurse on the Critical Care Unit at Memorial hospital. she keeps my mind up to date with tales of running to codes covered in blood, the same patient that coded six times during her shift, of writing orders and managing 10 maxed out drips at a time.

when i am in tchad I am always begging for stories of "real nursing" and wonderfully petty things like writing a co-worker up for ignoring the order to hang 6 bags of FFP or the frustrations of techs that won't do their job even though you already did half of it for them.

stories about leaping onto a coding patient in an elevator on the way back from CT and straddling them, giving CPR and while the bed is carreened through the halls on the way back to CCU.

and I guess its fair to say I'm jealous. I'm jealous I am not a super nurse. I am jealous I don't work in and ICU. I'm jealous I don't get to learn CRRT machines and how to manage patients with balloon pumps. I'm jealous that I've only gotten to help with 2 codes. I'm jealous of all the experience she is getting.

and its not like I'm not getting experience in Bere. I am. but not the glamorous, high pressure, live fast life of the ICU nurse. I am getting experience in differentiating rashes and what stage of malaria the kid is in based on the lung sounds.

I am getting experience starting IVs not Art lines. and I don't know what it is. but part of me wants to stay here - in America, to apply for my dream job until I get it. But tchad was/is my dream job too.

So i'm going back. I'm going to plunge back into malaria and arguing in french until fond memories of ventilators and peg tubes is distant haze.

I'm going back to the heat. to not being able to sleep at night because its so hot.

I'm going back to the mosquitos. to the daily battle of minimizing bites and staving off malaria a few more weeks.

I'm going back to the latrines. to showering right next to them.

I'm going back to the inevitable weird skin rashes - the steady stream of sunburns, heat rashes, bruising, flesh eating rashes that have struck one after another as soon as the previous one cleared up.

I'm going back to the frustrations of hospital work. Of putting forth extraordinary effort to make a small change that may or may not be important anyway.

I'm going back to learning french. To try to make myself read Le Petit Prince for an hour a day. well, dream on. maybe this time i will work toward half hour instead.

I'm going back to exhaustion.

I'm going back to loneliness and the studied avoidance of interpersonal conflict.

I am going back to rats.

I am going back to cockroaches.

I am going back to food I can barely eat anymore ( but with TONS of food in my suitcase)


I'm going back because I said I was going to

I'm going back because I promised

I'm going back to help with my part in Project 21 (the community health project Marci Anderson is launching - I am teaching lectures on HIV, AIDS, Malaria and training the CHW for each village)

I am going back to give the Pediatrics ward an extra pair or hands and eyes

I am going back to learn tropical medicine

I am going back to somehow try to help Olen and Danae

I am going back because I love my tchadian family, because i stocked up at the thrift store on new looking American outfits

I am going back because I am going to buy Bob, my horse, from Sarah. and then i will ride him and be so happy.

I'm going back because I miss the rivers and the rice fields and the flat lukewarm fanta in the market. because i miss the sunsets streaking over the villages and the chant of the drums at night. because I miss lying on the mat next to the grandmothers - looking at the stars as they tell stories in languages I don't understand.

because I miss the screaming two year old and the fighting laughing wonderful children in my family. because i miss helping shell peanuts for market and the sugary amber of the breakfast tea.

because I miss Bikaou, my tchadian mother, how hard she works, how she always makes time to take care of me when i'm sick, making me tea with milk and rice gruel, always listening as I try to convey my bad day in french.

I'm going back because my family and my co-workers need to believe they are important enough for someone to come back for them. so they know that I appreciate that they let me into their hearts and lives, that i wasn't just a tourist, breezing into their world, melting awy

I am going back because this was my dream. to go to Tchad. and you can't give up on your dreams. not ever.

and in the daily haze and grunge of survival that is tchad, i need to remember why I am there.

1. to learn tropical medicine - to build a platform for future endeavors
2. to learn french
3. to fight for a basic human right - the right to live

so, i guess even though i wish i was learning where things are in the crashcart and what size gloves dr. so and so requires, instead i will get on that plane, and go back to try to become the person I wanted this experience to make me, and go back to accomplish the goals i set out to finish.

air conditioning, ice cubes, winter - how i shall miss you.

1 comment:

  1. Courageous, loyal Janna. So thankful you're getting better! I'm proud of you for following your dream. xo, jyw