Fieldset
Day x2

Yesterday was a bit of a blur for me, largely because I woke up already exhausted. The neighbour's generator had been on all night. It's not so much that I hear it, more that I am aware of its presence. Evenings here are a chorus of generators from all sides, including our backyard.

Yesterday was a bit of a blur for me, largely because I woke up already exhausted. The neighbour's generator had been on all night. It's not so much that I hear it, more that I am aware of its presence. Evenings here are a chorus of generators from all sides, including our backyard. And, another neighbour has the generator that coughs and chugs like a old diesel one-tonne truck; it is more or less situated in my bed.

Jude Anne continues to manage fine, with ever-dwindling quantities of patients arriving at triage. They had done one big case in the night, of a woman who had a severe abruptio placentae and DIC (disseminated intravascular coagulation). She required three units of blood. Fortunately, the surgeon managed to save her uterus (i.e. avoid a hysterectomy), but the fetus was dead from the outset. By morning, when we rounded on her, she looked pretty good. Well, hmmm. By 'good', I guess I mean stable. She had just come out of the recovery room.

At Solidarité, since I am the everything-but-nothing person, I needed to arrange for people to get the things they needed in order to get on with setting up. I don't seem to have anything much to set up myself personally. The medication cupboards had been finally finished the night before, so each department needed to receive their order and properly manage the stock count. The operating room needed their machines back to plug them in and test them. Fridges, furniture, the right supervisors with some extra staff to help, key expats in key places. (There were nurses and midwives around, but mostly under-occupied. The brancardiers and cleaners were somewhat busier.)

Sterilization sterilized their first batch of instruments without untoward incident. This is the first medical function successfully accomplished in the building. Also no small feat since it involves propane, water, significant heat production, as well as cleanliness and technical personnel and specific material (autoclave tape, sterilization paper, surgical instruments).

So after fixing the rotation schedules that were mine (midwife supervisors, transfer team) to reflect the delay of opening day, I switched from being medical over to logistics. I spent the afternoon caulking. It's slow but sort of meditational. And I was too tired to do anything else, like read the papers on blood transfusion policy that the lab tech gave me.

In a way, though, I think the best sign of progress, is that compared to the day before, my phone rang significantly less yesterday. There was medical work to be done, but the team had what they needed to do it. They were hard at it and didn't need to call me with problems.