Sunday, March 1, 2015

Why Medical?

The medical mission group from Kansas City is so very kind to include me (a non-medical person) on their trip.  I am really interested in all things medical.  I have somewhat doctored my whole family for years.  The whole contingent helps raise funds throughout the year, so I have done that from afar.  But I am one of the few individuals that participates that has no medical training or affiliation.    I was able to get involved through my friend, Rosa, who lives in a nearby community.

I already have scrubs, (they will probably come in handy for a Halloween party sometime), so this year I sprung for a super-cool stethoscope.  --  Yes, I know how to use it.  In fact, after this mission, I know how to use several medical tools and pieces of equipment.  More on that coming up.  --  If I may say so, at least I looked the part. 
My buddy who made the name tags even put RN on mine.  Now if you don't think that got me through some closed doors...  I found that I was most interested in small surgeries.  We had 3-4 doctors doing those, and several times during those procedures, a doctor would look at me and ask for a Metzenbaum or a curved Mayo, and eventually I learned those were kinds of scissors.  Our tools were somewhat limited, so when asked for a 15 scalpel, I had to say, "Will a 10 work?  We are out of 15's."  If you have ever been on a mission trip, you know the key word is flexibility.
Here is my "boss" in the Bukol Clinic, Ma. Elena.  She let me do things I was capable of, and she kept me away from things I didn't have any business doing.  No one wanted to admit that we liked being in this room because of the air conditioner on the wall, but it made things so much more comfortable.  The conditions were not anywhere near what you would find in an operating room here at home, much less a doctor's office.  We had to invent a sterile field for the tools, due to lack of supplies.  I learned how to scrub and sterilize tools -- using what we had.  Ma. Elena prayed constantly because we didn't have access to so many things.  We all prayed.  Here, she is trying to create privacy for two patients being operated on at the same time.  Both were awake.  We only used local anesthetic here, because we did not have another anesthesiologist.  The light was not very good, and it was only on that side of the room.

By the time I left the mission trip, I was ready to perform some surgery.  Chief has this very small knot on his leg that annoys him.  It has been there a long time.  Heck, I told him if I just had some peroxide, Lidocaine, a #15 scalpel and some sutures, I could easily take care of that for him.  I even felt like with the right kind of sutures, I could make an invisible scar.  I was shot down.  He honestly thought I was kidding.

All of this is just a story that never ends....


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Medical Mission Trip 2015

Again this year, I went on the medical mission trip to the Philippines with a group from Kansas City.  We traveled to the province of Leyte in the Visayas, and we worked in a town called Ormoc City.  The Philippines is made up of over 7,000 islands, and although this island wasn't tiny, a ferry was required to get us there.
We worked in the Ormoc District Hospital (which means it wasn't private and took primarily those people who could not pay.)
Although the community was small, it was usually an exciting journey to the hospital each day.  I believe I told you previously that the lines painted on the road are merely a suggestion.  We rode in personal vehicles belonging to the Rotarians in the area; we took small open-air buses; we rode in tricycles (motorcycles that are modified with a third wheel and are capable of carrying 5-7 people); and the Philippine Army even delivered some of our personnel to work at the hospital.
It's okay.  We weren't afraid.  When you load one of these tricycles up with 6-7 people, they travel at a top speed of approximately 10 mph.

I do not have the final numbers about how many patients we saw and/or treated, but at night our feet sure did hurt.  Sleep came easy.  This story will continue....


Saturday, January 17, 2015

Things you don't know about Lily....

Random thoughts from Lily...

Admission of fact:  I allow him to do things like this to me.  
I can act clueless when I have to...

1.     I have been fingerprinted.  You could never guess why.  Not to shoot a gun.  Not because I was in jail.  Nothing to do with a federal building, or my drivers' license.

2.     I LOVE a fire in the fireplace.  Or in a fire pit.  Or in an old stove.  Heck, give me a candle.

3.     I really enjoy makeup and skin care, but I love a day or two when I can stay home and not put on a lick of anything -- other than moisturizer.  Oh, and it must smell delicious.

4.     You may already know this.  I really enjoy iced tea.  Don't put anything in it, please.  Have you heard about the germs on lemons?  Forget the spoon.  I don't do sweet tea.  I like light fruit or island flavored (very lightly) teas.

5.     I love it when I can go somewhere and drive the speed limit.  Thank you for not texting while you drive 5 m.p.h. in front of me.  Thank you for not talking on the phone and sitting at a 4 way stop with no idea that everyone is waiting on you.  No need to break any rules, just would like to get there, please.

6.     A reconciled checkbook on the first try always gets a certain prayer of thanks.  Numbers aren't really my thing, so the less snags the better.  Love it when that happens.  Always a miracle.

7.     I have a soft place in my heart for cattle dogs.  We have had at least one of each kind, and they are so sweet.  They are precious to kids, they are so eager to please -- they are awesome puppies if you ever get the chance to raise one.  Chief is an excellent dog trainer.  Our latest cattle dog, an Australian Shepherd, is so sweet and she obeys so well, we have recently let her start spending the evenings in the house.  She goes to her "place" -- two rugs, she knows which ones.  And we don't hear a peep out of her.  She just wants to be where we are.  And happily she spends nights in the garage.

8.     Flashlight fetish.  Kinda weird, but I love and collect flashlights.  Medium to small flashlights.  My family makes so much fun of me.

9.      I defend Chief when people make fun of him for taking a snack to the shower every night.   Seriously.  Who cares?  It's funny.

10.    I absolutely love my Dad's book recommendations.  And my sister's.  And my sister-in-law's.  Dad is a speed reader, so he leaves me in the dust, but I am considering a speed reading course... might actually need it.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Lily leaves....

Very soon, I am leaving.  Part medical mission trip and part vacation.  Heck, it's all vacation.  I went last year on this same mission trip.  It's with a group of physicians and nurses from Kansas City and a few miscellaneous non-medical personnel, like me.  Either they don't know I am missing the medical background, or they want me there to provide comic relief.  Last year was such a great time, meeting so many new friends and learning so many interesting things.  Did I say we were going to the Philippines?

This year, I will be posting on the blog again.  Not sure when we will have great internet, or even adequate internet.  A couple of different options will be pursued.  On Facebook, the group's page is one place I have been asked to update as often as possible.  The assumption of internet availability is loosely taken seriously.  You just never know.

Now here is our fearless leader, Lillian.  Dr. Lillian.  She rocks.  She takes care of every tiny detail.  No stone is left unturned.  She has already been in touch with us after arriving over the weekend.  There are some roads that are impassable, and our group has already been re-routed.  She is a firecracker.
 And here are a few more of the hard working crew.  I think we took a load off while we were waiting for a door to get unlocked.  Doesn't matter if you are at Walmart in the United States, or in a hospital in the Philippines, sometimes you just have to be patient and wait.
Can't wait to see everyone!  Several of our group cannot come this year.  I am disappointed about that, but I know that we will soon be reconnecting and catching up with one another.  Can't wait!


Monday, January 12, 2015

Lily Likes.....

There is a young couple that lives in Germany and is originally from our little community.  The husband serves in the military, and the wife started her own weaving business.  How many people do you know that are 24 or 25 and weave?  How many people do you know that weave?  I know one.

I bought a scarf from her, and it just arrived this week... very fast from Germany.  The uniqueness is that they are made from bamboo.  Gosh, I love bamboo.  Bamboo sheets are soft and luxurious.  I have had a bamboo ball cap that breathes like none other.  So so soft.  When I saw that her scarves were bamboo, I had the difficult task of which one I was going to try.  My middle name is allergies, and that's because I can break out in a rash with mundane clothing items, medicines, or even an accidental scratch from a tree branch.  One of the hundreds of things I am allergic to is wool.  Doesn't matter what form of wool it is, the highest quality, cashmere, lambswool -- my skin can't handle it.  Really, it's a blessing in disguise.  Limits my sweater purchases, socks, gloves and SCARVES.
I found this scarf in her Etsy shop.
It is a wheat color with white stripes.  It was so soft and cozy when I pulled it out of the package, I put it on right away.  Inside the house.  I've worn it all weekend.  Inside the house.  I really need to press it so it doesn't look like it is brand new with folds in it.  Thanks, Katey!


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Correction - There is no "New Lily"

As I read the last post I wrote, I regretted that I said that 2015 brought a "new Lily."  That is simply not true.  It's the same Lily.  It is a progressive Lily.  It is an 'improving Lily.'  It is the 'slightly intolerant' Lily.  I've been working hard... on a lot of things.  What's wrong with that?  Chief is good with it.  He is honest enough to tell me when he thinks I am wrong about something.  He tells me when my stress is affecting others.  I so appreciate that.  I swear, there is nothing better than someone who will shoot you straight, and he does it diplomatically.

I consider myself middle-aged, well okay, probably passed all the way through middle-age, but elderly, uhm, no, --  I have a lot of life left to live.  And my belief is that you are supposed to live your life to the fullest.  My life choices haven't left much to be desired.  I went to college at 17 and finished as fast as I could.  Luckily, I had two kids before my body said, "you're done."  And then I was fortunate enough to stay home with them until they went to school all day.  Even when they went to school, my work allowed me to have flexible hours.  At that time, I had two jobs.  Both flexible.
Even at the age I am, I still feel like I am much younger.  FEEL.  I didn't say "look" younger.  I always wondered what it would be like when the kids were gone.  Not only are they out of the house and out of school, they're both married, and the older pair have made us grandparents!  Life is pretty darn good.  Chief likes to work.  I mean, he really loves what he does.  Not the young retirement I was hoping for, but at least he is straight-forward enough to tell me, "no, I don't see myself ever retiring, and no, I don't see myself slowing down."  Alrighty then.  I always wondered what I would be when I grew up.  Still wondering, but I am closing in on it.  Stay tuned.

The intolerant part of Lily is the hardest to deal with...  I consider myself very good at forgiveness.  I believe you have to be a pro at it if you expect to ever get it from anyone else.  Really, the only intolerance I have is for rude treatment of others.  That, and people who lie.  Little white lies are the worst.  I'm not going deep here, those are the biggies.  I think I have to be tolerant of others whose beliefs don't line up with mine.  I need to be tolerant of the people who have recently arrived in this country and don't know the regular rules of driving a car.  I contend that I am no better than any other human being, and I should treat everyone I meet in the same way I would like to be treated.

I am lucky to have a wonderful family, and this Christmas was the first time in many, many years that we were all together.  Every single person was here.  It was terrific!  Another reminder of what is important and what is not.


Thursday, January 1, 2015

Bub-bye Perfectionism

Because I am giving up on perfectionism, I am not going to tell you about the two hours that I have spent trying to fix the type font on my last post.  You may have to zoom in if you want to read it.  The blog has been going for quite a while.  I simply can't figure out what I am doing wrong.  Welcome to 2015, and the new Lily...