Monday, May 18, 2009

City of Rocks

this past weekend eric and i went to a national reserve area in southern idaho called City of Rocks. Greg and Liz, our friends from Salt Lake went with us. My sister Miranda and Darin and the 3 kiddos came down from Boise and met us fora night of camping. It was a great weekend. I got to do some great climbing, for which i am thankful since this will be my last road trip for climbing before the surgery.

chillin' on top

happy birthday cake that miranda made for me!

the family in a covered wagon at the visitor's center

bloody fingers

setting that nut!

More Photos at Eric's Photostream

Monday, May 04, 2009

My Birthday Present

Eric bought me my birthday present just a touch early. i have been using a sunbeam we received when we were married for the past 3 1/2 years, and while it mostly worked it also mostly didn't work. i was constantly frustrated with how weak the motor and beaters were and had been longing for a stronger, smoother, faster, better mixer for quite some time. i got it! i finally got the kitchenaid artisan series mixer for my birthday! i found it used from our local news station's web site and i am so happy i've got it!!! Thanks E!

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Operation Walk 2009, El Salvador

I just returned from El Salvador last week where i participated in a medical charity called Operation Walk. We take a full team of anesthesiologists, surgeons, nurses, scrub techs, and physical therapists down and replace worn out hip and knee joints. This was my second time to go with Op Walk and I was very excited about the trip. We replaced 59 joints in 42 patients (so several were receiving bilateral joints) in 3 and 1/2 days. We were busy! But the local staff was very helpful and I feel were able to learn how to care for our type of patients. There is no option for having a total joint replacement in Sonsonate, El Salvador so we were providing a service for these people that would otherwise never happen. We basically took over the hospital there. The nursing staff I was working with had never had patients with these particular surgeries since the operation isn't even available, so it was great to work with them and teach them how to care for the patients. I found that the vast majority of the patients had an incredible pain tolerance. They still hurt, and for good reason b/c that surgery isn't a small one. However, they seemed to walk faster, farther, and better than most patients i have experienced in the united states. They were so very grateful and happy to have had the surgery done. I came back very refreshed about nursing. After all, this is why I wanted to be a nurse: to help others with less opportunity-specifically in third world countries. it was also a great opporunity for me to practice my spanish. it re-awoke my love for the spanish language all over again. We are hoping Operation Walk will become a yearly endeavor and i look forward to our next destination.

The Ladies gathered outside the patient ward to get some fresh-er air

The coffee plantation with our one and only REAL coffee and latte experience during the week.

A sweet woman who was a patient 2 years ago with our first Op Walk. She returned and made us the most delicious 'pupusas'- the regional food which is basically a corn tortilla stuffed with beans and cheese and fried fried fried. She made us dozens and returned just to say thank you and show off how well she was walking. It was very encouraging.

Ever and I. Ever was a jehovah's witness and very worried he might receive a blood transfusion during the operation. He waved me down multiple times to make sure everyone in the group knew he didn't want the transfusion. He was a very nice patient and had his other hip replaced by us 2 years ago.

Two women with replaced knees from 2 years ago returning to show off their gaits and scars.

These sweet men wandered out into the courtyard just outside the men's ward to get some air. It was really hot-around 90 degrees- with minimal ventilation, no AC, and high humidity. phew! i did a lot of sweating that week.

Putting on the anti-clot stocking. that was hot work! and yes, fanny packs are all the rage now-a-days.

a patient with bilateral hip replacements walking with Physical Therapy.

Flowers in the courtyard outside the patient ward.

Patients awaiting to be screened on the first day. we had to turn many away.