Saturday, June 12, 2010

Just keep feeding it.

I got a little food poisoning when I got back from South America and I've been sick all week, my mom thinks I might have a parasite. But I don't have health insurance and I don't start my new job til the 21st, so what the heck, I can wait a little? My mom took me to a walk-in clinic in case we should get it checked out but then decided I could wait, she didn't need to pay for it. As we were leaving the nurse said, "Well just keep feeding it!"


Thursday, June 10, 2010


This is the first little boy I had to help insert an IV in. He was so cute, and the nurses told us we had to really hold him down, better make him cry now then have to stick him 20 times. But he was a good little trooper and so cute too! He was having his palate reconstructed. Previously he had his cleft lip fixed, then they wanted to give him time to heal before they closed up his palate. Chris was one of the many plastics cases that was our main reason for making sure we got to Salinas. My favorite part of working in pre-op was using my spanish to talk to the patients and reassure them before their surgery.

Here is my little sister scrubbed in on a hysterectomy, girl was able to hold a giant uterus in her hands!

After surgery all the patients were given a mattress and had to stay overnight. In the beginning of the day all the mattresses were stacked up in the hallway, and by the end people were everywhere, lining rooms wall to wall with mattresses. It just shows how grateful they were to be able to have the surgery.

Life on an island.

I really loved living on an island last summer. It was one of those novel summers, where your concerns for the day are a walk to the library for a beach read, a dvd for night, and a walk to the supermarket for snacks for the day. Appropriate clothes consist of a bathing suit, a cover, and sandals. Those are my favorite memories of summer.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

"Kelly, Laura??"

In the summer of 2007 I did Semester at Sea and to say it was a life-changing experience would be an understatement. After 62 days of traveling to 8 different countries in Central and South America I knew that all I wanted to do from then on was travel, meet people, experience different cultures, and have adventures. I got back from my trip to Ecuador last night and it was a really great trip. It was fun to be back in Guayaquil, a city I really only was in for a day, and not much longer this time. When I first went there I thought it was a very dirty city with little to offer, but this second time I wish I had more time there to really explore. However, staying in a 5 star hotel this time around wasn't too shabby. But, that was where my trip ended, and it took a long time for it to begin!

At the second attempt at the airport to try and fly down to Ecuador, we were all told to go home, the trip was completely cancelled. Most of us left, a few stayed behind. At the urging of the plastic surgeon, a "mini-mission" was starting to take form. From our original 60+ group, about 25 remained at the airport and had the good luck to find open space on an Aerogal flight. On top of just finding a flight, we had ready 60 bins of medical equipment to bring down to the hospital. The group now had to go through the bins and select what they needed and put it into only enough bins so that each person could check one into luggage. This was Sunday night. On Monday night, about 8 of us drove once more to JFK and this time were able to take the next step by getting on a plane.

We left JFK at 12 am, landed in Guayaquil at 6 am (7 am their time), got in a bus and drove 2 hours to Salinas, a small city along the coast. From there we dropped our bags, ate some food, grabbed our scrubs and drove to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, people were everywhere. Ecuadorians were in the street, sitting on the floor, lining the hallways, taking up every bit of space in the hope that they would be able to have a surgery done. About 8 of us walked in to a round of applause. I almost started crying then and there but knew I had to get to work right away in order to earn that applause.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

3rd times a charm?

First attempt at boarding a plane to Ecuador was unsuccessful. We went home for the night, I got a little beach time in, waited to hear anything, had a fun night with some friends. The next day we found out that the whole group was meeting at the airport at 6 pm to hopefully board an 11:55 pm flight. We got to the airport so early so that we could go over all introductions and logistics and scheduling so that we could hit the ground running. Around 11:00 we found out our flight had been cancelled and there was no way we were going to be able to go down before Wednesday or Thursday. Dissapointed? Terribly. There was no way we could accept going down Wednesday or Thursday, it virtually cancelled our trip to Salinas where we would be working in the hospital. The terrible thing was that it no longer had to do with the volcano holding us up, it was the airline. Backed up since the day before, we started begging people to give up their seats so that we could go down there to perform surgeries that these people would otherwise not have. Through simple good will about 25 people were willing to give up their seats. However the airline made it impossible with cancellatioin fees and rebooking fees, we were told there was nothing more we could do and my dad, sister and I reluctantly made our way back to long term parking and made the 2 hour drive back home.

The next day we found out that about 20 people ended up staying later at the airport, and through another airline, managed to get down to Ecuador! We were so hurt and upset that if we had only stayed a little longer, we could be down there also. However, our next mission was to try to find another way to get down to Ecuador in order to make our trip to the Galapagos that we would have to leave from Guayaquil on Thursday for. My dad spent hours back and forth between different people and travel agents and airlines and managed to find us a flight leaving tonight at 1 am for Guayaquil. I was so happy that at least I'd still be able to have a little adventure and get to see the islands I've so desperately been wanting to go to. Plus, the icing on the cake, my dad called about an hour ago and said that we would make it in time to put in at least one day's work at the hospital. I'm so happy and excited and just hoping that when we drive into JFK tonight, we are able to get on a plane and leave New York.