Monday, August 22, 2011

Day 5 - Let's get Physical (title courtesy of Whitney)

The other group of girls in the nursing program were going to a hospital in Chennai today and all had to wake up at 5:30. Consequently, it woke us all up and I was out of bed and going by 6 am. I was bummed that I couldn’t sleep longer but it was a blessing in disguise. I felt like I had a whole morning to myself to just get things done before I had to go for the day. It was sooo nice and helped me not feel so behind on everything and allowed me to catch up on my journaling. It takes all of my extra time. I have kind of started worrying that I am too busy recording all of my experinces instead of having them. I have lolled it over and I think I am good. I am not missing out on anything except for maybe just sitting under the night sky, which would be beautiful, and reflecting. But I think this is more important and I am making it a priority. IN fact, it is such a priority, I do it when I am exhausted and sooo hot. My friends were kind enough to take this picture of my dilligence.
When I first arrived, girls were all on facebook and would skype home everyday. In all honesty, I kind of looked down at them. I thought, we are India, so be in India! I was determined to not go on facebook and mostly just email home and skype on occasion. I got to skype my family yesterday and see all of their wonderful faces. It was great and just beyond lifted my spirits. I went on facebook just to put the link to my new blog and ended up looking around for a few mins. I was surprised, but that also felt so good. I think just having a touch of home makes you feel more comfortable in a good way. When I was skyping my family, I told them how a lot of the girls have diarrhea and I have been so grateful not too. They asked me what I had done differently and I told them nothing, that I was just a lucky one. As I was saying goodbye to them, I got this really intense urge to go to the bathroom. Like really intense! I quickly said goodbye and sprinted to the bathroom. Good news—I am now an official member of the diarrhea club.
I was in my room skyping and so the other girls heard me talking to my parents about not having diarrhea. When I ran back in and told them that I had just joined the club, the irony of it killed us. We were rolling in laughter.
Every morning we go to the laundry room and pick out our chudidars (top and bottom). You find ones that are more comfy, breathe easier than others, and just fit well. I found an outfit that I love and have worn it twice.
I was going to grab it again but then I realized that I can’t have the same outfit in all of my pictures. So for pure vanity sake, I am fighting my obsessive tendencies and varying my outfits. . Just another chance to grow in India. I was actually quite happy with my outfit and its comfy status. It was nice to have a change.
Our assignment for the day was to give the children 2nd- 5th standard (grade) physicals. I absolutely loved doing the physicals. It was fun to be able to use the knowledge that I have learned and hardcore apply it. We had different stations like height and weight, vital signs, and then the overall physical part. I got to do the overall physical part with the stethoscope, looking in the kids ear, and all that fun jazz. It was so fun to interact with them and let them listen to their own heart or my heart. They ate it up and it was fun to see it light up their entire face. They would look up into my eyes and say “auntie, I hear it. Thump thump.”
When the bell rang for recess and all the kids in the school came running by, it was the equivalent of putting a fresh dead carcass in front of a gazillion lions. I was borderline scared for my life. The kids saw all the equipment and were grabbing it and just going insane. I had my stethoscope pulled off my shoulder 7 times while a million kids were yelling “auntie, auntie, me next”.
It was fun but it got to the point where it was passed trying my patience. When recess ended, life was good again. We did physicals from 9:30 am to 4 pm. It was great for my nursing skills and I FINALLY feel confident with feeling lymph nodes and much improved at listening to lung sounds. I felt like a nurse practitioner and it was rad!!!
I can’t wait until I have my masters and get more education. The people that we thought were sick, we referred to the doctor at 4 at the clinic. When he showed up, he needed help. I stayed on and helped him until like 5.30. I totally felt like a nurse practitioner that had to stay late to chart.
When we were working in the clinic, there were some quotes pretty neat quotes on the whiteboard. They said “We treat, God heals”, “success= tons of discipline, hard work and prayer”, and “Humility and service are accurate measures of true greatness”.
RSO is non-denominational but this whole place is so focused on God’s hand in everything. It rally strikes home and I see the truth in these simple words. I feel like Dr. Susan is the ultimate example of this. Here she is, this Indian doctor, who lives in a boarding school for orphans in very meager conditions and spends her life serving India’s “Least of these”. She never takes credit for it, is beyond humble, and we have to force her into any sort of a picture. I am in awe of her and hope I can be like that someday.
I broke out of my shoe-wearing shell and just wore flip flops today. It was like heaven on earth! I swear I was at least 8 degrees cooler and it just made me feel more chillax. Now that I have started sandals, I am most definitely staying with them. It’s like that saying “once you go black, you never go back.” Kiss the shoes goodbye baby.
As I am sitting here writing this, the power has gone out twice. Our power is the sketchiest thing ever. It easily goes out 20 times a day, not exaggerating. It usually comes back on within a few minutes, so its not too bad. Sometimes it really stinks though because it takes the air conditioning with it and it only takes 5 minutes for a room to get blazing hot. One time I decided to have one of my coveted easy macs that I brought from home. I followed the directions, filled it up with water and stuck it in the microwave. The exact second that I pushed the “start” button, the power went out. Who knew that could be the saddest part of my day?
Family time was pretty fun tonight. I have started talking to the girls individually and getting to know them. My professor, Cheryl, made a really good point the other day. She said that we can walk around and do all of our service and everything, but the way you really get to know India and make a difference, is by talking to the people. That hit me really hard. I am here giving it 100% but until I take the time to really know the people, I am just observing India, rather than taking part. I talked to a few of the girls and really bonded with them while getting to know them.
I talked to one of my girls, Bujji, who is 12, about her family. She is probably one of the smartest kids here and she is always helping/ doing the other girls’ homework for them. I have really gotten to know her and words cannot describe how much I love her. She is just so pure and sweet. We were talking and she told me that her grandma has leprosy and lives in a colony but her parents live in Chennai. Her dad is a truck driver and her mom cleans clothes. She has a brother but he goes to a different school. I asked her why he doesn’t go to RSO with her. She looked up at me, smiled, and sheepishly said “we have no money”. It had a profound effect on me. In fact, I’m tearing up writing about it. Here is this sweeter than sweet girl who has absolutely nothing but is happy. How blessed am I and I find times and beyond stupid things to be sad about. She is raw and pure and she only sees the goodness of life. At that moment, my soul was overwhelmed with love for this sweet daughter of god. I threw my arms around her and started to savor the moments I have with these precious children.
I was grateful that I could be here to give her my love. I am supposed to be the one helping these children, but they are the ones helping and teaching me.

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