Better than it seems

I saw my “country coordinator” – one of my superiors – at a meeting today.  She asked how things were going, and seemed very surprised when I smiled and answered “Good!” 

Reading my last few entries in this blog, I imagine some people might be surprised to hear that answer as well, but the truth is that despite the challenges and setbacks I’m facing here, I do feel that things are going well.  Pediatrics is still a joyous field.  Kids are still fun and cute and a pleasure to work with.  A parent’s delight at a now-healthy child still gives me a rush, whether they’re in the US or Haiti.  And regardless of all of the difficult things happening, I can see some positive changes since arriving. 

V, the other pediatrician here, has been far more present than he used to be.  Our working relationship is far from ideal, but we are sometimes working together, and that’s a start.  We got a third physician to share the workload; I think she will be a nice addition to the team once she is oriented.  A Family Practice residency program started here a few weeks ago, and that means I get to teach young doctors about pediatrics.  I really enjoy teaching.  The malnutrition training I mentioned a few posts back continues to have a positive impact – the malnourished patients are getting much better care now than they were before the training!  The nurses and I have been getting along better as well.  We are each learning to trust the clinical judgment of the other. 

To top it all off, we had some biomedical engineers stop by this week; they fixed five of my warmers (bringing the number of functioning warmers in the unit to… five) and helped troubleshoot a few other pieces of equipment around the place.  Having functioning equipment will only make it easier to provide closer-to-ideal care for my patients here.  And improving systems of care is what it’s all about. 

So yes, despite all the tèt chaje* challenges, things are going well. 

*Tèt chaje is a favorite phrase around the house.  It doesn’t have an exact translation, but it’s used to describe a crazy/messed-up situation. Can also be applied to people, but be careful! Calling someone tèt chaje may not win you any friends. 

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