Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Season For Everything

Suture Stories
Last year, for about 6 months, Jeff sewed countless arms and legs (mostly men) and then he didn’t have another deep laceration case for several months…until now. We realize that machete and shovel wounds are more likely to take place in the spring and summer when people are clearing their field.

Our neighbor was gorged in the testicles by a cow. He was very blessed because his skin/sack was split a few inches but his “jewels” weren’t even touched! Ryan who has just finished reading Old Yeller said, “Maybe the cow had rabies.” Ginny said, “I hope it wasn’t Friend Cow.” Friend Cow is a cow that comes by the house every day around 5:00 to eat from our scraps bucket.

A lady needed stitches on her hand. Her boyfriend had gotten angry and stabbed her in the hand with scissors.

A three year old had half his big toe cut off by a shovel. The flesh and nail were gone and the bone was sticking out. The parents had wrapped a burnt towel around the toe. Jeff had to numb the toe in order to pick the towel pieces out and clean the toe. The poor kid howled the entire time. Jeff advised them to go to Caazapá and see a surgeon who might be able to do a skin graft. They did not go.

It is also the season for snakes as the men clear their land. At the beginning of the week, a man waited patiently to see Jeff. Finally at 5:00 it was his turn. He had been bitten by a snake. He killed it and brought it for us to see. It was black and about 4 feet long. Gross! Jeff’s Boy Scout days paid off because he was able to recognize it as non-poisonous, plus the man wasn’t having any symptoms of a reaction. The man just wanted to be sure because last year he was bitten by a poisonous snake and spent a week in the hospital. That same week Jeff had two others come with snake bites which got Jeff thinking that he needed to bone up on his venomous snake knowledge. Word got out that he was collecting (dead) snakes to compose a photo file. A teacher at the school brought a poisonous 2 feet long mboi chumbe (coral snake). In North America the “red and yellow (touching stripes), kill a fellow” and “red and black, venom lack” would apply but not for South American snacks.

A lady came who lives 30 minutes from us had been bitten on the thigh by a venomous snake. Jeff immediately sent someone to find her a ride to Caazapa (45 minutes away) because we don’t have any anti-venom here. The site was already read and swollen and the lady was vomiting and turning pale. We heard yesterday that she was ok and had to spend two days in the hospital. The anti-venom is expensive but it saved her life!

On The Road

Just as we sat down to eat Ginny’s birthday dinner, a truck drove up followed by many spectators. A drunk policeman in uniform was going too fast on his motorcycle and had a one man crash. His face was pretty torn up, missing teeth, swollen eye, etc. Jeff thought he had a couple facial fractures and sent him to Caazapa.

Jeff saw an 8 year old boy who was just ran over by a tractor trailer. He was alive but had a huge hematoma over his right lower abdomen/ hip / femur and is urinating blood. Jeff quickly sent him away to the nearest surgeon (traveling on motorcycle with 3 people will take 1 1/2 hours).

Jeff telling a Bible story on our front porch before he sees the sick

co 2008 Amy McKissick

1 comment:

Andy and Lizet Bowen said...

I'd be very interested in seeing your snake photos.