Friday, 11 January 2013

Arasidatou, burn update

We hadn't seen Arasidatou in quite awhile but came to us the other week through MSF (Doctors Without Borders) who work in town. See here and here for her story.

I didn't even recognize her when she came. No one did really. I kept thinking her eyes looked familiar but was shocked when I realized it was her. She looked so good!

 But then we opened up her dress to look at her back. Not so good. We knew her back would look something like that because of the graph but didn't realize how bad off the neck area was. She will go back to surgery eventually so that she can move her neck. Unfortunately because her burn was so large, they used most all the skin they could for the grafts the first time so she really has no area left to take. The surgeons have decided to wait until they can get better blades so that they can take the skin from the same spots as before. (What we have currently is not good and does not remove the skin easily and cleanly). So hopefully within this year we can get what they need and Arasidatou can have her surgery.

Arasidatou and Djeneba enjoying their candy canes together. They looked so cute together. Together they show the spectrum of response to long hospital stays. Arasidatou is fearful and cautious. Djeneba comes right up to us and sticks her hands in our pockets to find candy. :) Often she is lucky and finds something. (Djeneba has been coming twice a week lately for dressing changes).

Tuesday, 8 January 2013

Faces of Nephrotic Sydrome

Nephrotic syndrome is very common here. Often we will see at least one new case a week. They are easy to spot as they come in all swollen, mostly in the face. If you didn't know that meant they were sick, it would be cute.

 This sweet little girl, Kadiatou, is the example of the sad cases. She came in (too) late in the game. Her creatinine was unreadable it was so high. She didn't urinate for the first couple days she was here. But then, she started to improve. She was walking around and doing well. The swelling was present but decreased. She became one of my regulars for getting candy. We began to hope. But then the swelling increased more and her creatinine began to rise again. That's the worst. To see progress and become hopeful only to see the child relapse in a worse state than before. The family asked to take her home that she could die there. We resisted at first but let her go. We got news only two days later that she had passed away. 

At arrival                                                                     The day before she left

Sidiki is another story. He came in swollen and was admitted. He progressed nicely and went home. He returns each week for check-ups. 

This picture was taken last week as he waited for his follow up. Looking so much better. (I realize the two pics don't look that diferent but there was noticeable difference in his overall swelling).

As I sit writing this post, in hopes to show the sad and happy cases, the nurse who works with these kids just came and told me that Sidiki has relapsed this week. Still we are hopeful but it isn't quite as happy as the outcome could have been.