Philippines 2017 – Reflections
I sit here at the end of the day: exhausted. Exhausted not in the way that you want to tear out your hair with frustration, but in the way that you sit pool-side dangling your feet in the cool water and sigh with complete satisfaction after a full day’s work. Today was filled with operating and seeing the results of our work from past surgeries. One case today was a deaf-mute 28 year old female with a large thyroid mass that was larger than my entire hand. The mass had been growing for years and had distorted her neck so much that it was completely disfigured. We were able to remove the mass and preserve all normal structures in her neck. She awoke with her sister and the PACU team signing comforting messages to her, to find that her neck was flat for the first time in years.
General surgical teams worked diligently in the OR as well, doing cases such as a radical mastectomy, exploratory laparotomy, and oophorectomy. The ENT team was able to work with some of the local general surgery residents.
While some of us were busy with operations, others were diligently making PB&J’s to share with the patients in the hospital. The sandwiches were such a novelty that the local OR staff ate all of the remaining lunches after the initial patient distribution. We ended the day with our own interesting food experience as we went to a local restaurant for a “taste of Bohol” – delicious. Today was a perfect snapshot of what this entire trip is about: sharing our skills (and maybe even a little taste of our cuisine) with the people of Bohol.