By my side, By my side

Tyrone and I have both blogged about the VVF ladies but this week I have worked with them on A ward. When you first walk into the ward the smell of urine is very obvious. The women that are on the ward right now all are on their second or 3rd surgery due to unsuccessful surgeries in the past. Some of the women are hopeful that their surgery will work this time, some are joyful that their surgery was successful, and some are terribly depressed because their surgery did not work. The problem is that some of the ladies are so damaged that there is just no tissue to fix the fistula (a whole that is caused by prolonged child labor).

When the surgery is over and they wake up from their pain meds, we ask them "Are you dry?". As a nurse, this is such a hard question to ask, because so often the answer is not what we ant to hear. When they shake their head and say " I am wet", my mind starts to think about how they will have to go home once again to their village and potentially be shunned because of their problem. But, when the answer is "Yes I am dry", we all rejoice. Actually, the Liberians tend to jump up and praise the Lord with a song, when they have been blessed by Him. Yesterday when the answer to that fateful question was "dry, dry, dry", she jumped out of her bed and sang " I have a big, big God-O and He's always by my side. By my side, by my side."

On Tuesday I went to the Dress Ceremony, which is a time of celebration and commitment for the ladies that have had successful surgery. They each get a new dress that represents their new life. They each talk about their journey and each lead (by lead I mean sing at the top of their lungs and dance around) us in a song that is relevant to them. One of the things that stuck out the most is one of the ladies was talking about how she stopped going to church because she would leak all over the bench and would start to smell. She then looked at Dr. Steve and said "Thank you Dr. Steve for giving me the gift of being Dry. Now I can go back to Church. Your God will be my God."