As a nurse it is inevitable I will receive report from a worn out nurse that has expended all of her available energy and resources trying to calm down a confused, irrational, scared, or combative patient, I just never thought it would be here on a ship in West Africa. I arrived to D ward bright and early this morning and the night nurses looked shattered.

I can not even imagine how scary it must be for our patients to come aboard our ship alone. They don't know us, they may live so far into the interior they may be unfamiliar with white people altogether. They don't speak English, and some of them may not even be capable to understand what to expect even if has been explained in their own language.

The lady in D1 ( I will leave her nameless due to the nature of the events) had surgery yesterday and returned back to the ward. She speaks Kpelle so the communication was difficult but there were not any real problems. Apparently shortly after the evening shift nurses left she started acting very paranoid and eventually disappeared. The nurses frantically looked for her in the ward, no sign of her. They then searched the hospital, still MIA. They called security to come help. As the nurses were searching high and low they noticed a random foot peaking out from under the linen cart behind a box. Ah ha!! The foot belonged to the missing patient. The sequence of events that followed this include a very frightened/ confused  patient doing irrational things. The patient was finally calmed down and the other patients were able to go back to sleep.

After I received report I mentally chose to be glad, not to be irritated that I had to care for the patient that was obviously going to take a huge amount of time and effort. The morning was filled with drama, irrational behavior, and tasks. At one point the patient was trying to steal the other patients tea and bread. We as a team of caregivers chose to still be glad and not irritated.

I have been learning lately the true meaning of "You have made me glad". Before it was just lyrics but now I choose that to be the anthem of my heart. He has made me glad. If I were to honestly sing that song before, it would be more like "He has made me sad, He has made me anxious, or He has made me irritated". There will always be things that are sad, irritating, worrisome, upsetting, but to think that everything has to be perfect in order to be glad is missing out on so much of life. So, as I chased around my patient, juggled all my other tasks and patients I was glad... finally!!

I will bless the Lord forever
I will trust Him at all times
He has delivered me from all fear
He has set my feet upon a rock
I will not be moved
And I'll say of the Lord

You are my shield, my strength
My portion, deliverer
My shelter, strong tower.
My very present help in time of need

Whom have I in heaven but You
There's none I desire beside You
You have made me glad
And I'll say of the Lord

You are my shield, my strength
My portion, deliverer
My shelter, strong tower
My very present help in time of need

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