Robert Emeh

Alabama St. Student

December 12, 2013

Day Two: This Is Real

When my alarm clock went off at 6:00 am, I rolled out of my bed, got on my knees, and said my morning prayer. Since today was the start of clinical rotation, I texted my family and friends to pray for me. As they started respond back with motivational quotes, my confidence grew. After my prayer, I took a shower and put on my scrubs. Fully dressed and with my backpack on, I headed downstairs to eat breakfast.

Even though breakfast at the hotel wasn’t my type of breakfast, I tried to eat as much as I could to have energy for the hospital. Since the TPaIDA students and I all had to arrive at the hospital by 8, we all left the hotel at 7:30. Our cabs pulled us up to a building named Hospital Apoyo Iquitos. The building was pretty big compared to the rest of the other buildings around it, and contained a large amount of Peruvian people. While waiting for the TPaIDA faculty members to come, the students and I all took group pictures in front of the hospital. Once the faculty members came, we went to the auditorium.

The first part of my day at the hotel consisted of meeting the doctors of the hospital and taking a tour. With the assistance of a translator, the doctors would come into the auditorium and introduced themselves. After all the introductions, we took a tour of the whole hospital. Just like a typical hospital in the states, Hospital Apoyo Iquitos had several departments, but their conditions were poor and lacked up-to-date equipment. It shocked me how the doctors are able to get their jobs done with the little that they had.

After a lunch break, the TPaIDA students and I went back to the hotel and took an hour nap. My first surgery with Dr. Rolling was an hour away, and that was all I could think about. I was feeling nervous, but I wasn’t going to let it get the best of me. I started to truly believe that I could do it, just like Dr. Rolling did.

As we headed back to the hospital, I become more focused than ever. The TPaIDA students and I sat in the auditorium watched the nurses teach us how to wash our hands properly. One of the translators came up and told me to be ready for surgery in five minutes. When the time came, I left the auditorium and followed Dr. Rolling to the Operation Room. This was actually going to happen. I was actually going to help assist in surgery. This is real. That’s when I knew it was time for me to get into my zone.

According to Dr. Rolling, he and I would be performing surgery on a diabetic who suffered from gangrene in the fourth digit of her left foot. Dr. Rolling took me into the locker room, told me to get dressed, and said “Do what I do”. Together we walked out of the locker room, prepped the equipment for the surgery, and went to wash our hands. While I was washing my hands, I kept saying the Lord’s Prayer multiple times, and started to focus in on the task at hand. Right before we walked into the surgery room, Dr. Rolling looked at my eyes and told me I was ready. From that moment, I was completely in the zone and ready successfully assist in my first surgery.

The surgery lasted around thirty minutes, which consisted of Dr. Rolling amputating the fourth digit of the left foot and removing the excess bacteria. I sat right next to Dr. Rolling, and had my eyes focused in on the open cut. Dr. Rolling let me use a gauze and apply pressure as he removed the bacteria, as well as let me feel around the bone. While I was working, I kept my eyes wide open and kept saying Jesus’s name in my head. I believed that if I kept his spirit close to me, I wasn’t going to fail. When Dr. Rolling was happy with the removal of the bacteria, he diluted the cut and wrapped it up. The surgery was finally over.

Dr. Rolling, Dr.Gunn, Dr. Williams, and Ms. Davis were all proud of me, and it felt great to know that. Succeeding in my first ever surgery has reassured me that I can do anything I set my mind too, and that I will become a doctor one day. Dr. Rolling has opened a door for me, and I will never forget him for it. I thank God for what Dr. Rolling has done for me today, and I can’t wait for he has in store for the rest of the week.