Sunday, June 17, 2012

Father’s Day Reflections

Father’s Day Reflections
I am truly blessed to have 4 wonderful children that are loving and independent and educated. They all have wonderful spouses that are educated.All the children and their spouses have at least a college degree.  All are involved with the church and mission and/or school work. Yes I am bragging but I am proud of our 3 daughters and one son. Our oldest, Janelle, with her husband have been involved with many Maranatha church or school building trips to various countries. She is a physical therapist and he is a pastor and in charge of part of the retirement center in Oklahoma. He is very good with finances. Their oldest is going as a student missionary from Southern Adventist University to Thialand this coming year. Our son is an electronics engineer and a physical therapist and his wife is a neonatal intensive care nurse and they have been involved with their local church and school in Texas. Our third child is an emergency room nurse and now trauma coordinator in NW Ark. Her husband is an accountant. She has been on mission trips and they are involved with their church and school in Arkansas. Our youngest is an OB-Gyn physician and her husband is an ER Physician and both graduated from Loma Linda University. We are here in Chad with them.  As I watch them work and work with them I naturally think they are some of the best doctors that there are. Olen is a great administrator as well as a physician. Danae is so compassionate and tries to help many different people by paying for some of their meds and some of their surgeries etc. All of our children have done better with finances than we have. As I think about our great family it is because of a wonderful wife that raised these children as I don’t think I have been the best father at times but the good Lord is forgiving and helps to make up the difference at times. Of course we have the most intelligent and good looking grandchildren of anyone.   
As I look at families here in Chad, many with multiple wives and often most of their 8 or 10 children have died. Being pregnant in Chad is dangerous as there is very little OB care in most of the country. Danae especially is trying to make a difference. One has to deal with “local healers” which are actually witch doctors. There are some “cultural”  things such as not feeding babies anything but water for 3 days after they are born. Apparently there are some poorly trained and/or lazy doctors in some of the other hospitals. A recent patient came here with very infected open abdominal wound post C-section. Some necrotic  tissue including fascia had to be debrided. A few days ago we thought it might be clean enough to try to pull it together somewhat with retention sutures. As we examined her, it was found that the uterus was not closed and one could put your finger down into the vagina from the abdominal wound. A few sutures to close the uterus were done and large retention sutures placed in the abdomen. So far she is looking good. Go to Danae’s blog at for more OB descriptions and miracles. We had another from the same place that had dehiscence with her intestines coming out of her abdominal incision after a C-section that was not done as it should have been. 
This past week we had a patient with necrotic areas of sigmoid colon and necrotic cecum that required excision of both segments and reanastamosis.  I don’t know the cause but it appeared ischemic but why would two separate areas be that way with no evidence of internal hernia or volvulus or intussusseption but possible typhoid. The appendix which we took out with the cecum appeared normal. The patient is doing well post op. We had another case of perforation of ileum secondary to typhoid patch rupture. We excised the area and repaired it and he is doing well so far post op.
I have been told that I may have done more surgeries than anyone else in this country so far this year. This may or may not be true but I have done close to 350 or 400 procedures with about 500 being done in the hospital so far but Danae and Greg Sanders (here for 2 weeks) have done several also.  
We have a new well drilled now. When Garwin McNeilus was here, he saw the proximity of our present well to the toilets etc. and said that he would send the money for a new well and that it should be done soon. It has been pumped and disinfectant put in it Friday but it will take a few days to get it into the system. It is interesting that the water coming up out of the well by pump is about 90 or 95 F and not cool like the well water back home. The drilling system used water to drill with and their drill stem that is turned by hand back and forth with about 4 or 5 men. It would be a good muscle building exercise. It works as long as there is no solid rock. There are various layers of clay and sand. The good water layer is a coarse sand down about 60 meters.    
Everyone seems to be in fair health right now. Zane has occasionally a temp to 100.1. Not sure what that means but he acts pretty normal otherwise.  He is almost walking now. He stands alone. Dolores keeps busy taking care of Zane and Lyol during the days. No, we still have not learned French very good yet. It does not soak into our old heads very fast.  
Today has been a great Father’s Day. Zane began taking several steps today so that all could see. He continues to feel good. We had a C-section at 0500 today for twins transverse lie primip and preeclamptic. One twin was dead but the other is good. Danae gave me a card that says “I used to think this would be a cool dream to work with you in a mission hospital and now it’s a crazy realty. We are blessed.” I had the same dream so I am blessed. I got nice emails from the other children also. We got a very hard rain and thunder storm with lots of lightning this evening.  
Our address is: Hopital Adventiste de Bere, 52 Boite Postale, Kelo, Tchad,  Afrique.     
Our emails are: and 
Love, Rollin and Dolores Bland

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