The real work of the trip got under way on Monday. It started slowly as everyone found their way around. After unpacking the day before, some supplies moved around and it took a while to locate them when needed. New forms, new rules, new people and sometimes a language barrier had to be learned and mastered in a short time. But all the parts came together by the end with a total of 13 cases for the day.

It was a tough day for most patients but kids rebound quickly and the same kids who cried all morning were smiling, at least a little, before the end of the day.

Waking up from anesthesia post-op can be unsettling. Patients are disoriented for a while. “The lights are on but nobody”s home,” is a good describes how a patient looks with eyes open but not quite understanding their surroundings, on top of that add pain, nausea, and feelings of separation. Dr. Sanchez”s first case of the trip was a 2 year old boy with a grapefruit sized inguinal hernia. When he woke up post-op he was in pain, crying, and calling for his mother. It is the recovery room nurses who are the friendly, caring faces that orient and comfort them, an interim mother for a brief time. Our recovery nurses, Alma, Dolores, and Mary Kay have been outstanding and attentive to each and every patient to help them after surgery. One of the rewarding moments of each case is returning each child to his or parents.

View photographs from Day 3.