“O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?”
One could almost predict which patients will not be doing well. The ones with bleeding almost always fail to triumph over the infection.
Winner and Zonnah finally succumbed to Ebola and they were both buried this morning. Winner was buried under a canopy of overhanging bushes creating a sheltered area for her, may they rest in peace. There are now 42 patients buried in the cemetery. The 10 grave diggers have dug more graves anticipating more deaths.
I am now switched to the 7am to 7pm shift. At sign-out this morning, there was no one in the Suspected Ward. Two days ago seven of the remaining 20-membered family, all of whom had contact with a sick relative who later died were admitted to the ETU. Five of the seven patients are positive, two of them: Patience and Dorcas, have one of the highest titers seen by the lab and both are quite ill.
Rounds for me started at 8:45 this morning, far more pleasant regarding the heat and humidity. Unfortunately the thing that dogged me was the fogging of my goggles making it difficult to read and fill up the symptom forms and order sheets.
We found Nancy hunched over her bed, face lowered in her arms, sitting on the bucket commode naked except for her underwear. She had been weak but managed to haul herself to the commode during the night. But when we touched her, she was already in rigor mortis; she expired while sitting on the bucket.
In the ETU, there is no bell to ring to call for a nurse. A patient in need of help will just have to wait for the next shift to come around unless a fellow patient yelled across the orange netted fence for help. Even so it would take another twenty minutes before help arrives because of the donning process.
Patience was quite confused this morning, wandering around and getting into bed with other patients. In the afternoon she had generalized seizure.
In the evening the ambulance brought in 5 patients just when our shift was ending. We stayed around to help out. One of the patients was an 18-year-old woman with post-partum hemorrhage, sadly she died on arrival.
Another fallen autumn leaf. Her young life vanished like the morning dew.
In the ETU, unrelentingly the death toll keeps on climbing. For some the sun has set.