Dr. Rathgaber writes again to share his experiences from the week at Rosebud Indian Health Service Hospital.
Greetings from Rosebud,
Just completed our fourth day of endoscopy at the Rosebud Hospital. We have had the opportunity to see many patients, remove multiple polyps, and explore the countryside. Yesterday, our presence allowed us to see a bleeding patient from the ER who otherwise would have had to be transported 4 hours away. Once an endoscopy was completed to confirm the bleeding had stopped and was unlikely to recur, he could be monitored overnight in the hospital and was discharged to home today.
Unfortunately discovered a large polyp in a patient yesterday that was suspicious for cancer. There is a blessing here as the tumor was small and if it proves to be cancer, will likely be cured with surgery alone. Had the patient not had screening colonoscopy now, the tumor could have metastasized during the delay. There is a big backlog of patients needing screening endoscopy and we are fortunate to be able to supply this service close to home. I have been inspired by the dedicated staff at the hospital. They take unexpectedly delays or snafus in stride and are constantly focused on the patients. They are so friendly and appreciative of our presence but we are learning more from them than they are from us.
Darrel arranged for us to meet his cousin yesterday for a tour of St. Charles Borromeo Church yesterday. This is known as the ‘Purple Church’ because it is painted lavender on the outside. Almost one hundred years old, it is beautifully decorated inside with elaborate carvings and stained glass. The story behind the outside color goes like this. The parish could not decide what color to paint the church; so, they decided to ask the youth. The youth chose purple and true to their word, the elders allowed the decision to stand. You would think that the ‘adults’ might have changed their minds with the unorthodox choice, but they did not. Turns out, the color is one of the draws for bringing more local youth to the church. God does move in mysterious ways.
On the way to the church yesterday, the wind was blowing more than 50 mph. We saw actual tumbleweeds rolling across the plain and road. I thought this was extremely cool. My car mates thought I was dopey. I feel I must report that the Euchre championship was taken by Jenny and Chad but not without a valiant effort from the vanquished (Tammy and Scott). The champs were just better. Back to reality, one of the nurses, Rae, shared her poetry with us today. It was beautiful and gratifying to know that she trusted us enough to share this part of her life. We are all going to the local restaurant, The Chute, tonight with many of the staff from the hospital. They enjoyed the dinner they had there with last week’s team and wanted to show us the local hangout, too. Looking forward to this evening.
Snow forecast for tomorrow. Hoping to leave by noon and get home to La Crosse without incident.