As our Sutter Medical Relief Team makes their long way home from Haiti, they should be prepared for some mixed emotions when they step on home soil. They will be overjoyed to see their family and friends and will try to explain everything that happened in that "week that seemed like a year."
Intense emotional events seem to imprint differently on the brain and time lengthens. With sleep deprivation, circadian rhythm disruption and the constant stress of doing something new (and critically important), the team may feel a little disoriented for a day or two upon return. They may find themselves mentally back in Haiti with the sounds, cries, different scents and lighting.
They may be unable to "turn-off" the thoughts of certain patients or colleagues with which they worked closely. Unpacking and looking at photos (and this blog) will bring back a flood of memories.
Most of the team has to hit the ground running, back at their "real jobs" this week. It is a tribute to their sacrifice and professionalism that they will pick up the ball and be ready to go. We know there are more photos coming from Haiti and we look forward to "de-briefing" with the team.
We are aware of other medical relief teams that have gone and are going to Haiti from our Sutter family. They are on missions with other agencies and we are so proud of their work and efforts in this horrible crisis.