SANDRA Y LUIS
Hospitality is a gift, and it was demonstrated so beautifully by a couple in a village called "Las Viñas", just west of the Belize border. The people in the village have nearly no access to medical care short of traveling an over an hour west to San Benito or an hour east to a village right in the Belize border. The majority of the people in this village are quite poor and cannot afford the bus fare to travel to either of these places. There is a 'Centro de Salud' in Las Viñas", but the nurse there has nearly no medical equipment, and no meds at all to treat the conditions we saw these past 2 days.
Certainly many of the people we saw the last 2 days were some of the sickest (medically) that I have seen in Guatemala. At least 6 people with blood sugars over 500, and 3 that just read "high" (meaning over 600, which I the highest that the meter can read). Several knew that they had diabetes, but could not afford to pay to get to where they could buy medicines. Blood pressures over 200 systolic was unfortunately not an uncommon finding. Again, no access to medication. Many with headaches and chest pain. I couldn't help but think at one point howard of these people, if they had come for care to our hospital at home, how many would have been admitted for care. Yet here, a month worth of medicine, and no follow up, is the best we can offer.
Yet people lined the porch of the clinic all day waiting to see a 'North American doctor'. Luis and Sandra graciously allowed us to completely overtake their 3-room house for these 2 days, including moving out half of their furniture, hanging curtains for make-shift rooms, and allowing hundreds of people to wait on their porch and use their 'latrina' (bathroom). What a gift they gave to their community!!
Dra. Carrie made some amazing leaps in her Spanish speaking skills today!! I saw her go from being timid to even say a couple words, to having complete conversations and explaining medications to people by the end of the day. Some OMM, a few joint injections, paps, an EMB, an intradermal steroid injection. She certainly used her gifts to be God's hands today. As se grows closer to finishing her residency in just under 4 months, I can see that she is going to be an amazing doctor!
Another young man who expanded his Spanish vocabulary immensely today, yet made an effort to teach some English to the waiting kids in the form of teaching them to sing, "row, row, row your boat" (with motions!!). I am excited to see how his compassion and willingness to serve transfers to the next few years in medical school!
Despite his initial discomfort with the language, Jeremy was quick to jump in to take histories when patients first present to the clinic. Bit this should not surprise me, since Jeremy has been so quick to help with ANYTHING he has been asked, from helping to pack at the last minute, to picking up some last minute necessities before getting on the plane in Houston, to counting pills and carrying bags. It is a blessing to have him on this trip, and I know he will excel in medical school next year!
More tomorrow...when we return to Santa Ana for 3 days of clinic.