Using Our Gifts
Wednesday, August 27
The team started the morning with a devotional about how the wind blows. It is important to keep in mind that we can never dictate which direction the wind will blow, just like the Spirit of God blows where it wishes. The lesson is to submit ourselves to the Spirit of God, take heed to which direction the Spirit is blowing and be empowered to do the work He has called us to do. As a reminder, party favors that you blow were handed out and also used throughout the day to keep children entertained in the clinic.
We traveled to the community of Aguas de La Reina that was founded in 1930 and has 60 homes. The latrines are located outside of the homes which is really a cement stump with a hole in the middle. The school has kindergarten to sixth grade with a total of 83 students. There is no running water or electricity, but electricity is expected in two months. Our total encounters for today were 572 with 320 seen in the general clinic.
Dale fell in love with a blond-haired rambunctious little boy. He was very curious and into everything. He was called Dr. Oliver after he told us he wants to be a doctor when he grows up. He was really excited to go to the dental clinic and help Dr. Arita “pull teeth.” Dale and Carlos were also able to complete a pregnancy test on a young woman and give her good news that she was pregnant with her second child. She was very excited.
Carlos was busy working with Linda, Shirley and Michelle throughout the day. He said they treated several cases of infection. One was a little boy with an abscess that started in his hand and traveled up his arm. He was referred to Dr. Roberto who incised and drained the abscess, and then treated him with antibiotics. Linda started out in the clinic but then had the opportunity of floating and helping out where needed. She liked being able to see what everyone else was doing and even cleaned a few ears. She said that God puts us where we need to be. An adult patient came in to the clinic today with bare feet. We tried to find her a pair of shoes but were unsuccessful. Linda went to the bus and retrieved her own flip flops and placed them on the woman’s feet.
Today was Michelle’s first time at a station in the clinic and she loved it. She and Carlos treated a patient who complained of headaches and passing out. After ruling out many things they found out the woman, who is a midwife, uses all her money to travel to a woman’s group meeting and could not afford to buy food. Her last patient of the day was a 15 year old with a one month old baby with fever every night. As a NICU nurse, Michelle’s instincts kicked in and she went to work on her assessment of the baby. She found that the baby had a focused stare and was not following as she should. She referred the baby to Dr. Roberto who confirmed her suspicions that the baby may be blind. The baby was referred to FOB’s Extended Care Program for follow up. Shirley relieved Michelle and treated Jose. Jose had fallen two days ago and had puncture wounds in his face. He also woke up one week ago with severe pain in his ear and pus draining from it. His ear drum was ruptured from the infection. He was referred to Dr. Roberto for treatment.
We all expected to treat fewer patients today but Dr. Reddy reported that her totals were higher than the day before. She noted that life starts at age 15-16, many of the women have 8-10 children, and the mothers are tired. She treated a lot of bacterial skin infections and suggested more education regarding hygiene and personal care. She found a lot of the children were malnourished as well. Juan, Dr. Reddy’s interpreter, said that he was surprised how a poor community with malnutrition can be so fertile.
Jessica stated that she felt in her comfort zone as she treated a lot of elderly patients today. She discovered a little boy with a heart murmur so severe that it could be felt on his chest. She also assessed a boy who had fallen earlier today and had broken his arm. Mario, her interpreter, said that the young boy with the heart murmur was amazing.
Dr. Roberto said that he is getting to know the team better every day and that it is an awesome team. He mentioned a little girl whose eyes were very sensitive to the sun. He referred her to a specialist. He believes she may have retinal cancer. Dr. Roberto referred another little boy to FOB for a hydrocele (fluid in the scrotum).
Yolanda gave away her cross to a 77 year old man because he was so cute. She also treated a 15 month old baby who was not able to pull himself up and was developmentally delayed. She referred him to Dr. Roberto who said the baby was malnourished and referred him to the MAMA Project. The MAMA Project specializes in caring for children with severe malnutrition. Nilia, her interpreter, said today was much busier and that most families were larger with younger mothers. She gave the 77 year old man a toothbrush and toothpaste only to find that he had no teeth.
Donnie gave the welcoming speech before the start of our clinic day. He made a great first impression with the community. Although things were busier today, he believes that it was running smoother, possibly because he is learning more Spanish words.
Tariq and Pedro manned the pharmacy today. Tariq said that the pharmacy is pretty chill. He is getting a handle on the medications that are used most frequently and has them ready. He was also able to fit shoes for a couple of kids. One barefooted child was fitted with new shoes; he then got down and started stomping his feet and smiling at Tariq. He continued stomping as he walked out to play. Tariq said that he “made a difference to that starfish.”
Evelyn and Elmer were in the eye clinic today where they evaluated 32 people. She said that they gave out more reading than prescription glasses today.
Katie, Susan and Dr. Arita were in the dental clinic where they encountered 28 patients and had 38 extractions. Susan said that the little boy who had the abscess drained from his hand had been cared for in the dental clinic first. All of the attention was focused on him and a patient came in for dental care unnoticed, sat at the end of the dental chair and flipped it over. No one was hurt. Katie said that because the dental clinic was not as busy today, she had the opportunity to walk around and observe what others were doing. She was even able to assist with an ear cleaning.
Lee, Peggy and Chanel gave deworming medication to 76 patients, Vitamin A to 28 patients and performed fluoride treatments on 50 children. Lee gave away his cross to a child named Idalma who had a really hard time taking the medications. He said that he would have loved to have another party favor, as it worked so well with the children. Peggy said that she did a lot of fluoride treatments and Chanel was a big help when the going got tough. Their last patient was a 2 year old little girl who walked up to Peggy and just stood beside her without saying a word. Peggy picked her up and continued working. The child fell asleep in her arms. She asked the woman with the child if she could take her home, the woman replied sure, she isn’t my child. (LOL!) She was the child’s grandmother! Peggy gave the child back to her grandmother after placing her cross around the little girl’s neck.
While floating through all of the stations during the day, Shirley was able to see the whole picture. She was impressed with how well everyone worked together. She said that she appreciated how everyone shortened their lunch time so all of the patients could be treated. The people of the community were grateful for everything that was done for them.
We ended the night with a devotional about a church cat. He wanted to serve but did not have a job and did not know where he would fit in. Thomas began greeting everyone as they entered the church and found that each parishioner appreciated his greetings. He did not wait for someone to assign him a job. Like Thomas, if we look around this week, we will find things that need to be done. We were encouraged to look within ourselves and find things that we can do to make things easier for a fellow team member, for one of our Honduran co-workers, or one of the villagers. We need to use the gifts God has given us to serve Him.
The Dinwiddie 2014 Mountain Medical Team