Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 7 - clinic day, sad stories, TIG (this is Guatemala)

waiting at the door of the clinic

Front desk "staff"

Wiped out at the end of the day

Paolo delivering antibiotics

A full house

It was a clinic day today and so many things happened that it is hard to write them all down. Isabella helps in her own words.

When we were about to leave this morning the newer of the three trucks did not start. After several attempts we called Darby (Maria's son). He is another Guatemalan who helps Gregory and Anita when a need arises. He is not employed full time but he is available without notice to drive people places, go buy tools, do minor repairs, etc. To work for Americans here means higher wages, and better treatment... Guatemalan's are habituated to this kind of life. The Americans call with a need and they jump. It did take G&A many years to find reliable people that would actually work hard and not steal.

Going to the city to get the truck repaired is not an option today, since government workers have blocked streets in protest this morning (TIG). So Darby will try to repair it here.

So, we cram in Darby's small honda to get to the clinic. When we arrive, there are about 70 patients lined outside, not including the children who come along with their mothers. It is busy. Within the first 30 minutes an emergency shows up. A 21 year-old mom has a 4 year old that she holds on her back. The mother walked 3 miles to come to the clinic. The girl only weighs 18 pounds. They have nicknamed her Crystal because her bones are so fragile they break very very easily. Her real name is Olga. She appears to have a genetic disease that causes early osteoperosis. Gregory takes the mother, the daughter, the 2 year-old sister and the 2 weeks-old sister to the hospital in Antigua. They will be back at the end of the day. The doctor thinks she won't live long. She also has scoliosis and the doctor believes her bones will eventually crush her lungs.

In the meanwhile, Norine is grossed out by some severe lice cases. A boy has scabbed eggs and sores all over his head. It takes two hours to wash, cut and pick out his and his brother's heads...We also applied antibiotic cream all over the scalp. In the end, we just shaved their heads. We tried to explain to the mother that they need to wash hair every day, but they have no running water. The mother seems somewhat overwhelmed by it all and not very responsive.
Today's lesson: mission work also means cleaning dirty floors, chairs, counters, washing hands every 5 minutes and driving a beat-up truck without a guatemalan license ("just speak English if they stop you")

Today, I tried to help with the lice, but I was too grossed out. I wasn't supposed to make any faces on account of that would hurt the kid's feelings but ooooooooooo, eeeeeeeewwwwwwww!!!!! So I did nebulizers and "popped pills" and made crafts and helped Anita in the prenatal room all day. Oh, and I also sanitized my hands, washed them a MILLION BAZILLION times, ate lunch... you get the picture. Being in the prenatal room with Anita is my FAVORITE thing to do at the clinic. It is AMAZING!!!!! Today, I got to do 2 pregnancy tests, both negative:(, use the ultrasound... it was soooooooo COOL!!!!!! Anita said that if I was a little older she would let me give a shot but today she taught me how to do it. I am SO PROUD to be helping these people who really need it. It feels amazingly GOOD.

Nebulizing is when someone has a bad cough from sleeping on the dirt floor or something and you put on a special mask with medicine in it for them to breathe. For babies, the mothers just hold a little spray gun type thing in front of the sleeping babies' noses. I got to see some REALLY cute babies this way. Oooooooooooooo, they were sooooooo CUTE!!!!!!! My heart just MELTED when I saw them! Isabella M. Contolini, age almost 12. (Do NOT!!!! forget the "almost"!!!! Because that IS my REAL age.)

1 comment:

Debora Mize said...

Wow! It brings tears to my eyes to see and read about all that you are doing. What an experience; God is truely blessing you all! You are in my prayers. God be with you. Debora