Thursday, May 13, 2010

It is good to be back to work. Kemmel and I took some admin. days to knock out some reports and some education material for next week's class. One of the lessons is on clean water--not to be taken lightly here. As the rainy season is in full swing, there are days when the water comes out a nice chocolate milk color from the faucet. Despite the obvious risks, people around here like to take the occasional swig from the spigot. Of course the incidence of diarrhea always goes up during these months (hence the term "mal de mayo" to describe the runs).
Our other lesson is on blood donation and the basics of red blood cell life cycle. We are always amazed and frustrated at how few people will offer to donate blood for a family member or friend in time of need. Most patients end up having to pay people to donate, and if not, pay over $100 per unit of blood. So, we are going to have a class to dispell myths about donation and how quickly the body can recover afterward. There is even a Bible verse to trigger a little guilt!
Proverbs 3:27 Do not withhold good from those who deserve it, when it is in your power to act.
Today was a great day back in clinic. Some of my favorite patients came in--the local shepherdess (with a raging kidney infection--she couldn't get the headache and fever to go away, even after using the urine of a small child on her forehead last night!). Also one of our clinic neighbors brought in her new baby, born last week by c-section after hours of pushing. And also one of the brothers from Mactzul came in with an out-of-control feverblister on his mouth following a febrile illness 10 days ago--that left him deaf in one ear. After lavaging out several large plugs of wax, he was quite the happy camper. While waiting for the lavage, he told us about his daughter being in the hospital in the city for 3 weeks because of what sounds like Guillain Barre syndrome. After his long-winded report of her ups and downs and progress back at home, he ended with "well that's all the words I have to say". Sometimes people just need someone to listen for a while.

Finally, I talked with my other favorite patient who used to be a translator for some U.S. missionaries when she was younger (she's 74 now). She would be willing to give us some classes in Kiche and can read and write Kiche and even speaks a little English. We will work out maybe one afternoon a week to spend with her. I think it will be a help to her financially and lift her spirits a little as well.

Kemmel met with several people today, knocking out things on his to-do list, and finished up the last hour babysitting a little 7 month old girl while her mom had some dental work. They sat at the computer together happy as clams, printing out copies of flyers.

It's good to be back.

1 comment:

Anna said...

I love reading your posts....