Today we had clinic in Chicabracan which is only about 20 minutes away. The clinic is held in a very small room that is part of a school. The school lets Heidi use the space every other monday. For this clinic we have to bring all of our supplies and medications with us, as well as the ultrasound machine. We saw about 40 people today. A lot of them had very vague and nonspecific complaints about different aches and pains and abdominal complaints. We did have a few interesting things though. One guy came in complaining of pain and burning in his feet and when we checked his sugar, sure enough it was quite high and so we had a newly diagnosed diabetic. It’s very hard for people here to change their diets, especially when it consists mostly of tortillas, potatoes, rice and other starches. And they eat a lot of sugar too through pop, candy, fruits, etc.
We also saw a little 1 1/2 mo old boy with a decently bad club foot. We gave them the name and info for ASELSI which is the clinic we go to on Thursdays that has physical therapy and also an orthopedist that comes every so often.
Probably the most frustrating thing we saw was with the last patient of the day. Just a quick reminder that the patients show up early and buy an appointment number and we go from #1 until the last number sold in order. Well, the last patient to come in was a woman with a little girl on her back. We asked who the number/appointment was for and the mother told us it was for herself. Then she nonchalantly mentioned that her daughter (almost 3 y/o) probably has a broken arm. We asked again if she was sure the appointment was for her and not her daughter, and if so did she want to make an appointment for her daughter as well but she said no; that some woman or healer had looked at the girl and done something to make it better and that the girl would get better on her own. The little girl had apparently hurt her arm last Wednesday. To be sure nothing was seriously wrong and that her arm wasn’t broken, I wanted to take a look. As soon as I got close to the girl she began screaming hysterically. It got even worse when we tried to take off her sweater to get a good look. It was obvious the girl was in a lot of pain. And even before getting the sweater off you could see how the arm just kind of hung down and the girl was really guarding it and not moving it really at all. Once the sweater was off I could tell her elbow was swollen and likely broken. We were pretty upset with the mother for not taking the child to the hospital after it happened. We offered to drive her to the hospital after clinic to get x-rays to see if it was broken and if so exactly where and what we could do about it, but the mother declined. She apparently had several kids all under the age of 6 that would be left at home. She wanted to wait to see if her husband who works in the capital could come back home and take them. We really tried to express the importance of getting the x-rays and getting treatment to the mother and that it was her responsibility, and that her daughter could have a malformed arm or lose the use of her arm if it wasn’t taken care of properly. The only thing we could do was give her some children’s motrin that would hopefully relieve some of the girl’s pain. It was amazing to us that the mom didn’t bring the girl in to be seen and that she had made the appointment for herself and not her daughter. And would you like to know what the mother’s complaint was that she wanted to be seen for? A headache! Very frustrating. I pray and hope she takes that little girl in to be seen/evaluated.
Later in the afternoon after returning home, I enjoyed another great nap on the hammock. I love hammocks!