Today I joined one of the clinic nurses on a home visit. There was a patient that didn’t feel well enough to come in, so we drove to her home to make sure she was stable. It did not appear to be anything serious, but she had spent the morning confined to her hammock. The heat here is steadily climbing, and there is little relief. She was resting in the “kitchen”, which is a covered area outdoors. I imagine dehydration is not uncommon. We then helped her daughter set up a personal glucometer. Diabetes is very prevalent in Belize. Most people do not have personal glucometers, and if they do, test strips are hard to come by. Consequently, monitoring and managing blood sugars is difficult. The result of poor blood sugars is seen regularly with kidney failure, heart disease, and wounds that do not heal. On a more positive note, I did see two pleasant women today that manage their diabetes well, and are quite healthy and happy.
Many of the conditions seen here are similar to the states, but typically at a more severe stage. Yesterday there was a man that came in and spent the morning talking with the clinic pastor. He has a history of alcohol abuse, and decided a couple months ago he needed to stop. He gave his heart to the Lord in the waiting room. His alcoholism has lead to liver failure, and he presented with severe symptoms. His prognosis is very poor, but he has decided to spend what time he has left with God.
There was also an earthquake early this morning. The epicenter was in Honduras, but it was felt by several people here. I managed to sleep through it. It sounded like the damage here was minimal, and I don’t think any injuries were reported.
We closed the evening wit a gathering of the clinic staff and families to have a star show. We watched a video showcasing the enormity of the universe. It is difficult not to wonder at how powerfully and meticulously God has created. It left me feeling very small. We then huddled around a telescope to see the moon and Saturn before some clouds and mosquitoes chased us home.