Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Day 9- Tuesday

We only have one more full day left after today and most of us are pretty sad. The time flies by so fast when you're having fun! Instead of having two clinics today, we had one crew of nurses and another crew of construction workers. Half of the team worked on building some structure that would help support a soon to be constructed orphanage. It was really hard work they say... mixing and moving loads of concrete. However, they say they got a lot done. Plus, it's nice to leave behind such a tangible difference.

The rest of us went to the village of Billy White. On our way there we stopped at a private hospital in San Ignacio to get pictures of where Patra had stayed on her visit. It was the strangest thing ever. We were all in there walking around for at least 10 minutes and I never saw but one staff in the very back of the place. It was eerie. There were no lights on in the Emergency Room, and you could walk all around. We peaked in the exam rooms, the delivery room, and even the surgical suite! It was like an old abandoned building! Once in the village, we got to work immediately. I've never been there before, but it's an interesting village. The homes are very spread out and the level of poverty seemed to be up a notch, yet still far from poverty the way we know it in the U.S. We had some interesting cases today. It was also busy. We saw a ton of patients in one day, mostly children from the schools coming to get their physicals.
The most interesting case was a woman who brought her daughter in with the chief complain of having a cold and a runny nose. She didn't seemed concerned that the whole front of the girls face had scalding water burns. It turns out the mother had been boiling water and the little girl pulled the pan down, splashing the boiling water all over her. Once we got her shirt off, we saw a host of 2nd and 3rd burns all down her trunk and on her shoulder. It was the saddest thing and you just have to know it was painful. Fortunately, someone had donated some Silvadine creme that is perfect for healing burns. We also had some non-adhesive Telfa pads we were able to put on the girl. It just broke my heart to see the pain she was in and made me even more sad to realize that the mom didn't appear concerned. This was also a good opportunity for some teaching with the mom on instructing her to turn the handle away from the edge of the stove or fire, and explain to her girls that things up there are hot. This poor girl will be lucky if she doesn't end up with some serious scars.
Another interesting case was a boy who's tooth had rotten its way through the roof of his mouth. If you look at the picture below very carefully, you will see that the flesh has tunneled away to the root of his tooth. I wish we could have done something for this poor boy, but when it comes to things like this, our resources are limited. The hospital wouldn't be able to do much either. He desperately needs a dentist.

We saw some pretty bad skin infestation problems as well. Impetigo, scabies, and fungal infections are the most common.
We thought we were going to have a short day today, but 140 patients later and it was already almost 4 o'clock. On our way back, we stopped off at a house that had a pet spider monkey. It was so cute and it let me hold its hand and scratch its back. Monkies are the coolest animal ever. They are like little furry people!
Once returning back to the hotel, we were greated by a group of construction workers doing a project who had brought in one of the helpers from the village. He had been bitten by some kind of bug that burrows into your skin and starts to eat away at your flesh. It had developed into what looked like a huge cyst on his back. Using all of our sterile hospital supplies, we were able to attempt lancing the wound and draining anything that looked purulent. The man was very strong for what he was able to withstand.

From there to dinner, and a little surprise desert... a brownie and ice cream! Everyone was very excited for our yummy treat! I'm getting to bed early tonight cause my fever was peaking and I'm wiped out. We'll be up for another exciting day tomorrow, and it sadly will be our last full one.

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