Saturday, January 19, 2019

Weekend Fun in Panajachel

Once and awhile we get out of Chichicastenango and have a little fun........a little diversion!

Jennifer was in Panajachel for the weekend so Carol and I drove over on Saturday to have lunch with her.

We parked the truck and started walking to the restaurant, which is quite well-known in Pana. It is called Smokin' Joes and it is awesome!  He starts grilling steak, burgers and ribs in the afternoon on Saturdays. If you plan a trip to Pana, be sure it includes a Saturday aftenoon!

Before we ran into Jennifer, Carol and I ran to a little supermarket and pretty much wanted everything in the store. I found this raspberry jam and it looked so good..............yes, I now own it :)

We went back to the restaurant and found a table.  The restaurant was pretty full.  We all ordered the same thing, BBQ ribs................sitting down to a feast.

You are allowed to select different sides so this was Jennifer's plate.  She had a baked potato, green beans, salad and garlic bread.

If you can see Carol's plate, she had the famous macaroni and cheese.  We loved every minute of it and every bite!

It was good to get out of town and have some fun. It was warmer at the lake than it has been in Chichi, so that was an added pleasure.

We offered to take back a plate for Kemmel and Lisa but they had visited Smokin' Joe's the weekend before.  As I mentioned, it is a HOT SPOT!

Friday, January 18, 2019

Mactzul I Clinic, Competition and Driving

On Friday, we had clinic in Mactzul I. I was with Tomas, Aura and Martina.  As always, there is a little competition between dental and medical. Well today, I blasted away and took the win!!  Eleven medical and ONE dental...............ONLY ONE!!  As we were loading the trucks, we were all joking around and then I started feeling bad.  Why??  I know not.  But it use to happen when I would compete with my dad. I always felt bad if I beat him................oh well, I do not think I would make a good professional gambler.

When we finished packing the trucks, I asked Martina if she wanted to drive.  She said yes, so away we went.  We will continue to practice....................Good job Martina!

It is Friday.....and I have big plans for the weekend!! I may tell you about them in another post!

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Guatemala or Alaska?

The last few days in Chichicastenango have been very cold.  Did I say VERY??

This morning, Manuel picked me up and we went to Chichi to have clinic in the church building there.  We had 18 medical patients and it mainly was a diabetic clinic.  It has been quite awhile since I have seen such high glucose readings.  Possibly some is due to the holidays but I do not think so.  Some have not been to clinic for several months.  Did I say SEVERAL??

For lunch, we all ran to a nearby restaurant.  I could not drink my coffee fast enough to get warm. The others had hot chocolate or hot tea.  It was a good lunch with grilled steak, salad and rice.  It had a grilled onion on the side and it reminded me of when JoLee came to visit us in about 2008 or 2009.

I was living in Quiche and often I ate at a house where they grilled steak on the street.  We both enjoy the grilled onion that they usually put on the side of the plate so we ran to the market and bought several of them.  The lady who owned the house was very kind and grilled them for us.  They had flavorful chili and salsa and we were just as content as we could be!

This is Andrea, as she was trying to stay warm though lunch! Andrea loves her hot chocolate made with milk.

We had a good day but it was nice to get home and be a little warmer.

Tomorrow, we will head out to Mactzul I.  I will have clinic with Aura and Martina and Tomas.  We will have another day of competition.......will the winner be medical or dental??  We shall see..........

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

People Continuing to Give

When I was in Montellano with Gaspar and his family, there were other good things happening.  Many dolls were made and brought down by JoLee, who has been working with Health Talents for many years.  These children enjoyed getting a doll when they were close to being discharged.

The children loved the dolls and they brought a smile to their faces.

Thank you JoLee for making the dolls and bringing them down to be distributed!

The beds at Clinica Ezell have been around for a few years. Last year, Health Talents began a bed drive and people donated money to purchase a bed.  The donar was able to have a plate placed on the bed and have it dedicated to someone.

Many of you have met Carol. She is a friend of mine who lives in Chichicastenango and recently retired from working with another clinic, ASELSI.  She accompanied me on a surgical clinic when we were short nurses and she loved her week with us.  She since then has donated her time for several other surgical clinics and purchased a bed.  As you can see, she dedicated it to her aunt and we look forward to Carol being with us in different clinics this year.  Thank you, Carol!

It was exciting to see all of the beds with messages of dedication.  Many know Dennis and Elaine who have worked with Health Talents for many years.

Well, it is time to head back up to Chichi and do a few clinics and some classes.  The Chuchipaca ladies wanted to start classes again this year and we will be having some IVAA and Pap clinics.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Armando had Surgery!

I can't describe emotional level at the clinic today. Armando had his surgery on he is ready to return to Jalapa. If you have not seen the story as it has progressed, this is Armando and he gave me his full permission to share his story and photos. Such a very difficult situation for twenty years and now it has been resolved.

He had the mass removed on Sunday afternoon. He was one of the first cases done and he did very well.  During his surgery, Gaspar spent a lot of time talking to his son at the entrance of the clinic.  His son is also very appreciative and thankful. He could have been discharged on Monday but due to the long travel, they waited until today.

This is Armando post-op with Barb. He wanted to express his appreciation and have his photo taken with many of the staff.

He asked me to take a photo so he could see what the back of his neck looked like. It is a very emotional time for him and this surgery will change his life. He has been limited in his movement and how he sleeps for so many years.

Armando ready to escape the clinic. One more photo with Jenni, who works in recovery and Rita who works with patients pre and post-op.

We wish Armando the best and I am sure that we will see him soon.

Last night, we celebrated Ashley's birthday.  She lives in Ohio and this is her first surgical trip to Montellano.  We hope that she enjoys her time with us and will want to return in the future.

Many thanks to Rick and all of those in Montellano, who have come and donated their time.  During the week, you touch more lives than you are aware of. May God bless you during the remaining of the week. May you have safe travels back to the states and find your family and friends well.  Thank you!

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Burden of Armando

A little over two months ago, I received a message from Jody, who had seen my blog or a posting of Health Talents. She left a message, asking me to contact her since she knew of a man in Guatemala that needed some help. I responded to her message but she did not have a lot of information on this gentleman.  She and some others had recently been to Guatemala and saw this patient but were not able to help him.

Jody did not know his name or where he lived, just that he was in Guatemala. First, I want to let you know that I have asked this patient if it is alright that I share his story and photos and he was not hesitant at all.

So, this man's name is Armando and he lives in Jalapa.  Jalapa, according to the Google map is 4.5 to 5.5 hours from Chichicastenango. He unfortunately has had this mass growing for twenty years and has not been able to find help.

This is the photo that were sent to me.

I was at the coast when I received the photo. I spoke to Rick about the possibility of doing the surgery in January. He told me that Dr. Scott would be there and to contact him to see what his thoughts were. Dr. Scott and I shared emails and he thought that this patient would be a good surgical candidate.

Jody had a contact in Guatemala, who knew someone else and eventually we found Armando.  He traveled to Chichicastenango and was accompanied by Fernando.  This was the first time that either one of them had been here. I gave them directions to our clinic in Lemoa and we met with them around mid-morning on a Thursday.

I was thankful that Lisa was with us that day. We examined him and spoke with him about having surgery in Montellano in January but the schedule was pretty tight and we did not know if he would be seen or not. We gave him papers to have his lab work done and when I heard that there was space for him, I called and told him to go ahead and complete the lab work. He returned to Chichi with his results and we signed his surgical consent papers.

Tomorrow morning, Gaspar, his family and I will be traveling to Montellano. Armando will be leaving Jalapa around 3 am, with his son, to arrive in Montellano.  Gaspar drew them a map the other day in clinic since this is all new territory to them.

What a blessing this will be if Dr. Scott is able to proceed with the surgery!

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Clinic in Patzite

Today we had clinic in Patzite. Martina and I met in Chichi and took a different route than usual due to a bridge being closed.  We met Aura, Brenda and Tomas where we hold clinic. We unloaded the trucks and began our day.

We usually have a lot of competition here and I always lose.  Aura is competitive and I enjoy that and I do not mind losing to her on patient load.........I do prefer to win but I know when the odds are stacked against me.

It was a chilly day so it was nice when they called us for lunch.  We had beans, rice, tamalitos, chili and coffee. We used the tamilitos as hand-warmers before we ate them.

As many areas around Guatemala continue to grow, up go the houses, buildings, offices and different constructions.  This is my view from where I see patients. The building has recently been painted lime green, I think that is the color :) :) and the stairway was added on.

Right away, I thought of the Led Zepplin song, Stairway to Heaven.

There's a lady who's sure
All that glitters is gold
And she's buying a stairway to heaven.
When she gets there she knows
If the stores are all closed
With a word she can get what she came for.
Oh oh oh oh and she's buying a stairway to heaven.

So anyway.........medical finally tied with dental, each having eleven patients.  For the first time, I could have won but I did not charge last the patient that arrived after lunch.  She was the daughter of the lady that helped prepare that wonderful lunch. No, it was just a sidewalk consult :) :) :)

While Revelations gives us an idea of what heaven will be like, I am sure that it is something even more beautiful that the writer of  this song imagined. It is not something that I spend a lot of time thinking about. Our human mind, directed only by human experiences can not fathom eternity. We are too time oriented. It can not understand being face-to-face with God Almighty. Being in total light with no darkness or in a sinless existence, is not something we can comprehend.

I only trust that God will make it as perfect as He has promised.  I would rather spend my time preparing myself and helping as many who would like to make that journey. I want to be sure that I will be climbing that stairway to heaven.