Thursday, April 30, 2009
We first met with Kemmel and he reviewed some changes in the calender with some new clinics being started and different opportunities that we will have. Marcos let us in a devotional and then Tomas led us in prayer. We then went out on the porch and welcomed the patients.
Josefina talked with the group for a few minutes about basic hand washing and how it helps prevent illness. The papers here are full of information about the swine flu. The people have many questions and fears about this illness. Gaspar then led us in prayer and then we started seeing the patients.
Fran and I basically held a diabetic clinic today. We had one patient with a blood sugar of over 500 and another with a 320 glucose. I spent a lot of time talking about diet, daily activity, taking the medicine possibly for life and addressing other questions they had. The gentleman with the 320, agreed to meet me in two Sundays for worship in Santa Cruz. I hope he will be there.
We had another lady with a glucose of 147.......not real high but still some room for improvement. She and her family are costumbre or do not have a place of worship. We talked to them about spiritual concerns and that without God there is no hope. When I asked them if we could pray, they all got on their knees. Fran and I joined them and then we prayed. They talked to Manuel about directions to La Iglesia de Cristo or the Church of Christ in Chichi and I hope they will attend there.
Tomorrow morning we will go to Panajachel and visit the the family of Diego. If you have been following the blog, he is the young boy that died a few weeks ago. Please remember us in your prayers as we travel tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
For those who have been in Mactzul III before you will remember Sabastiana, who is below with Fran. Her skin is clearing up well and she feels much better. She no longer has any drainage and she said very little itching.
These two little girls were playing and Gaspar grabbed my camera........and then the little girls lost their smiles......oh well.......
Here they were trying to help Juan stay organized.
One young lady came today just wanting more medicine. She chatteed for awhile and I asked her if there was anything else that she needed or wanted to talk about........that led to another issue.......and then another isue......and then Fran leaned to me and said, "If she stays here much longer, we will be taking her to ICU!"
We had one lady today that was very sad. Her husband and her son have both died and she is very lonely. We talked to her about her relationship with God and that only He can take her sadness away. Life is full of difficult circumstances, no matter the country in which we live. In the US we may be concerned with our economics or the political struggles. Here in Guatemala, the concern may be not enough or too much rain for the corn........or how we are going to feed the children through the week. No matter our concern, we need faith that God can handle any circumstance and that He will provide.
Tomorrow we will have clinic in Lemoa with Josefina and her group. I plan on taking photos to Santos in the hospital during visitation and I hope that he likes them.
Monday, April 27, 2009
We picked her up this morning and she knew exactly where to go. We walked with her through Santa Cruz and she would stop and chat a few minutes with people that she knew. The eye clinic advertised computer eye exams. She walked right in for her exam and it seemed to take quite a while.
Eventually, they returned to the waiting room and he said he could help one eye but she may need surgery in the other. He seemed very confident that the glasses would help. We may return and get those for her on Thursday. Magda said we would pray for her eye that needs surgery and that God will fix it for her.
We ate a quick lunch and then went to the hospital to visit Santos Elias. He is the 7 year old that saw Lisa last Thursday at the clinic. She persuaded the parents to take him to the hospital and he looks very good!
He was sitting up in a wheelchair with his pajamas on and his chest tube was draining a small amount of red drainage. The parents are not sure when he will get to go home but they seem very comfortable there and Santos did not seem to mind the attention he was getting.
I took some of the coloring books and crayons that the South Fork Church of Christ sent with me to him. This is Santo with his parents. Yes, they wanted the photo when I asked them but then the mom looked down.
Santo starting to color with his new book and markers.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
This morning we went to the market and had lunch at San Juan. They have a buffet that is good. We walked through Santo Tomas Hotel and everything, as usual, was very pretty. This is Fran near the lobby of the hotel.
We also went to the fruit and vegetable market and bought a few things to have at the house.
We worshipped with The Church in Santa Cruz and then we went for ice cream before driving back home. It was a full day but very enjoyable.
Tomorrow, we are going to take my friend in Santa Cruz to have her eyes examined and then also visit a little boy that is in the hospital.
You may remember the little boy from the blog on April 16th. He was the 7 yr. old that was having respiratory problems but the parents wouldn't take him to the hospital. Well, he returned to the clinic last Thursday and Lisa persuaded them to go.........Gracias a Dios, they listened to her. He was admitted and had a chest tube placed in the left side. I will give you an update tomorrow.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
It was good to see many people that I know from previous trips. We had some rain in the afternoon and it cooled things down.
This is an underground passage from part of Hotel Antigua to the newer section. This is Petra and Ricardo. Petra lives here in Guatemala with her family. She had just found out her husband had broke his ankle and had been admitted to a hospital for surgery on Monday. Please remember him in your prayers.
This is a prayer box that Alice brought to me. I met Alice a couple of years ago and she is wonderful to work with! The patients and other staff members enjoy spending time with her. Alice, I want you to know that the first prayer that went into the box was for the group to have a safe return flight to The States.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
When we first arrived at the clinic, it was obvious that we were going to have a crowd. We prepared as well as we could, setting up three exam rooms. We would take a history from the patient, do an exam and then he would circulate through the rooms.
These photos were taken before clinic began.
After I took this photo, I recognized the lady in the front wearing the pink sweater. I met her last week in Choacaman IV when she came for a consult with her husband. Today she brought 3-4 of her friends and they all seemed pleased with the consult.
Tomorrow morning, Dr. Alvillar and I will drive to Antigua and meet the group who just finished a week of surgery in Montellano. I apologize I did not get a photo of him today, but we were running so fast, the photo would have been blurred :) I will get one tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
This was the youngest patient of the day. His name is Marvin and he is only a month old.
I received another update from Neva and they performed 53 procedures between Sunday and Tuesday. It sounds as if they are really keeping busy and are having a good week.
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
We met Felipe on the main road and he led us to his house where we held clinic. We had 34 medical patients with a variety of illnesses. Josefina is cleaning the table getting us ready for the consults.
Who is that masked man?? That is Tomas with his first of four patients. When he was done he told me that he wanted four more. He and Gaspar are really enthusiastic about their dental cleaning and that is good.
I am not sure why unless it was because it was our first time here but the patients were not very interested in having photos taken. They saw me with the camera and seemed very shy so I did not approach them. Maybe the next time we are here they will be more comfortable.
Tomorrow is the clinic with the rhumatoidologist. He and Manuel will arrive from the coast early in the morning. I just recieved a call from Lisa and they are home now. Kemmel's dad continues to do well after surgery and we are very thankful for that. Tomorrow some of us head to Chuguexa for clinic. Hopefully, we will have a good clinic there and then check out the action at Clinica Caris.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Today I went to the clinic and prepared the truck for tomorrow. Josefina, Juan, Tomas, Gaspar and I will have a new clinic in San Jose. It is not very far from Santa Cruz and we are hoping for a good turn-out of patients. When I got home, I washed the truck and now we are ready for tomorrow.
Next week I will have a house guest. Fran will be going to clinics with us and has been warned that I do not cook. Fran, if you read this, your room is prepared and I will show you some good restaurants. I met Fran several years ago. She is a good friend of Jim and Mary who live in Winston. This week she is in Montellano helping with the surgical clinic.
I received an email tonight from Neva, who is also at the clinic this week. She said they had 25 procedures scheduled for today and everyone has done well.
OK, I will let you know about our new clinic tomorrow and hopefully, I will have some good photos to post.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
It is interesting because some days it seems that the clinics have themes. For example, the other day everyone had fever and cough. Yesterday in Choacaman, there were 3 patients who did not know their age. It was almost amusing listening to them talk to their family members about what year they were born in and then Gaspar would calculate their age. Today, there were two patients who had seen different doctors or pharmacists, bought medicine and had been carrying it for a while without taking it.............then they come to us for more?
I visited Santa Cruz this evening to remind my friend about her appointment on Thursday. I will go and get her and then she will see Dr. Lisa and the visiting physician. I hope we can do something for her arthritis.
The surgical team should have arrived today in Montellano. Manuel took Dr. Al down to meet them. Let us pray that everyone has a safe week and are able to help many patients.........both physically and spiritually. Kemmel and Lisa will also be traveling back to Guatemala. Kemmel's dad is doing well and we continue to be thankful for that.
Friday, April 17, 2009
I saw a few people that will need a follow-up visit because their blood sugars were very high. One of these gentleman told me how nervous he is and just can not relax. His wife was sitting there and after I had asked a series of questions, she told me that he drank too much alcohol. Well, that changed the direction of the questions. We talked for awhile about how stressful it can be when you are doing things that you know are not good for you and your family. It is a mental wrestling match. His wife seemed to really understand this and then she told me that their 14 year old son is not doing well because he sees his dad drink. She said she wants to bring their son to the next consult.
After we had seen all of the patients, I went out to call Glenn and Neva in Antigua. While I was on the phone talking to them, I saw smoke and heard come crackling in the distance.........they were burning a field to prepare it for planting and it did not seem to be a wise thing to do today.
The flames eventually reached to the top of the trees.
Enrique was nervous about the fire and went to the other side of the field to see if it was going to spread more. He even had me go and move our truck father out.
This lady had a few bottles of water and was spilling it on the fire line....thinking it might keep it from spreading..........
This lady had a boom and was walking around trying to beat down the flames.
It is not quite time for rain yet. It usually begins in May and we really have not had any since early December but we need it. The land is dry, there are many fires and the sky is hazy.
Guess what??? Tonight about 8pm.........it poured rain for about 30 minutes and it smelled so good. Gracias a Dios.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
As always we started the day with a short devotional and prayer. Marcos read from John 14:6 where Jesus tells Tomas, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me." There is no other path or road that leads to salvation.......it is only through Christ. I have heard many people get confused over different practices, different teachings or popular ministers of today. There should be no confusion on who to follow, trust or believe in.........the only way is through Christ and His teaching.
We had 19 patients today at the clinic.
One little boy concerned me quite a bit and I encouraged his parents to take him to the hospital but they did not want to. Gaspar also attempted to persuade them but it was futile. I gave him an antibiotic injection and some other medications to take home. We asked the parents to reconsider and if the child became worse. As I have mentioned before, it is a very difficult position to be in. Many people do not like the hospital because they feel they do not get any care and many people do die there. We have the number of the father so we will call him tomorrow and see how his son is doing. We prayed with them before they left and both parents were crying.
I visited my neighbor lady tonight and she said she is feeling a little better. I took her some more medicine for some other problems she had and I will check on her again tomorrow. Juan and Gaspar chuckle at me when I talk about my little neighbor ladies.
Tomorrow we head to Choacaman IV........and it should be a good clinic.
We received word that Kemmel's dad is doing well after his surgery and should have left the hospital today. We thank God that his surgery went well and pray that he continues to regain his strength.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
One lady came today and she has a very sad situation. She has had several family members die in different accidents. Then only 8 days ago, another family member was killed in Guatemala City. She says she does not have any family. After having 11 children, she used different forms of birth control for a few years and now feels that she is punished for that. She has developed painful arthritis and feels that she is all alone.
One of the brothers from the church helped me translate K'iche' today and we talked for quite awhile with this lady and then prayed with her. We assured her that her arthritis is not caused from some of the decisions that she has made. Sometimes our decisions do affect where we are in life or impact our physical status........but not in this case. She has been suffering physically and mentally. We also invited her to Lemoa next week for a special clinic we are having with a visiting rheumatoidologist.
This little girl wanted to try my glasses........One of my neighbors is a little lady............a very little lady and she has been having headaches for two days now. She knocked on my door last night wanting some medicine. I took her some more tonight and she told me how bad she is feeling. I have invited her to clinic but I am not sure that she will come...........maybe I will start running a shuttle service :)
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Gaspar's mom, who is a comadrona or midwife, brought 4 of her patients today for a consult. It was interesting watching her before we prayed with the patients this morning. You could tell that the ladies in the community respect and listen to her. She would go from one to another and talk to them, pat them on the shoulder and then talk to their children. It made me think Paul writing to Titus in chapter 2. He says that the older women are to train the younger women to love their husbands and children......and he goes on with other instructions. Family ties here are important and it is very refreshing.
Last month when we had clinic in Xepocol, Lisa made a home visit with some of the students. Since then, the patient they went to see has died. Some of the patients today are members of her family and they are struggling with her death. We talked to them about the importance of prayer and their relationship to God during times of need. Each patient has different problems, pains and needs. Our God is powerful and can provide the comfort that we need...........no matter the source of pain.
My internet service is working better tonight so I can post some photos.
This is Betsy and Mollie in Antigua when a procession was passing by.
Jane sent me this photo of our dinner a couple of weeks ago. Virginia works here in Chichi with ASELSI......and I am sure you recognize Lisa and Kemmel. Jane brought some new books that she has printed about Evelyn's Baskets of Love and Life. Yes, I have on a UNC shirt :)
Tomorrow we are heading to Mactzul VI..........another day and another adventure!
Monday, April 13, 2009
I made it back to Guatemala without many problems. My only problem was with the shuttles. For some reason, my shuttle did not arrive Saturday nor Sunday. I waited for two hours at the airport and then took a taxi to Antigua. On Sunday, Glenn and Neva were kind after I woke them up......sorry guys......and they let me keep my suitcases at their house while I took a chicken bus back to Chichi.
Saturday afternoon, we all met in the park. Betsy and her daughter, Mollie, are studying Spanish this week in Antigua. Betsy has been here 13 times and this is Mollie's first visit. Glenn helped them purchase a phone while I talked Neva to death. All of them will catch up with a group next Saturday to go to the surgical clinic on Montellano.
Betsy, Mollie and I watch a procession near the main park. I have a photo of that but my internet is not working well tonight so I will post that later.
As many know, Kemmel and Lisa are now in Chile with Kemmel's dad. They have arrived safely and have blogged about their travels at http://www.kemmelandlisa.blogspot.com/. Kemmel's dad has surgery today and we are praying that all went well.
Today, we had clinic in Lemoa. We had 18 medical patients and Tomas had 6 patients for dental cleaning. Everyone did well.
After clinic, I went to check on the little lady in Santa Cruz that had a consult with Lisa before Semana Santa. She told me that she is feeling better each day and is very thankful to Lisa for the medicine. She says that she has not had any dizzy spells, she has not fallen and her heart feels better. After I visited her, I went to the hospital in Chichi and visited with Dr. Al who is an anesthesiologist. He is here for a week and is working with a physician in Chichi, Dr. Tom, who we refer many of our patients to.
So life is good back here in Guatemala. We have clinics this week in Xepocol, Mactzul VI and Choacaman IV and Chuchipaca. Please continue to keep Kemmel, his father, Lisa and Diego's parents in your prayers.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Photo of Diego and his dad, 2 weeks ago, at his first birthday party.
Diego and his mother.
Diego became ill and dehydrated. We have heard his death was probably due to parasites. Please remember and pray for Diego's family as they are suffering through their loss. They are so appreciate of the help and care that Diego received through Evelyn's Baskets of Love and Life and Health Talents.
We had a good dinner at The Golden Corral. There were 37 people including people from the Morganton Church of Christ, South Fork Church of Christ, Forsyth Medical Center and Medical Park. Nick and Linda traveled the farthest from TN and it had been several years since we had seen them..........thanks to everyone for making it a special time together!
One very sad component of the evening was when Jane and Joe arrived. I had mentioned to someone that I was surprised that they had not arrived yet. When they arrived, I found out why. They had just received word about Diego, one of our surgical babies. Diego had become very dehydrated on Monday and had died.
If you have had a chance to follow the blog, Jane was in Guatemala during Diego's first birthday party last week and had seen him and his family. I will post some of those photos when I get them. Please pray for Diego's family. His parents were very loving and very attentive.......as you can imagine, this is a great loss for them.
I will be flying back to Guatemala tomorrow and catch you up on more of our adventures.
Then the next morning I headed to Winston-Salem.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Sometimes when I am real tired, I think I feel tremors that others do not feel. I thought this was the case in the airport for the first 6-7 seconds......ah, Sheri, it is just your imagination.......only one other person seemed to notice.......then the huge glass panels of the airport started moving. It lasted about 20 seconds......a little too long for me and registered 4.9.
I told myself I was in the safest place to be. The airport is very new and probably was built, hopefully built with the finest materials and specifications for earthquakes.
The second one hit hard and fast.......lasting only about 3 seconds.......I was ready to be in the air and deal with flight turbulence.
I finally made it to Atlanta and spent the night night, well 5 hours of it in a hotel....................and then flew to Charlotte this morning.
It is good to be home and the week is packed with fun things. I will keep you posted.
This is inside of La Merced.
Friday, April 3, 2009
I checked into the hotel, confirmed my shuttle for in the morning and bought coffee for some friends. I went to visit Mary and get my passport from her. I then went to the school and visited Glenn and Neva who are studying Spanish there. They are doing well and it was good to see them.
At 4pm, I met Juliet who was my teacher when I studied at the school and it was a good visit. For the first time.........the very first time......she was complimentary of my Spanish. I had been waiting for this day........and it wants me to continue to study even more.
I have some photos that I will post later.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
I drove to Santa Cruz to get her. She was in a bus accident many years ago with her mother and they were both were injured very badly. She is very afraid to be in vehicles now. When I pulled up to get her, she stood on the curb praying. Her eyes were filled with tears.......then we got in the truck and I drove as careful as I could.
Lisa heard a murmur on her and also did an EKG which was better than we expected.
Lisa also diagnosed her with Sjogrens syndrome so that was my topic to research. Lisa, if you are reading this........it is an autoimmune disease......and I hate those. Our little lady's symptoms were dry eyes, dry mucus membranes and it also can affect the vision. It can also cause rheumatoid -like arthritis which she definitely has. We have a visiting physician later in April and we are hoping he can help her. We will see what happens with her new medicines and her next visit.
I am headed to Antigua tomorrow and then will fly home on Saturday morning. It will be a fast week but a good one.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
This is Jane and her friend Susan who travels with her. Felix is helping her make the contacts that she needs and they also have a driver who is taking good care of them.
This is a painting that Felix' father painted and gave to Jane. The basket represents the basket of items that Jane give to the family. The bottle in the front has three large kernels of corn. Here in Guatemala, corn or maize is very important to the culture. It represents the cycle of life with includes birth, life, death and rebirth. There are small hands coming from within the basket reaching out to the large hand. The small hands are the babies in need and the large hand is the help they are receiving.
Jane has a website and is blogging as she travels. Her site is http://www.evelynsbaskets.org/.