Friday, January 30, 2015

Clinic in Mactzul I

Today was the second clinic in Mactzul I.  Those of us there were Lisa, Sandra, Maria, Cecy, Manuel, Mitch and I.  We had a few patients waiting for us and that is always nice.

I must tell you that again it was a very cold morning.  When I opened my fridge, the inside felt warmer than my apartment. The sun peaked out a few minutes during the day but not very much.

The is Cecy checking in a patient.

When there were a few down minutes, Manuel and Cecy were counting pills in the truck for a little warmth.

 Yesterday was Cecy's birthday.  When Manuel, Mitch and I went to get the generator, we stopped at a little store and bought some cake and a Mood Ring for Cecy.  Just a little something for her day.  The Mood Ring stayed black all day and did not change color at all........

Just a little trivia on the Mood was created in 1975.  It is usually made with glass or quartz but filled with thermotropic liquid crystals that change color with temperature. Cecy's ring stayed solid black all day.  It was just too cold to have an emotion!!

We had 16 medical patients today, 8 dental patients and did one house call.

The building that we are using for clinic, has one section that will continue to have classes in the afternoon.  I did not understand what Lisa meant when she said, "Over here is the junior high parking lot."  When I looked, I understood!

Pedro, from Mactzul VI came by to check on us.  He was kind to pose as Lisa and Mitch took photos of him and his machete.  When asked why he carries it.......well, it just come in handy if a dog or other animal bothers you.  Manuel told us that he uses his to cut down trails as he walks through the woods.  They even shared the story that people believe there is someone out there that cuts of heads of people if they are out late at wonder that I like to be in early at night!!

We will have this clinic on every Friday.  My role will be to focus on education after patients had their consult and received their medicines.

I thought about going to Pana for the weekend.........but the more I thought about it, the electric blanket was calling my name louder than Pana did.  Guess I will spend the weekend here and be more adventurous another weekend.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wife Needed!

How cold can Guatemala get????   WAY too COLD!!  We all had on 3 layers and the heater blasting on the highway.  We knew that clinic would be even colder but we pressed on!

Enrique, Manuel and I headed out to Chuguxa for our monthly visit. We had a great clinic of 23 patients.  Nine of those patients were new patients and thirteen of them were diabetics. 

I was disappointed with our diabetics today.  Most everyone was just way to high!  I heard a variety of different reasons/ excuses.........ran out of medicine, have been stressed, ate too many tamales over the holdidays, have a backache, the sky is blue (just kiddin' on that one!)

This was the prize patient of the day. His name is Diego and he is 82 years young.  His wife died about 6 years ago and told me today that he is is looking for a new wife. For the last year he had not been feeling very good but now is is feeling great and is in the market for a lady!  I told him that I would ask around and he asked that I bring him a photo of someone next month :)

As we were loading the truck, I told Manuel and Enrique about Diego.  Enrique blurts out, "Now, he is a man that wants full-service from our clinic!"  Manuel and I started laughing so hard that we had a difficult time tieing down the truck!

So, for all my Guatemalan friends, please keep your ears and eyes wide open over the next month for a fine woman for Diego :) 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Home Visit and Class Scheduling

This morning Gaspar and I went to visit a patient that saw Lisa in Lemoa last week.  She was diagnosed with breast cancer and is not doing well.  We traveled about 45 minutes to the other side of Quiche.  Agostina's family met us in the road and then we walked to their home.

This is their home in the distance.  We enjoyed the walk.  It was cool and very refreshing!

We spent about an hour with the family.  Agostina was in bed and had difficulty breathing.

Gaspar asked me to share some thoughts with her and that he would translate for me.  I talked about difficulties that we have in this world but if we are followers of Christ or Christians that we have hope that others do not have.  God is faithful and that is a promise we have.

Gaspar talked about us being sure of our salvation. It is not something that we need to doubt.  He asked Miguel, her husband, "Are you sure of your salvation?"  Miguel responded, "Yes."

It is comforting to know that we do not have to wonder day-to-day about it. It is a question that everyone should be comfortable responding to.

When we finished, I visited a friend from the congregation in Quiche.  I talked with her about doing an IVAA/ Pap class, so I now have a meeting with the ladies there on February 24th in the afternoon.

Later, I went to Chichi for an early dinner.  I often see this gentleman reading his Bible.  His vision is so poor that he lays his cheek on the pages to read it. I thought of the following verse. 

Jeremiah 15:16
When your words came, I ate them; they were my joy and my heart's delight, for I bear your name, LORD God Almighty.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all had this same desire to know God's Word?

Monday, January 26, 2015

Clinic in Lemoa..............Happy Birthday, Dr. Mitch!

This morning, there were several of us in Lemoa for clinic.  Dr. Mitch, who is with us for about 3 weeks and I saw the general patients.  Dr. Sara saw the patients who needed procedures, paps and IVAA.

This is Dr. Mitch and we had a variety of patients today.

During the consults, I noticed his socks.....................we have joked about the battle between people from Michigan and Ohio so the socks grabbed by attention!

Then he said, "Wait until you see the bottom!"  Very cute!

We had 18 patients for medical consult and 5 dental cleaning.

Tomorrow morning, Gaspar and I will visit a lady in her home.  She has cancer and we have heard that she is not doing well. I hope that we will be able to help her feel somewhat better and see if there is anything that we can help her with on a spiritual level.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Passport Experience

Yesterday afternoon, I traveled to Antigua to get my passport done in Guatemala City.

We left this morning at 0545 and arrived at 0815 at the US Embassy.  There were not many people there as I began to enter.  I was told that the office was not working today because they had an important meeting.  I about slid down the wall in despair.  I explained to the lady my situation and she told me to wait for a few minutes.  She returned after making a call and they decided to let three people in........I was the third!!

After redoing some paper work and getting some new photos taken, I was ready to go!!  I was able to pay with my credit card and was told that the new passport will be ready in about 10 days!

I found a taxi that took me to where the buses were and I jumped on one to return to Antigua.  Guatemala City is not my favorite place to be.  I try not to be nervous but just be aware of what is going on around me.

As I was walking in Antigua, this was the view near Hermano Pedro as the sun was going down.

I will head back to Chichi in the morning, worship in Quiche on Sunday and be ready to start clinic on Monday.

I will return to Guatemala City in a few weeks to get my new passport and will not have to think about it for another ten years!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

New Clinic in Chuicaca

We had a new clinic today in an area called, Chuicaca.  I know, after a while, all of the clinics seem to sound the same......but there is some difference, however slight it may be.

Lisa, Cecy, Sandra, Maria, Manuel, Gaspar and I all headed out this morning at 0710, in two trucks.
There were a couple of dental patients waiting and a couple that wanted dental cleanings.  Lisa and I had to wait until we had some patients arrive.

It is a pretty view from where we held clinic.

After we waited for about 30 minutes, Cecy and I walked to market to drum-up some business.  It was market day so there were a lot of people in the streets and in the market.  We talked to several people and store-owners, giving them a personal invitation to visit the clinic.

Sandra and Maria with their first patient.

Gaspar had heard an announcement from a van that they were selling Gasparin icecream.  When Cecy and I were walking in the market, we found it!

We bought some to take back and share.  They had flavors of vanilla, chocolate and strawberry. They were pretty good!

We were served lunch and it was very good.  They had some great chili!  It had a little bite to it and also had a great flavor.

We will be going to this clinic on a monthly basis.

When we arrived back in Chichi, we met up with Kemmel.  He was going to install a stove in one of our neighbors home.  Lisa and I went to help carry the materials.

In the morning, I will travel to Antigua for the night and then on to Guatemala City.  It is time to apply for a new passport and this will be the easiest way to do it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

New Neighbor

We have a new neighbor and her name is Stormy!  I know, it does not sound like a very appropriate name.  She is a little Chiwawa and I mean that she IS little!

It is very entertaining to watch her and Mike play.  She sits very calmly as Mike runs around and around her, barking at the top of his lungs.  She will occasionally let out a little bark and Mike runs away scared!

Just something to keep us entertained in the neighborhood..........

Monday, January 19, 2015

Clinic and Dedication in Mactzul I

This morning, we had clinic in Lemoa with 22 patients.  I saw one lady that had hernia surgery last week in Montellano and she is doing great.  She is from the area of Solola and she brought some of her neighbors with her.  How exciting it is when people refer family members and friends to us.

We finished a little early today to head out to Mactzul I for a dedication of a new building. We will be having clinic here on a regular basis and it has been very exciting to watch different communities work together to accomplish this.

This is the building and people who gathered from several communities in support of the clinic.

Kemmel thanked everyone for their work and explained how the clinic will function.

Sebastion and Manuel are on the HTI Board and had certificates to present.  Sebastion lives in Mactzul V and Manuel lives in Paxot II.

This is Pedro from Mactzul VI.  Pedro talked about how Health Talents helps people in the community on a physical and also a spiritual basis.  He talked about different services that we provide and he is a great advocate for Health Talents.

There is a great opportunity to serve is this area, as it is central to many communities.  We are thankful for this and for those who made it possible.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Clinic and Sandra

This morning, Manuel and I set out for Chuchipaca.  I had requested 40 patients because I wanted to beat Lisa's number of 32 last week.  I should not have been greedy.  Cecy was ready and waiting for us when we arrived.

We ended up with 16 patients and for many of them, it was their first time at the clinic.  You may remember me telling you of Antonio that had cataract surgery a few months ago in Chamanchaj.  Well, he referred a friend of his to us and I will try to get him into the February clinic in Chamanchaj. He has very little vision in his right eye........we will see what happens.

After clinic, I met Sandra in Chichi.  I gave her an album of her graduation photos.  She had also forgotten  her graduation candle in the truck but when I got back home, the sun had partially melted the candle.  It was a funny moment.

Sandra and her photo album.

We talked about her future plans.  She wants to continue to study but does not know which area.  So this will be something that she just has to think about and to search out options that she has.

I have confidence that she will make a good choice.

Tomorrow, I will head up to Quiche..............

Friday, January 16, 2015

IVAA/ Pap in Mactzul I

Today, Lisa, Cecy. Maria and I went to Mactzul I to do a IVAA/ Pap clinic.

Cecy and I did a class in the church here a few months ago and today we had the clinic. We had 15 ladies come for their exam and it was a great day.

When I worked in The States, I never did Paps so this was something new to me.  Lisa was very patient and taught me how to do them.  Now, we are doing the IVAA (Visual Inspection with Acetic Acid) in pre-menopausal ladies.  It has been something new to learn and I enjoy that.

So, when I have a patient that needs an IVAA, I have Lisa check behind me to make sure I am not missing something.  Today when I needed her, I played some bagpipe music and then she made her way over to my area.

We did not see anything today that was suspicious and we are thankful for that.

After we loaded the truck, we took some photos. 

We did a quick house call after clinic.  Lisa has a patient that is having some heart-related issues.

When I returned to Chichi, Kemmel helped me print a form that I need to renew my passport.  This 10 years has flown by.  So much has happened and I feel that the changes have been good.

When I returned to the house, I took Tomasita some flowers and checked on her.  She has not been feeling well.  She introduced me to their new dog and two baby turtles they now have.

Time to relax and prepare for clinic tomorrow.  Lisa and Kemmel will be traveling to Antigua to get an intern that will be spending some time with us.  I will do the clinic in Chuchipaca tomorrow.  Last week, Lisa had 32 patients there!  I told Cecy that she needed to round up 40 for tomorrow.  I will let you know how we do :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Clinic in Xepol

Manuel and I headed out to Xepol this morning.  The fog was real heavy, as we approached Las Trampas.  I could tell that Manuel was seriously concentrating on the road, hoping that we would not come into contact with another vehicle.

When we arrived, there were no patients waiting.  It was very, very cold and NO sun at all.  I had on three layers but it was not enough.

Finally, we had a few patients arrive. 

We had one patient in her mid 30's and her husband died three months ago.  She told me that he drank a lot and he was only 40 years old when he died.  She has eight children and the youngest one is only one month old........what a rough road she will have.  Her parents do not help her but she is living with her husband's family.

This is Tomas.  He helped us in the clinic since our "regular" Tomas could not be there today.  This is his wife and little girl, Sarah.  Sarah has been sick since yesterday so his wife brought her to the clinic.  She is a "Daddy's Girl" for sure!

Maybe tomorrow we will have some sunshine :)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Celebration Recovery

Today was the first day of the Celebration Recovery Program and it was held in Mactzul V. Mario presented the class and about 20 people participated.  This is Mario and Sara before the program started.  Sara is a physician that works with us in Chichicastenango.

Mario focused on the idea of what it means to be a servant.  He talked about the different types of recovery and struggles that people have.  To help people, we need to be understanding and not judgemental. 

The group will meet again in April. The Church of Christ in Quiche will host the meeting.

This is a definite need.  We have many patients that suffer from different struggles in their life, ranging from alcohol to physical/ verbal abuse.  With this education, we and the other members of the church will be better equipped to help our patients.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Visit to Clinica Ezell

I was able to go down to Montellano and visit with Rick and the group that was there.  It was good to see a few people that I know and to meet many new people at the clinic.

Many have asked me for an update on Marlene.  She has started her chemotherapy and is hanging in there.  We talk about 2-3 times a month and I have enjoyed getting to know her family better.  Her husband, Jose, is very supportive of her and her children are growing quickly.

This is Sylvia, one of the dentists at the clinic.  Carlos was talking a photo of them and I "stole" it from him!

Please continue to pray for Marlene and her family.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Class in Mactzul VI

This afternoon, we had another ladies class in Mactzul VI.  It was entitled, But I Believe in God.  

The thought for this originated from different comments that I often hear in clinics.  The opportunity to talk to patients about God and to be able to pray with them is something that I value greatly.  It is one of the reasons that I decided that I wanted to work work full-time with Health Talents.

I remember so well in 2005, when I was here for the first time and went with Lisa to clinics.  I had no idea what happened in clinics and everything was totally new to me. It left a strong, positive impact on me when I returned to the states.

So, nearly 100% of my patients have told me that they believe in God.  Now, it may not be the One God that most of us believe in but there is some belief in a higher being or beings.   So, then when I ask if they read or listen to the Bible or participate in a church, that percentage really drops.

The main question of the class was, "Is believing in God sufficient for salvation?"

Usually, Cecy helps me with translating but she had another activity this day.  So, Francisca helped me and she did a great job.

We will return for another class on the 20th of February.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Babies ready for Surgery

Well, I made it back to Guatemala after our Christmas vacation.  Now, it is back to work and to see exciting things happen!!

It is close to surgery time for the babies again.  I will be taking five babies in February to Montellano for surgery.  Please pray for the team, as they will arrive on the 7th.  Please remember the babies and their parents as this is a scary time for them.

This is Eleazor and he is 7 months old.  Danny from Morganton will be sponsoring his surgery.

This is Jose and he was with us last year when he had his lip repaired.  Don and Jessie from Morganton will be sponsoring his palate surgery.

This Randy and his mom.  He is 11 months old and will have his lip surgery, sponsored by Terry.

This is Kenia and she will have her lip surgery redone.  Kory will be sponsoring her surgery this time.

This is Eber and he was with us last February when he had his lip surgery.  His surgery will be sponsored by Nancy, who should arrive with the team!

It will be a busy week but a good one! I will keep you posted on the surgeries.  Many thanks for those who are helping sponsor the surgeries.  It is a wonderful blessing for these parents and children!