Thursday, August 31, 2017

Clinic Chichi and Burial of a Young Man

This morning, I met Andra, Tomas, Enrique and Maria in Chichi at the Iglesia de Cristo.  There had been a recent death of a young man that lived in Chichicastenango and his home was near where we have clinic.  The roads were blocked in the morning as the family and friends gathered around the house.  We were about an hour late unloading since we had to wait until they walked the casket up to the large Catholic Church and then walked back down to the cemetery. It was a very, very sad procession. The mother was at the front of the group and I am not sure that she was going to make it or not.

The ambulance slowly followed the crowd.  I think they were expecting to need to give people a ride.  It was a very emotional event.

We did not have a large clinic today.  The numbers of all the clinics decreased this week and I attribute it to the political issues going on.  I hope that things get back to normal next week.

As we were getting ready to pack up, the streets were closed again as the family of the young man returned from the cemetery.  They had a band playing out in the street and it was open-mike singing. Apparently, he had gone to the fair in Quiche on August 19 and told his parents he was going to spend time with his friends and that he would be home later.  The next morning, he was still missing so the community started looking for him.  They found him severely beaten but alive.  He was admitted to the Santa Elena Hospital in Quiche and then died a few days ago.  How of those situations that is so very painful.

Lisa and Kemmel are in Guatemala City with Rick and a few others.  They will return on Friday afternoon.  Then on Saturday morning, Kemmel will drive me to the airport to meet the surgical team that arrives. Jeff, the minister at my parents congregation will be the trip chaplain.  I look forward to him being on the trip with us and seeing first-hand the work of Health Talents International.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Clinic in Chutzurob

This morning we headed out to Chutzurob in two vehicles.  We had heard the road were going to be closed due to problems with the current president.  Luckily, we left early enough that we did not have any delays.

There were only a few patients waiting when we arrived and that is unusual.  Sebastian told me right away that Victor was going to be at clinic since he has been sick.  He has had a cough since he left Montellano, about 2.5 weeks ago, where he had his cleft-lip surgery done.

If you have had a chance to follow the blog during the week of surgery, the parents of Victor are too young to sign his surgical forms.  Sebastian took full responsibility and signed for everything.  He stayed all week to be supportive of the parents and grandfather. What a great example he was during the week.  He also told me today that the Victor's grandfather, whose name also is Victor, has asked him to study the Bible.

Victor's surgery was sponsored by the Mt. Vernon Spanish class and Victor's mom asked me today about Kristi and her mom, Barbara.  She is hoping that they will be in Montellano next August, when he will return for his palate surgery.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Clinic and Politics

This morning, we started out our clinic with our morning devotional time.  We had three interns with us, Enrique, Tomas, Andrea, Aura, Maria, Martina, Mauri and Ana.

We had a few patients waiting when we arrived today but not the usual number.  Guatemala is going through a situation with their current president, Jimmy Morales.  I had not heard a lot about him since he took office but now there are allegations over a missing $800,000 and who knows what to believe.  Some roads are closed due to protesting and tomorrow, more roads will be closed.

Andrea started our morning with a reading from II Corinthians 2:15. (NIV)

For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.

Our daily walk with God should be different from those that do not have a relationship with Him.  It is sad but there are some people who do not think very much about their relationship with God, for whatever the reason is.  Each day, we need to be closer to Him so we can be the sweet aroma that He finds pleasing.

After clinic, I parked the truck and talked to Kemmel and Lisa a few minutes.  As I started walking in the street, I looked up and there was Tomasita and Jaime.  It has been a long time since I have talked to them but I finally got their attention.

I can not whistle very is a Guatemalan trait that I have not picked up yet.  But they finally heard me and turned around.  We finished walking to the house and it was good to see them.

Tomorrow, we will head to Chutzurob.  I hope to get us headed out of town before the roads close.............

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

ABC Clinic in Pacaja Xesic

Today, we had an ABC Clinic in Pacaja Xesic and it was a wonderful day. 

I met Cesar, Maria, Mauricio and Esteban in Chichi and we headed to the other side of Santa Cruz.  When we arrived, Andrea and Enrique were waiting for us.

There was so much sun, I could not get good photos today.  Andrea and Maria set up their dental area.

Enrique, Cesar, Mauricio and Esteban setting up the pharmacy area.  They kept everyone laughing all day.  They know that I do not like doing anything dental so they kept calling me to see their dental checks.  Esteban has been my ABC Child for several years and now he is doing two months with us for school credit.

ABC Children and their parents waiting as we set up.

We started with a prayer and it is one of those moments that you know you are, where you need to be.  Sometimes it just hits!  Anestacio started the clinic with prayer.  He thanked God for the mercy that is provided with each new day.

We had thirteen students and it is the first clinic that I have ever had, where each student knew what they want to study!  There were two students that want to be teachers.  One student wants to be a psychologist.  One student wants to be a hearing doctor..........and the rest all want to study medicine!  What a great group of children who have wonderful role-models!

Tomorrow, we will have a busting clinic in Lemoa.................

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Clinic in Patzite and "Sidewalk Consult"

Today, we had a good clinic in Patzite.

We stopped first to unload the dental equipment in a house below the church and then proceeded to where we could see the medical patients.

We had a good group of twelve patients.  There were a few diabetics and one man won the highest glucose award of 350.  I find it interesting because he was at the clinic last month with his wife but he did not tell me that he was diabetic.  Today, he brought his wife back and both of their labs were out of control.........very sad.

When we finished seeing all of the patents, we loaded the truck and then headed down the hill to help dental load up. As we were getting ready to leave a lady approached us and said she wanted to see a dentist.  Aura stepped right up and talked to was a "sidewalk consult."  I thought of how many people would have just told the lady to come back or brushed her off but Aura was very caring. The lady had just heard we were at this house so she came running to see the dentist.

Aura looked at her and she needed an antibiotic before she could be seen. I went to the truck and we wrote her out what she needed and has an appointment in a week.

This is one of the many reasons that I love working with the people that I do and I appreciate them very much.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Babies Return Post-Op

Today, we had clinic in Lemoa.  Ana was with us for the first time after her maternity leave and it was nice to see her again.  She hit the door and was ready to roll!

It was time for all of the babies to return after their surgery.  I am pleased to announce that everyone did great!  There were no fevers or any signs of infection.........and I was not expecting any!

This is Rodelfo, who had a frenectomy and he is doing great!  He wanted to show me the hood on his jacket.............

and then we got another view.  His mom told me that he is talking better and has not had any pain.  Jean sponsored this surgery and was in Montellano to meet Rodelfo and his mom. I met Rodelfo's dad and sister today and they are a very nice family.

This is Jefferson and he had his cleft lip-repaired.  Susan and Lyn were also in Montellano during the week of the surgery and they took care of this expense.  His parents are very appreciative.

Hilda actually smiled today and that is unusual for her.  Jessie and Don sponsored her surgery and she is doing great!

Hilda's parents are are really a great couple and Hilda even had a little clapping action going on today!

This is Hilda, about 6 months old before her two surgeries.

This is Javier today and he also was wonderful.  His surgery was sponsored by Ginny and Jack.

This is Javier at 5 months old before he had his two surgeries........a very handsome, little boy!

This is Victor, the baby that stole the hearts of everyone in Montellano.  His poor mom could hardly hold him during the week.  His surgery went fantastic, without any problems.

This is Victor today and he is a cutie!  His surgery was sponsored by the Mt. Vernon High School Spanish Class.  We will see Victor next year to help him get his palate surgery done.

This is Milton today and his surgery was sponsored by Beverly and Doris.

This photo is of Milton at about four months old before he had his two surgeries. He is always very content.

Here we have Sheila.  This poor child screams as soon as she sees me. I gave her time to calm down and then I found her mom walking around the clinic. I came up from behind before she thought to scream.. Sheila's surgery was sponsored by Angie

This is Sheila last year before her two surgeries.

It is just a pleasure to see the children return after surgery, to know that they are healing well and that the parents are so very appreciative.  A special thanks to everyone who sponsored a child.  Also, to ASELSI and Solomon's Porch for helping with the transportation to Montellano.  It was a busy week but everyone did great and we are so thankful for each one that participated.  May God continue to bless you richly!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Very Thankful

This morning, Manuel, Teresa and I headed out for Chuguexa. When we arrived, the first thing we noticed that the "House of Prayer" had been painted.  It looks very nice and we were told that it cost 9,000 Q or about $1,200.  Manuel thinks this photo needs to be on the 2018 calendar so we will see what happens.

As usual, we had a large population of diabetic patients.  Last time we were here, we met a man who has been attending AA meetings for several years.  I was hoping that he would return again but he did not.

A lady went to Montellano, for cataract surgery and today was her follow-up visit. She looks great and is to thankful for her improved sight.

On the way home, Manuel and Teresa wanted to stop for lunch.  Usually, it is very clouded and we can not get good photos.  Today it was real clear.

Lake Atitlan below the volcanoes.

Teresa and I messing around.

Tonight, Carol had us over for dinner.  It was awesome!  We had salmon, salad, asparagus, and mashed potatoes.  I am sure that she had been in the kitchen all day preparing for us!  So there was Carol, Jennifer, Shes, Erin and a friend of theirs who is here for a week.  Then Lisa and Kemmel popped in for delicious deserts of cheesecake and spice cake with coffee.

It was just a day to be thankful for.  I have great family and friends, have been able to work in Guatemala full-time for a little over ten years and our work continues to grow.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Story of Daniel

A few weeks ago, the Solomon's Porch group brought a young boy for us to see.  For six months his right eye has been white and from what we can tell, he has totally lost his vision.  The clinic behind my house, ASELSI, has a patient waiting list of several months.  When I talked to them about Daniel, they were kind enough to let us slip in to see Dr. DeLeon, an eye specialist from Guatemala City.

The mother tells Dr. DeLeon that first his right eye turned yellow.  Her neighbors told her that her son had hepatitis but she did not believe them.  She did not know what to do, so she just waited to see if it would get better without seeking medical help.  As she told her story, she cried because now she feels that she should have done something different.

Daniel is two years old and seven months.  He is active, very happy and will do most things when asked to.  He is very still and cooperative when being examined.

Dr. DeLeon thinks that this might have started as an eye infection and progressed, due to no treatment.  He wants the child to travel to his office in Guatemala City for an ultrasound, to be sure that there is not mass behind the eye and also to see that the left eye is healthy.  He is also thinking as the boy continues to grow, that they will need to remove the eye and replace it with a prosthesis.

The social worker from Solomon's Porch, Eugenia said that she will take the mother and child to the capital on Wednesday.  We will all be interested in hearing what happens after the ultrasound is done.

Please remember Daniel and his mom in your prayers.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Returning to Quiet

The last four weeks have been non-stop!  During this time, I have been with almost eighty different people at  activities and clinics here in Chichi and also in Montellano. All of those people are now back on US soil.  A lot work has been done and so appreciated..............then comes the shift back to normal living.

I went to Panajachel last night just to chill.  Had dinner on the lake and watched the lights come on in the different communities.  One boat was coming across the lake in the dusk.

As usual, I jumped a bus to Pana with my backpack, listening to music.....I never plan on seeing people that I know so it surprises me when I do. I saw Katie that works for the clinic in Camanchaj.  She was finishing up with some teams so she was going to be enjoying a quiet weekend.

In Pana, I listened to Beulah Land a lot and the lyrics are very applicable.

I'm kind of homesick for a country
To which I've never been before.
No sad goodbyes will there be spoken
For time won't matter anymore.
Beulah Land (Beulah Land) I'm longing for you (I'm longing for you)
And some day (And some day) on thee I'll stand (Someday we will stand)
There my home (There my home) shall be eternal (Eternal)
Beulah Land, sweet Beulah Land
I'm looking now, just across the river
To where my faith, shall end in sight (Shall end in sight)
There's just a few more days to labor.
Then I will take my heavenly flight.
Tomorrow morning, I will visit ASELSI.  I referred a young boy there from Panajachel and hopefully, the mother will have an idea what happened to her son's eye. He is a very good opthalmologist and has helped several of our patients.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Ready to Return Home!

Well, it is time to wind things has been a busy week but everything has gone smooth.  About 60 people came together, went through a quick orientation and then rolled on! I do not have a final count on the number of surgeries but I would estimate about 70 cases were done. 

Tina and Michele reviewing a chart. I had never met Tina before but some of the people that were here with Eastside Church of Christ told me to be watching for her.  It was good meeting both Tina and Michele and I hope that they will return for future clinics.

When we have shift change, it can be very busy since there are the US staff and also the Guatemalan Staff rounding on patients.

So, remaining are six children looking forward to returning to their cool climate.  Hilda and her mom are ready!!  Thanks again to Jessie and Don for sponsoring Hilda.

Javier is exhausted and I think his mother is too.  Thanks to Ginny and Jack for sponsoring this surgery!

Jefferson has brushed his teeth and he is ready for the van to arrive.  Thanks to Susan and Lyn for helping Jefferson.  Susan has been down several times but Lyn was with her for the first time.  Lyn, hope to see you next year!

Milton is still not sure if he likes this place or not.......Doris and Beverly, thank you for sponsoring this surgery.  The family is very thankful!

Sheila must know she is going home soon.  It is the first time that she has not screamed when she saw me.  We will see how the return visit on August 21st goes.  Angie, thank you for helping with this surgery.

Victor is finally reunited with his mom.  She has had a little down time this week as the nursing staff has tried to find a way to take Victor home with them!  Many thanks to the Mt. Vernon High School Spanish Class for supporting Victor's surgery.

Every night in our devotional time, we pray for each patient by name. For me, it is very humbling because we know that the creator of the universe cares for each patient and knows them by name.  Patients are not a number on a chart or a statistic to Him...........but He intimately knows and cares for each one. Please continue to pray for the patients as they continue to heal.

Also pray for the team as they will travel to Antigua on Friday and then fly back to The States on Saturday.......that they will enjoy their last few hours relaxing after a busy week, that they will find their families well and that they will be planning their next trip to Guatemala.  There is a lot of work to be done and we can not do it without them.  Thank you Rick and every team member!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Almost Time to Head to Chichi

Tonight we went to sing with the patients.  I grabbed a few photos since it is hard to get everyone during the day when there is so much activity. 

Hilda and her mom strolling around the recovery area.

Victor and his mom just chillin' for the night.

Milton still does not care for us too much.

Javier is usually on the edge of crying.

Sheila and Jefferson are out, running around somewhere. 

Tomorrow morning the vans will come to take the families back home. Kemmel will come and get me too.  It has been a good week and we stayed busy. I will try to get one more set of photos tomorrow.

And the Excitment Continues!

Yesterday afternoon, we had a refreshing rain.  I love it when it rains in Montellano because it smells clean and brings the temperature down, so it is tolerable.  There was a lot of lightening and thundering.  The electricity went out several times but we have a generator that kicks in since we have patients in surgery.

Jeanie gave me permission to post this because I did not want to break any HIPPA regulations.  We do not have HIPPA here, that I am aware of but it is nice to know that you have consent.  In the afternoon, Jeanie was not feeling very well. She works in the OR and they have had some long Jeanie wanted to get a little rest. We went to an air-conditioned room and increased her fluids.

Before long, we had to start charging admission! People were bringing us drinks and offering I just need to remind the people that were charged for the admission, you can send it to my state-side address and I also accept credit cards.  Rita and Darling popped in and helped me take blood pressures since I have forgotten how to do them.............but we were thankful that Jeanie was feeling better and back in the OR today.

Elizabeth, one of the nurses painting the fingernails of the patients.  They love a little extra attention.

Victor is loving the popsicles.  He is very content today and is being shared among the staff.

Hild and her mom are exhausted..........they can not walk any farther.

Tracy taught one patient how to play a form of solitaire.

Kristin gets to spend a little time with Victor.

Today is a lighter OR day.......we should be done at a good hour.