Health Care Public Health

Great Blessings

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Today we set up our clinic at another school. This one was tucked back into a wooded area, a row of several buildings connected by covered areas and patios. We had not scouted the area prior to arriving, and the team had everything set up in about 20 minutes.

We're not sure why the flow of the clinic worked so well today, but everything seemed to flow very easily. We saw almost as many patients as we did yesterday — 368 — but it didn't feel like it was that busy. Maybe it was because we weren't walking through sand all day!

Our pharmacy team, Denise Jaworski, Sheila Scarim, Larry Dry, Holly Harrington, Maria Quevedo and Loren Bollman, are high performers. Today they filled 1,067 prescriptions. They are busy all day long, and are the last ones done at the end of the day.

We saw several patients with newly onset diabetes, and many young people who needed education on how to keep blood sugar under control. One man in his 40s had a blood sugar of more than 600. Our machine wouldn't read above 600, and we even checked it twice.

Dr. Renee Keefe, one of our residents from Hinsdale, said the man was diagnosed with diabetes earlier in the year, but it wasn't clear if he was taking his medicine or not. She gave the man some medicine and had him wait at the clinic for a while and it did come down eventually, but he will still require follow up care. Later, she gave a man steroid knee injection. He was hesitant at first because of the size of the needle, but after it was completed, he gave her a thumbs up. "Multiple people hugged me today," she said.

Because we have been short on interpreters that the Rotary Club was providing, our host, Maritza, flew her sister in from Philadelphia, and brought in a good friend, Claudia, who lives in the area, to assist us. When we offered to pay Claudia for her services, she refused and said, "You can use that money to buy more medications for the people here."

Jennifer Franco was a tremendous help in interpreting to Dr. Stephanie Freels, especially when a four-year-old boy came in with a fleece ski cap on his head. On his scalp above his ear was a large vascular lesion, the size of a large grape. Freels was able to remove it with Dr. Rema Johnson's support. They wrapped his head afterwards, but he quickly pulled it off and put his ski cap back on.

Sue Freiburger is our physical therapist. She treated one woman today who was complaining of hip pain, but Sue determined it originated in her back. The woman told her she transports mangos to the market and had hurt her back from all the lifting. She was practically in tears from the pain. Harrington was nearby at the time, and she suggested one of our suitcases — we're emptying them as our supplies are diminished. Sue gave her a suitcase and showed her how to load the mangos and roll it to the market. She was very grateful! Sue's translator was a local police officer who speaks English very well. He volunteered to translate for us over the next few days.

As we boarded the bus to go home, lined up on the street was a Quinceañera procession, with a young girl dressed in a beautiful blue ball gown, along with more than 10 attendants. We watched as they prepared for the start of their celebration. At dinner, we prayed about bringing our patients joy and relief from pain, but we are the ones receiving great blessings.

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