Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Clinic Day 3

The latest from down south:

Third day of clinic today was at a village just outside town, near the city dump. We were set up, as usual, in a school complex. Today was a bit different in that we were relying mainly on teenagers from a local bilingual high school for interpretation. They were enthusiastic, and goodness knows their English was much better than my Spanish (tenses! they had tenses!), but they didn't have much in the way of medical terminology. However, we muddled through quite well. I had a run of fairly complicated patients, including a VERY prolonged discussion with a young woman who came asking for a pill so that she could get pregnant, because she had had seizures in her last pregnancy. It took about 20 minutes of questioning to try to figure out whether she had an underlying seizure disorder that worsened in pregnancy, versus eclampsia (which is seizures along with high blood pressure during pregnancy)--both very serious but approached completely differently. I think it was the former, but gave her a referral to see the OB-GYN here in town to discuss the matter prior to attempting pregnancy.

Tonight a group of us walked into town and had dinner at a Mexican restaurant. Very tasty, though somewhat tempered by our reluctance to eat fresh veggies (like salsa) or drink things with ice in them due to concerns about water purity. Then it was off to the local Rotary meeting. This trip is sponsored by the Bow Rotary and they've been coming here for many years, so it's a big reunion. I was dreading a long meeting in Spanish, but instead it was short, bilingual, and ended with, "so we will close our short meeting so we can drink and talk to each other." Now that's my kind of meeting.

We have three more days of medical clinics left. Saturday we are spending the day at someone's ranch/estate for relaxation, and Sunday will be mostly traveling. The construction team is working incredibly hard on the school, and our water/sanitation team had a wildly successful day today, installing two latrines in a village that did not have any previously. They will build two more tomorrow, and then install about 40 water filters on Thursday and Friday.

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