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Day Two

First day of Clinics!
The morning started off the same as the previous day, with devotional lead by Mr. Eberly. We centered our discussion around helping others and not being afraid to ask for help ourselves. We had some big takeaways about camaraderie, perspective, and thankfulness of the entire history that Faith in Practice has had. We are only able to what we do today because of the hard work of those that have served before us. Dr. Riggs jammed out on the mandolin again, and then it was time for a quick breakfast. There was some cheering and clapping when the remaining team members got on the bus just two minutes ahead of schedule. Twyla then continued to get everyone amped up with some positive energy and motivation, yelling “Let’s do this, come on!” The morning ride to El Durazno was surreal, though; perhaps the anticipation of the day’s work ahead.
We arrived at the site at 7:35am and were surprised to see how lively everything was. Lots of volunteers buzzing around and getting things finalized for the 8am patient group. As our team group size is much smaller (due to Covid), the amount of patients we can treat in the clinics are less than before. Our goal for the day was to attend around 150 patients. We stepped off the bus, did some minor unpacking, and then had a morning prayer circle lead by Armando and Dr. Johnson.
And then it was a blur. Things happened so quickly; patients being triaged and led to waiting areas, then into individual clinics, then to the pharmacy. Before I knew it I was helping Dr. Johnson with an EKG machine for 75 year-old José. He had a low pulse and high blood pressure, which was concerning. He then mentioned to Dr. Johnson he had a hernia, which actually turned out to be an enlarged lymph node concerning for malignancy. The wheelchair clinic had a visit from a very special, 101 year-old lady, Tumalda. Her 102nd birthday will be on the 7th of February. Another patient, a young man, had thick calluses on his right hand from crawling. His parents carried him from the field into the wheelchair clinic when it was his turn. He was beyond happy when placed into his chair. When leaving, the family ran into our dermatologist, Dr. Kim, who then proceeded to freeze off a couple of warts from the young man’s hands in the shade of the bus. It was emotional event after emotional event. Perhaps one of the most emotional events was that of little Ursula. Only 10 years old, she has one the most advanced cases of scoliosis that Dr. Marty has seen. He will be reaching out to a colleague in the states to see if anything further can be done. Little Ursula herself was full of energy, smiles, allowing the doctors to take plenty photos, and was very brave.
There was so much going on that I put my camera down for a couple hours and performed six blood sugar tests, five urine tests, a blood pressure and heart rate test, and a pregnancy test. The pregnancy test was positive. The young lady smiled behind her mask at the news, but there were some concerns behind that smile. I’m sure that raising a child in the countryside of Jalapa comes with great difficulty.
The last patient was one of Dr. Riggs, in gynecology. The clinics ended on time just around 5pm. The ride back was quiet as the team reflected on the day, but the dinner was filled with many laughs and stories. We are just getting started.

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