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Day Three

Our morning bus ride started off with Twyla announcing the fashionista award and a prize of banana chips. There were honorary mentions for cute socks, but ultimately Cassandra won with her cute pink scrubs. We hit a minor traffic jam while leaving Jalapa; a big truck blocked both lanes for a good ten minutes. We arrived at our clinic site in El Durazno a smidge late at 7:39am. The morning was busy– really busy. I put my camera down and took over lab tech duties so that Char could assist Dr Riggs while Twyla performed an EKG. This was mostly blood sugar and urine tests. I did receive one negative pregnancy test. Shortly after, Dr Johnson calls me over to observe a couple of thumbnail size gall bladder stones via ultrasound.

The next part of my day was all about handing out stickers to the kiddos. Interestingly, most kids independently chose the bigger, cute sharks or the smaller starfish stickers. The team finished up the second group of patients with time to spare, so we all enjoyed a welcomed five minute lull. Lunch was served around noon and was an excellent carne asada stew with fresh tortillas and plenty of guacamole. After lunch I stopped by the wheelchair clinic and this is where I met Rudy. An eighteen year old young man who suffers from cerebral palsy. Rudy was looking great given the circumstances; the last time he took any medications or saw a doctor was eight years ago. Physiotherapy, vitamin D, and calcium rich foods were discussed, and then Rudy was fitted for a custom wheelchair.

Swinging back into the clinics, I found Dr Kim with a patient who had a little cyst on her arm. Dr Kim was in need of someone to hold a flashlight and blot while she sutured. The excision went off without a hitch. The little old lady was so happy that she returned to Dr Kim wanting to give her a hug. I was heading back to the laboratory, when the mayor of a neighboring town showed up. He was responsible for sending a bus full of patients to our clinic earlier on in the day. We fitted around ten people with wheelchairs, five of whom were from that bus. So we took a big group photo!

Adding to my list of “firsts” was being an assistant to a couple of ear lavages. Twyla showed me the ropes on how to set some drops, mix temperature appropriate water, and finally to perform the ear wash and drainage. It was not what I thought it would be and my appreciation to Twyla and those in similar lines of work sky-rocketed. I learned that non-luke warm water splashed into the ear canal can cause dizziness and nausea. Another MVP of the day was Dr Riggs, who had seen an incredible amount of patients in the gynecology clinic. Around the end of the day, there were still eight patients waiting for his clinic! All the providers jumped in to help as much as possible, and we were able to leave at a good time. As a late surprise, we had some traffic getting back to the hotel; we had to give way to a bunch of cows crossing the street!

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