Thursday, April 25, 2013

Beating my head against a wall

I've been working in Honduras for almost 5 years.  I have PREACHED healthy eating habits, risks of high blood pressure and high blood sugar.  If you are over the age of 40 here and are NOT a diabetic, I'm actually shocked!  The statistics for my patients in the village I work in are SO high.  People know...they KNOW because people around them die all the time due to problems directly related to hight blood pressure and diabetes.  And yet...after ALL my preaching...after ALL my education, there is still the thought that a magic pill will take care of everything and nothing in their lives needs to change.  So here I sit.  I'm so torn.  If people would change the way they eat, their lack of exercise, lack of any fruit or vegetables in their life, NOT drink the 2 liter bottle of Coke every day (the average Honduran in the two villages we have clinics average 2 liters of Coke a day), then their lives would change dramatically.

And then I sit back and think about how similar things are in the States.  Really, the reality isn't much different.  People know the risks, and yet still they behave / eat / don't care for themselves.  But then comes the difference...a first world country v.s. a third world country.  A diabetic coma here pretty much means death...stroke protocol - non-existent...rehab - minimal...hospice - nada!

So...I hit my head against a wall because I know how much small changes can make in the lives of so many, but most people just don't want to make the change.  Again - NOT much different that the States - this I know - but TOTALLY frustrating for a health care provider to realize or accept.  This all came from a sweet lady who came to clinic today with a blood sugar of 570!!!  (normal is 80-120).  Her mother JUST passed away about 3 months ago directly related to diabetes, and her uncle not to long before that.  She KNOWS the risks, but "just hadn't taken her medicine because she felt fine."  So Dr. Roger took the time to really speak to her heart, and hopefully made an impression that it won't happen again.

1 comment:

Laurie Matherne said...

Life for some can and does change. I work alongside a clinic. I see some people changing habits. Most of my volunteers in my children's project do not drink soda daily anymore. They know the risks. They do not drink "juice" either. We serve water and milk, and sometimes fruit smoothies, to the children. Hang in there!