Thursday, January 30, 2014

Wound care #graphic#

Well, I have seen worse, if you can believe I think we can save this foot if our patient is willing to do HER part.  This woman came to our clinic today.  She lives in Roatan.  If you are unfamiliar with Honduras geography, Roatan is one of the Bay Islands that is part of Honduras, but is in the Caribbean, an hour and a half ferry ride from our city, then another hour and a half to my clinic by bus. She heard about us from some feel priviledged to be part of her care. The success  will truly be an effort between her and me.  Her commitment for taking her meds, and doing wound care when we are not open, and then coming to the clinic daily for wound care when we are open.  So...will see what happens...

Update - people have asked, so here is a little more info - she is a diabetic who has chosen not to take meds for personal reasons (according to her).  She has been diabetic for 6 years uncontrolled.  This is an unfortunate common issue with uncontrolled diabetes - ulcers like this.  For fear of losing her foot, she has agreed to start taking medication for her diabetes which we are able to supply for her.  She has committed to staying on the mainland with family until this is well on the way to healing which may take months.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Two teen girls...two pregnancies...two totally different stories

Yesterday a young girl of 16 arrived to the clinic with her sister.  She came for a pregnancy test, unsure of the last time she had her period, thinking maybe 3 or 4 months ago, but still totally unconvinced she was pregnant - this was just going to be a test to show she WASN'T pregnant. How different were the results. "Positivo," I said.  Both girls looked at me as if I didn't say what I just said, "Positivo...pueden ver el resultado," ( can see the result - I showed them the positive exam).  There was a long stretch of complete silence.  Her sister turned white (hard to do if you are Honduran)...I was fearful she was going to faint.  I looked at the sweet 16 year old in front of me for her response, and all I could see was fear, disbelief, and a core-deep sadness.  I looked from her back to her sister who started with silent tears rolling down her face, and eventually to outright sobs.  That is when the 16 year old started to cry as well.  Now, I have given the newly diagnosed news of a pregnancy to many many young women, but never had I received this type of reaction.  I looked at her sister - asking the question - are you angry?  Are you sad?  What is going on?!  The response I heard tore at my heart.  She looked at me with tear filled eyes and said, "I am terrified."  I looked back at the 16 year old who just nodded her head in agreement.  I truly was confused, so stated asking simple questions to try and figure out what her fear was.  What I finally learned left me so sad.  Without going into much detail, the man who was the father of this child was truly one of the type you would not want any young girl to be with, coerced into the encounter in the first place, gang member, who would NOT be happy with the results - he had NO idea she was at the clinic, nor that she may be pregnant.  The situation was horrible, and they truly feared for their family and for themselves.  With all that information, we talked for a long time.  I prayed with her, and then immediately called my teammate Shannon who has a house just for these kind of young women.  They have plans to meet to see if Shannon's house will be an option for her.

A few hours later a young 15 year old girl came into the clinic asking for a pregnancy test.  I was not, mentally, in a good place about the last one, so my fears came immediately to the surface.  This young girl was here with her "mother in law."  The restults came back - she was pregnant.  I looked from the young 15 year old, and up to her Mother in Law for reaction - and both beamed in excitement - it was clear that this was a happy moment for them.  I sat back and thought about this particular situation, but was still saddened.  In the country of Honduras, the average first pregnancy is 15.4 years old!  This is in contrast to 24.6 years in the United States.  This young 15 year old now was going to be a mommy, and her chances for a future outside of her situation have become all but nill.  But I did rejoice that at least this young mom, with this future baby was in a "good" situation.

So...two young teens, given the same news on the same day left to two very very different living situations.  Please pray for both, but especially for the first young girl that a good situation will develop.  I made appointments for both of them next month for an ultrasound with Dr. Greg Moore when he comes.  Dr. Greg has been coming to Honduras twice a year since we arrived almost 6 years ago - to work with us - and to bring his expertise and experience and to be a blessing to those involved in our ministry.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Serving the young and the old

The beautiful thing about our permanent clinic is we are able to see people from the beginning of life until the end.  This sweet little baby who came to our clinic today we saw when the mom was pregnant with him.  Well child check-ups are a very uncommon occurance here as it is expensive and an all-day adventure to take the bus into town and wait all day to maybe be seen.  Here for a nominal fee they can have a pediatric physician assess, evaluate and ensure that their baby is healthy and growing well. We keep a growth chart on all patients, and give vitamins to eveyone.  This way we are truly able to monitor the progress of babies, and everyone in the community.

On another note, Abigail Clow is back from furlough with her family, and is excited to be back to "work" in the clinic.