Before the trip….
I was praying for doctors and nurses. We had only 2 doctors – Yakub Elias and myself. We had only one RN I knew of, on the team. We had a few ER techs and nursing students, CNAs.
Day 1 in El Salvador – January 20, 2013We arrived safely. On board the plane ride to El Salvador from Chicago, one of our team members passed out. She became cold and clammy. It was touch and go for a bit. However, she held on. It was probably a combination of being awake, on her feet and exhausted. She did okay.
|Chatting with Richard Pickrell -- our worship pastor at the airport in Chicago on the way|
We went through customs without a hitch. However, we were told the bad news: the customs officer would keep our medicine bags. Apparently, the processing of documents that would allow us to bring the medications into the country was not complete. The medications were therefore to be left there until the paperwork could be completed. Since we arrived on a Sunday, nothing could be done that day.
|The Castillo del Rey bus that took us around El Salvador|
|Happy to be back in El Salvador -- loading up luggage from the airport|
|a 'tower' of medicines ready for clinic the next morning|
|at the airport at San Salvador, waiting for our ride|
Day 2 – January 21, 2013 – First day of work
Day 3 – January 22, 2013 – Second day of workWe worked out of the gym in Lago Coatepeque that day. I was nervous because we were already low on medicines (not having what we had brought down from the States yet). We saw 182 patients this day. I gave a walker to an 103 year old male (picture) who took off.
|103 year old man with his new walker|
|Planning the day with Tammy, one of the local missionary nurses from Castillo del Rey|
|Our dentist, Andrea McNeely, assisted by Richard Pickrell|
Day 4 – January 23, 2013 – Third day of workWe worked out of the gym again. We saw 191 people that day. One of them was an 11 month old boy that was severely dehydrated with a high fever, diarrhea and a rash. We were able to get an IV started and treated him with fluids. We saw 14 dental patients and gave out 78 pairs of eye glasses.
|I LOVE working in medical missions!|
|Guadalupe is a small town we passed on the way|
Day 5 – January 24, 2013 – Fourth day of workWe got in the bus and drove about 2 hours to San Juan Miraflores Abajo, in the same municipality as Miraflores. We saw 143 patients. Patients here asked about diabetes, cholesterol and weight. One patient wanted to know if the vitamins I was giving her would make her fat. Several patients had blood sugars in the 500s. Dr. Yakub sort of yelled at one woman to be more careful with her diet and she recommitted her life to the Lord in counseling after that. Another complained that her son would not eat regular food, but would eat pizza and burgers just fine. We saw 12 dental patients here and gave out 59 pairs of eye glasses.
|Examining the eyes of a young man|
|Hands - a little girl's hand in mine|
|A cheloid on the ear of a teenager, came from wearing an earring on her pinna|
|a skin rash on a middle-aged man -- I suspect ichthyosis|
|the rash was on both the upper and lower extremities|
|A close up of the rash on the lower extremity|
Day 6 – January 25, 2013 – Last day of work
|the portable dental suction unit our dentist uses|
|Our dentist had all her instruments set out daily for the work ahead|
|Hands - our dentist holding some of the infected teeth she extracted.|
Why do we give out glasses? (Picture 1 of eye) – because sun damage causes pinguecula that progresses to (picture 2 of eye) pterygium, that causes blindness. Only surgery can remove this growth once it forms.
|pinguecola -- spreading from the medial canthus towards the pupil|
|Pterygium -- the growth now covers the pupil in this older woman|
|from left to right: Drs Yakub Elias, Vijay Aswani and Boris Magana|
|Nail disorder in an older woman|
|assymmetric enlargement of right lobe of thyroid|
|Vitiligo patch on knee of a teenage boy|
|vitiligo patch on the back of neck of the same teenage boy|
|I suspect Buerger disease in this unfortunate lady, who has had bilateral above the knee amputations due to poor circulation and now has decreased circulation in her fingers.|
|Listening to the lungs of a man complaining of cough|
|Dr. Elias checking ocular movement and cranial nerves in a young lady|
100 people who came to the medical work accepted Christ.
On the last day, I was discussing why so many people in the sites where we saw patients get intestinal parasites. We were discussing how we might improve sanitation and drinking water. One of the missionaries that was there this year holds a Masters in Environmental Engineering from Johns Hopkins and was with Engineers without Borders. He is going to work on setting up an appropriate technology solution.
We plan to work on educational materiel to teach basic hygiene, sanitation.
Oscar.Last year, at Nueva Esperanza, I got to see a paraplegic who had the worst pressure sores I had ever seen (picture of buttock sore). Working under less than sterile and optimal conditions, with Terry Martin as a nurse to assist, I debrided his wounds. He told me they healed and closed us on their own (picture of healed sores).
|Sacral and buttock ulcers before debridement last year|
|This year, most of the ulcers have healed up well!|
|This is a picture of the mattress we got Oscar. His little nephew stands nearby|
|Oscar with his mom, a nephew and a niece in his house.|
|the floor of Oscar's house|
|Oscar lives in poverty, the only breadwinner in his home being his sister. She works in a Fruit of the Loom factory in El Salvador making mens underwear (check the labels on yours, if you wear FotL).|
|The dirt flooor of Oscar's home is readily visible in this picture|
|and in this one|
|This is Oscar's driveway that turns to mud in the rains.|
Update on the ClinicThe clinic is coming along nicely and God willing, should become operational before the year is out. We need money or airconditioning, electricity and supplies within the building. Here are some pictures.
|Outside the clinic... I swear the wind was blowing through my shirt... I am not that fat!|
|The inside of the clinic near the receiving entrance. The floor has been laid down and there are now windows and doors in place|
|Our dentist with Dr. Boris in a proposed work area.|