Here's a link to a photo story of the first few days:
We arrived by bus again to a full preop of waiting patients. Everyday the doctors would go over the days cases and organize the charts with the team.
I prepared myself for another day of interviews and surgery shoots. Following the first round of shoots, I grabbed a little breakfast. This is a good segue to comment on the typical food fair served, in particular no greens.
Do to the poor water quality, fresh vegetables are rarely served at any meal because even rinsing them in the water might introduce harmful bacteria. My breakfast consisted of baked plantains, spam like meat, mango & pineapple, and a croissant. A typical lunch is rice, beans, plantains, cooked chicken or pork, and French fries or potatoes salad. The only green vegetables we had was at our group dinners, which usually took place at a local restaurant, where broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, and corn on the Cobb was most common but we often got a shredded lettuce “salad” with sliced tomatoes too. Other then no greens the food was pretty tasty. Plantains came with almost every meal and can be an acquired taste, but I liked them for the most part.
Today I accompanied the physical therapist Allison to check on one patient I had been following, Samuel. He had an accident leaving him with one leg shorter by 4 inches. He had gone from an active, productive life to one with little opportunity, living with his parents. He told me he even had to leave school. He is the patient I wrote about yesterday, remember the guardian angel? Well it was amazing! Here he was walking again. His legs were now the same length and his life's opportunities had been restored. With continued therapy he would be able to soon walk without crutches. He again expressed his extreme gratitude to Dr. Paul and everyone as he put it. His parents where in the room and beaming from ear to ear.
Another memorable moment from this day was an 86 year old women in need of a knee replacement. She had tried to get a knee replacement at another local clinic and was refused. 86 is a little old for such a procedure and often over looked for a younger candidate who might have more years left or is supporting a family. This lady however was determined to get her knee and when she knew we were here she arrived first thing at the hospital and told anyone who would listen she was here to get her knee done.
She knew not to eat before surgery and hadn’t had a bite to eat since the day before. Eventually she convinced enough people to get to our preop area. As luck would have it there was a case postponed due to the patient eating to soon before surgery, what a coincidence. So Solita got her place in the cue. A successful knee replacement later I found her in Postoperative, a most grateful, thankful, and happy lady. She praised everyone from the doctor on down the line and gave thanks to god and the angels. Her huge smile will be with me for a long time.
The day ended with a trip back to the Restaurant El Zaguan only this time the owner of the Restaurant had setup tables the back yard of her home. We had another exquisite meal, drink, and pleasant company. I sat with some of the St Lewis team and had a riot of a time. Steve was very entertaining but Laia and Andrew capped the nights entertainment when a beer “mishap” ended with them both covered in beer. The comic relief was very welcome after a long, stressful, and some times tense day.
After the meal and another bus ride back to the hotel I was more then ready to fall into bed. No logging footage tonight!
I am an upbeat energetic individual and believe most people would describe me as being easy-going, patient, and tech savvy. In my youth I was a “tinkerer” and hence have grown up to be handy with most gadgets and computer tasks.
I am often called upon by my friends, family, and co-workers to help with technical, electronic or a computer related problems which I am very good at helping with. I have the ability to speak in laymen everyday terms and have a patient show how attitude.