Nurses from California

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Hello again from Guatemala!

OK OK before you hit delete, I know you are saying why is this goof ball wasting my time writing again so soon, well the reason is that I have 50 million things to do before the next team gets here next week and so I have to get my news letters out while I can.

So here goes Part II but I want to warn you about this one. Please do not let the kids see this one. I have some graphic pictures of what we do here and some or of emergency childbirths. I have tried to be sensitive to people’s feelings but almost every person who has responded to my news letters has said Bryan we really want to know what is really going on there not just the cute pictures.
So use your judgment as to whether you want to continue on with this news letter OK?
 
 
So last night I left you with dropping off the Portland Maine team at the airport in Honduras and picking up the RN’s from San Diego California.
 
These nurses were awesome! My good friend Nicole who has brought many teams before brought them through two Boston nurses  ( Michelle and Lindsey) who now live and work in San Diego.
 
Our first day was supposed to be a preparation day; however our area has been getting monsoon type rain from hurricanes and tropical depression out in the Caribbean.

So we ended up heading out to do emergency clinics for homes and villages under water.

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People were stranded literally on the side of the road to live.
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Some trailer trucks dropped off some 40 ft containers and the women and children lived in the containers while the men and boys lived under the containers. Some had hammocks to sleep in and some slept on the road in the rain.
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The rain just kept coming day and night.
So we set up a mobile clinic and began seeing patients.
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Once the word got out about a medical clinic everyone began coming.
 
 
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A lot of people had infections in their lungs and skin and eyes. But it is this week that it will really get bad so this next team coming in will help me go back to this village and take care of the fungus and infections.
 
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The people said no one was helping them, not even the government, but then we saw that one rancher had given the village a cow they could have for food.
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So the men cut up the cow and the children went out and collected wood to build a fire with.
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This little girl was doing her part to help her family.
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Some people lived in make shift homes with plastic tarps.
But the ones that had it hardest seemed to be the ones inside the containers.
There was no ventilation and I had to go inside to treat some older ladies that could not walk. The stench of the air was overwhelming.
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I treated these ladies for respiratory tract infections and gave them some vitamins which they desperately needed.
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These ware the sites along the road getting to the village.
 
We then next day headed for a remote village called Arapahoe where we took care of people for two days.
But after the first day we realized we needed to leave the bus and just come back the next day by the 4x4 Pick up truck.
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This what it was like driving down the road to get to the village.
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On the second day coming back to the village we came upon a banana truck that had gone in a hold in the road so big it flipped the truck on its side.
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We made it around it and made sure everyone was ok before stealing some bananas.
(Hey when in Rome) I’m kidding….I have more bananas at home in my trees than I can eat now….
 
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All I can say is thank God for 4 wheel drive huh? We have a nice big winch on the front a friend from Atlanta got me. I wanted a wench but got a winch…..just kidding again.
 
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But we made the second day and ended up seeing 950 patients in this village alone. These nurses worked like machines. They never let up. People who were sick just kept coming and they just kept working. For my nurse and I it was our second week straight and it was beginning to take a told on me. By the end of the work day I knew we still had a two hours drive home on roads that are just hard to describe to Americans. But I wouldn’t trade it for any other job.
 
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These were just a couple of pictures I felt showed the feeling of the people here during this past week. The little boy was content to just have sandals. Many did not and fortunately a man from Chicago had sent us many some time ago and now we gave them out to those who needed them, but this little lady just walked along the side of our clinic praying. I don’t know what she was praying for but I know God hears the pleas of the forgotten people and sometime I feel like we get the honor of being His hands just to touch these people’s lives when they have no one else.
 
 
In between doing clinics in remote and flooded areas in the day we also got to do emergencies at night.
 
Be careful what you wish for. Some of the nurses said they would like to deliver a baby.
By the end of the week we had delivered 5 babies and all were emergencies.
One lady had twins and the Fire Dept Ambulance brought her here at 6 am. She was ready to deliver twins.
The first one came out like a bullet and everything was normal, but the second baby was breech and the only thing that came out was the foot.
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I thought Ut OH…. We are in trouble as the nearest hospital is 1 ˝ hours away.
But the baby kept coming and so I turned the shoulders and delivered the baby with no complications.
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This Mom was happy and let both babies nurse at the same time.
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I called them Pete and Re-Pete
 
The next day we had a lady come in from a village and had been in labor for 10 hours. Her water had not broken and I head the baby’s heartbeat in the wrong position for a normal delivery. She was in a lot of pain and so I told my nurse let’s get her to the hospital for a C-Section. But half way to the hospital we had to pull the ambulance over and when we opened the back door there was the baby laying on the stretcher but it had complications so we suctioned the airway and clamped the cord and headed to the hospital. The last we heard mother and baby were doing fine. So we hit 5 out of 5 this week. And treated 1,500 patients. So I can say we had a wonderful two weeks with these teams.
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The Nurses Team from San Diego California. Thanks Gals you were awesome!
And you too Ed!
 
Ok that is it for now I will continue with a more informational news letter next time with some info I think you will find informative and interesting.
 
Thanks to both teams and all of you who make this work possible here in Guatemala.
 May Gods Blessings be with you.
 
 
In His Service
 
 
Bryan

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