We got to go on mobile clinic again today. We went to Leogane which I have never been to before! Pretty scenic 1 hour drive there. It is a church with a school on the grounds that Lifeline supports. It is a medium size city like Grand Goave where we have been staying. We set up camp in the church which was about 1000 degrees. They started the generator to run the fans which gave us some air circulation at least. Halfway through clinic, it ran out of gas though! My translator and now oldest son Emmanuel gave them money to fill it back up so they can have lights and sound for church on Sunday! He is so thoughtful.
Luke and Alyssa worked with me all day. They would bring a patient to me, I would take care of them, and then they would pray with them and walk them out. They each prayed for over 30 kids today which means I probably saw about 70 or so! They did awesome! It was mostly healthy kids with minor colds, worms, and stomach aches again. I would have a stomach ache too if I drank dirty water and barely had one meal a day! If I could only do more.
My last patient of the day was a mom who had 2 little kids already. You could tell she was struggling taking care of them. She said the dad of the older child is not around and the younger doesn’t help out at all. She was feeling weak and dizzy, tired all the time. I remember having 2 little kids and feeling that way too. I thought let’s just get a pregnancy test to make sure and give her some vitamins, drink more fluids like usual, no big deal. Well the pregnancy test came back positive. In the US, that is almost always a joyous occasion even if unplanned. In Haiti, it is just another mouth to feed and take care of. She was devastated. The first thing she said was that she wanted to have an abortion! My heart broke as did Emmanuel’s. He started in on her right away like he always does. He is a very strong Christian. His dad is a pastor, and after he finishes dental school, he will probably help out preaching in the church too! We both prayed hard and long and held her hands explaining God’s plan is not always our plan. I kept thinking, “I will take the baby”, as I do 10 times a day here with kids who are being raised by extended family due to extreme circumstances. Please pray for her to make the right decision and have the baby. Pray for the deadbeat dads who don’t help out the families they create!
My doctor partner today was Chris Hartman. He is an ER doc at St. Francis with a heart for the underserved. I’m not sure what he is like there, but in Haiti he is just like me. I’ve never been one for exact rules. I like to push the envelope. Don’t tell me I can’t do something because I will have to prove you wrong. So we make a good team! Just like 2 years ago when he was here, we went rogue into the community to see some people who couldn’t make it to the church to be seen. It means so much to these Haitians that we take the time to go to their houses to see them. A woman with bad heart problems needing a valve replacement that can’t be done here except by foreign doctors who don’t come very often. 2 women who had strokes and couldn’t walk due to the weakness. Another with high blood pressure and diabetes who can barely get out of bed. A sick baby with heart problems lying on a mattress in the middle of the yard. We couldn’t fix anything. But God can, and I know he hears our prayers. Our translators were so grateful that we took the time to meet people where they needed us. I know God was smiling down on us!
Then when we got back to clinic, the surgery line was still 5 deep. So Chris and I tag teamed a couple lumps to excise. We took out a marble sized cyst from a man’s ring finger. I got to practice my suturing and cutting! Hopefully tomorrow I will get to do more. I know I have 6 circumcisions to do! Feel like I’m back home 5 years ago. They took out a lipoma from a guy’s neck today that was 9.6 ounces! Fun times.
We got to play some basketball tonight as well. 4 of us played with one Haitian on our team against some other Haitian dudes. Full court on slick concrete. I realized how out of shape I am quickly! Thought I might pass out or have a heart attack, but I managed a nice three pointer and a driving reverse layup with the foul. We lost but it was fun playing with Luke! Scrub shirts are not good for balling though.
I am exhausted, so Good Night! The week is almost over, I can’t believe it.
Wasted for Jesus,