Today we had a wonderful and successful day. We held clinic outdoors in an open air pavilion. Jean Robert managed to mount two fans on wooden posts, one for me and Dr Jim and one for John and his crew. The breezy air and pleasantly cool temperatures made our day so much better. Grayson is a St Marys graduate who is living at St Vincents for three months. (You can read her blog posts by going to http://graysonlh.wordpress.com) She helped us measure heights and weights on children, along with Samuel and Marie Carmelle as interpreters. Mackenson had his new stethoscope I gave him yesterday, and he worked by my side listening to heart and lung sounds all day.
Dr Jim is a true pediatrician and had kids barking and jumping and laughing. He blew up an exam glove into a balloon, after which EVERY KID wanted one of course.
Hilarie checked in patients and was intermittently successful with WiFi to use our online database of patients. That was amazingly helpful when we saw adults, to give me their past medication list. Laura and Bobbie and John performed hemoglobin checks on all the kids, and blood pressure and glucose checks on all the adults.
As often happens I diagnosed a new diabetic patient. Explaining to her why she is feeling so bad and that we have medicine to help her, made me grateful that we are able to come and offer our skills. Diabetes often goes undiagnosed for a long time. At least we have helped one person, a teacher of handicapped children, save her eyesight and kidney function.
The best part of the day for me was seeing the teachers and adult staff of the school. The cooks and the laundry staff. The women who care for these children day in and day out , long after the Americans have left. They tell me their aches and pains and ask about their blood pressure and their anemia. For most I have only ibuprofen or Tylenol and some acid reflux medication. But we have forged a bond over these many years. They ask about my children and my family. They don’t mind that they are seeing the doctor in an open air pavilion with twenty other people all around. They smile at my attempts to speak Kreyol and always say thank you. I feel at home here and am grateful for their trust and friendship.