Monday, February 18, 2013

Home visits

One of my special privileges on this trip has been being invited along with a medical team into the homes of patients who are unable to make the journey to the clinic. Beth posted about this earlier, and it is indeed a fascinating glimpse into the daily lives of the Guatemalan people, and our presence in their homes can be a tremendous relief to the patients and their families. Today we visited three homes, and I will let KCUMB student Andrew Trom take it from here:

"Today I had the pleasure of being in the group to do home visits. Two local women had asked us if we could help their grandfather with his bladder problems. We gathered what supplies we thought we would need and took off on foot. They said it was only five minutes away. About 25 minutes later we showed up at the first house. The man was 80 years old and had the worst arthritis in his knees I have ever seen.

After trying to treat him we knew we needed more supplies, and we were directed to the house of a second family member who needed care. We arrived ten minutes later to find a bedridden 79-year-old man who had a seizure awhile back. He could barely communicate and had major right sided deficits. We diagnosed this patient and figured out we needed more supplies for him also.

We began to head back. Before we left the driveway another family was asking us to help their family member. We couldn't say no, so we went there as well. We found another elderly man wheelchair bound with congestive heart failure. He had bad swelling and sores over his legs and feet. Luckily, we had supplies for him, treated him and returned to the clinic, before going back to the other patients with their medications.

It was amazing to get the opportunity to enter these people's homes and get an idea of what Guatemalan life is like. These people know the true meaning of family and do whatever it takes to care for each other. Also, these are very gracious people. For helping them, they purchased us soda with what little money they have to show appreciation. It felt great to help to help these people that have so little compared to all of us back in the U.S."

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