Monday, December 29, 2014

Clinic Day 1: Learning from the Greatful

Hi everyone! Welcome to The Dominican Republic trip day 3!

Today we woke early for our first clinical day. We dawned our special Loyola University Volunteers Around the World sea blue scrubs, loaded a travel bus with medical supplies and medications and wound through the mountains up an down to the village of Manaboa. 

We were told that this little village isn't as shockingly poor as some of the villages we will work at. I guess it's a good emotional warm up. I felt like jumping from the happiness of helping these people but also crying because of the fact that they even need this kind of help. The medication was free to them because we were there.

And that made all the difference in these people's lives. They were so greatful for us being there and they understood our language barrier. Some even corrected us and laughed with us at our Spanish. I just can't say this enough: THEY ARE SO GREATFUL! Even thinking of it now, it pulls at my heartstrings so bad I want to go out and help these people at 11 at night. I wish I could help them more somehow. One of us even brought this up in our general meeting after our clinic closed. The patients in America many times have this air of entitlement about them when it comes to healthcare and interacting with doctors. I can't even tell you how many times I observered patients back talk to the nurses and doctors in the pre-surgery unit at an American hospital. Since when did American people become so uptight? And I'm not generalizing here. I have met many people who are incredibly greatful for their care in the hospital, but usually these are the people who had experienced either bad health in themselves or their family.

I think that it doesn't matter how progressed healthcare is in a country. Health is the number one thing people should be grateful for and should never take for granted. And EVERYONE deserves to be in good health and enjoy their life. 

Many people at the clinic were diagnosed with either the gripa, parasite in their tummies, or chikungunya which gives flu like symptoms and is transmitted through mosquito bites. The parasites come from the water they drink. And later on when we were leaving I noticed kids and adults drinking water out of Tupperware and white painter's buckets with no covers on them. The pipes that led to their water buckets and sinks were thin white plastic above ground with leaks throughout exposed to the outside. 

Me and 2 other girls worked the pharmacy station today. One if them was a native Spanish speaker. Thank god she was there, she helped a ton. But I'm proud to say that my high school Spanish still stuck with me 4 years later!!! But I wish I could communicate more with these sweet people. These people who walk for miles to come to our free clinic. It just breaks my heart to see them this way, and it makes me incredibly sad at how incredibly greatful they are for a bottle of multivitamins or acetaminophen.

Please, everyone in a first world country, be thankful for your health and your position in life.

Till next time,
Mika

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