Mercer On Mission

2015 Blog

Wednesday-Week 2: Carson

Today was another very long day at clinic.  Our morning was started by a 2+ hour Land Cruiser ride.  It was nauseating to say the least.  It is so crazy to me that the people here live like this.  They see no rush or importance for paving their roads.  IT is sad from a medical perspective because in the event of an MI or any emergency, there is no real help within 2 hours.  Honestly, paved roads might not make that much of a difference.  Most people still travel via foot, horse or motorcycles.  All not safe methods of transportation in an emergency.  It is so sad to be, but their lives are very primitive.  Almost ‘survival of the fittest.’  I had a patient today that embodied the lack of care.  She was a very small 15 y.o. female with an extremely large head.  Her mom had just brought her for a good physical because of their very limited ability to seek care.  It turns out that this child had hydrocephalus, but her mother chose not to have a V-P shunt placed.  I did not ask the reason, but I can imagine that it was secondary to lack of understanding about her condition or lack of money.  Most likely both.  This would NEVER happen at home.  We have funds to correct these things on our babies.  Or, we would have at least done our best to educate mom and work with her for payment.  Upon further exam of this child, she had 2 rows of teeth, lordosis, scoliosis, no thumb on one hand, and a hypoplastic thumb on the other hand.  This clearly appears as some syndrome.  A syndrome that I have never seen in the US, im sure because of our preventative care.  We test pregnant ladies for everything under the sun, but they do not have that luxury here.  I have thought about this patient all the way home.  All of the things that I would have like to seen done differently in both pregnancy and neonatal care. I had to stop myself.  The patient was HAPPY.  SHe thought she had a great life.  She was satisfied and fulfilled in every aspect of her life.  Isn;t that what we want most for our patients? For them to be happy?  I think so.  It is about them and what they want, NOT what I want.  This is a very hard lesson to learn, but one that this trip is forcing me to learn over and over again.

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