Bittersweet. That is what today was. Thanks to all the teamwork, we were able to see over 1900 patients. Indeed, this was a successful trip. At the same time, I feel a little sad. I will surely miss these Guatemalan people-their sincerity, humility and gratefulness. Today we saw a young boy with a congenital disease that caused his skin to constantly rip and bruise and he had infections all over his little body. Seeing that alone was painful but even more so was his reaction. As he sat on the examination bed with doctors and students treating his wounds with ointment and wrapping him with gauze, his reaction for his mom was heartbreaking. He was in pain and cried desperately reaching for his mother. I do not think there was a single dry eye in that room. This is the beauty of human relations and medicine-they are universal. I have learned so much and this trip has been amazing. I sure hope I can return again one day.
Highlight of today: I gave a shot! It was so awesome! This trip has been amazing and I have gotten so much hands-on experience. Also, in these few days, I have realized how valuable our hands actually are. They are an indispensable tool that allow us to feel and detect any abnormalities. Another thing I have realized is that we have minimum resources and not many supplies, but the challenge is just that. We need to use all that we do have effectively and smartly to help these people out.
I learned so much today. I was lucky to shadow physicians and witnessed many interesting cases: an elderly woman came in with an earring embedded deep inside her ear, saw many children with scabies, felt and detected three cysts, two tumors and three hernias, saw an old man bitten by a dog with an open wound for a year, a man with a football-shaped pupil, a preeclamptic woman urgently in need of a Caesarean section, saw crazy infections and many more cases. From a medical perspective, I learned “why” something happens and “how” to treat it. With over 450 patients seen today, no doubt it was a successful day.