Day 3, July 13, 2011
“ I feel like a cow today”
I cried today for a patient that only has salt wrapped in corn tortillas for food. Her son was in the area beside of us with malnutrition and they were working on getting him a nutrition consult and a delivery of food bags that will feed him for one month. I learned from Meridith the local Missionary with Mission Lazarus that salt wrapped in corn tortillas is the food for the “poorest of the poor”. The salt gives them a feeling of fullness and there fore they can continue to work and do their chores. I was devastated and had to look away to keep from breaking down in front of her.
The other patient today that broke my heart was an 11 year old boy with a blood sugar of 544!! Over 126 is not acceptable with a fasting BS check. He is an insulin dependent diabetic and only has ½ vial of insulin left to use until his doctor appointment in September, 4 hours away!! He doesn’t have strips to check his BS daily due to cost. We have no insulin in our formulary. I went to get Dr. Stephens, Meridith and another provider to assess him. No DKA or dehydration. We are working on getting him insulin, but with his newly increased dose twice daily, his ½ vial will not last long at all. Another story that is very difficult for me to absorb!! My heart broke for the mother as we told her we didn’t have insulin but would do our best to find some in the pharmacy in San Marcos. He is coming back in tomorrow for another check to see if his increased insulin was sufficient. I can’t imagine the pain that these mothers experience daily knowing that they are unable to meet the needs of their sick children. We are so very blessed to be able to pick up our prescription at the local pharmacy and go on our way!
The funny story of the day was when my interpreter was giving me the symptoms of my patient and then all of a sudden with headache, stomach acid, low back pain she says “and she feels like a cow today as well”! I guess my face was frozen and then I burst out laughing! Margaret said she swears that what the patient said, but with further questioning, somehow “I vomited today” was translated into “I feel like a cow today”. A much needed burst of laughter indeed! I told her that I too feel like a cow with all of the carbs that I have been fed since arriving in Honduras!!
I am typing this in the dark, since the power and the internet are down tonight, a nightly occurance apparently. At least I didn’t walk 4 hours each way to get here with nothing but a salt tortilla and no water to drink along the way…..and I complain about no hot water! Looking forward to what tomorrow brings. Keep praying for the people of Duyure, Honduras and our safety each day.