Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Final Blog Honduras 2013

To read in date order, please start with Honduras 2013 First Blog towards the bottom of the page

For additional photos click here 
The rest of the week went smoothly. The student docs where getting more confident in their techniques’. Our goal, as directors is to see if they could at least treat a knee or shoulder alone and with confidence by the time they leave.  They will still continue to improve but this is a good start.  Of course, as with the first week, there is always an endless stream of patients to treat.  Every day we had to limit the sign in at about 55-60 patients. This still meant that we would treat patients until about 5 or 5:30.  We would start each day at 8am with a half an hour lecture on one of the joints, back or neck.  And later on that day, another half an hour (or more) of lecture either at lunch or at the end of the day.  These lectures are mostly given by the directors and other upper level instructors.

One last note: a few of the docs went to the hospital for a tour.  I had been a few times but did not go this time.  But the stories and what they saw were the same or even worse.  Now when one is scheduled for surgery, you are given a list of items you need to bring.  30 gauze pads, sutures, stitches, antibiotics and more.  If you cannot bring them, then no surgery. And the hospital cannot afford it as they are only given money by the government which has so little.

The last night in my town, Olanchito, we have a small party at the restaurant where we eat.  This is a local place that is well known. The restaurant is very rustic and eclectic and Erika has been serving us lunch and dinner for many years now.  She decorates the place up and makes us all wear different hats - see photos.  There was a large American flag hanging up as well as red, white and blue table cloth with small little American flags. She had a DJ there playing music so a fun time was had by all.  Everyone, including the translators and others that helped us were invited, ate dinner and danced for a few hours.  We all had a great time.

Thursday am we saw patients for about 2 1/2 hours and then cleaned up the clinic.  The following week a group of docs (through this foundation) comes in to treat veins so we do not have to tear down the clinic set up.  Then it is aback to LA Ceiba (the main town) where we meet the other two clinic teams.  We have a small party at this hotel around the pool.  We used to have a larger party one at a local club/restaurant but due to safety concerns (going back and forth at night) we keep it in the hotel.

After dinner we go to a small room and Dr Jeffery Patterson, the foundations director, says a few words. The next morning, there is a bus at 7am that takes us all to the airport in San Pedro Sula, about three hours away.  Instead of flying home, I go to spend two days with my mom.  I wanted to take the 8am flight, so I hired a car to drive me at 3:30am so I would not waste the whole day in the airport (the next flight to Miami is at 3:30pm).

My brother picked me up and I spent a lovely two days with my mom and brother.  Now it is back to LA (Sunday) and get ready for a busy week at my practice which has been essentially closed for two weeks).

If you have read this far, I want to think you for taking the time.  Again, as in the past, the emotional rewards are more than money can buy. What we are able to give the Honduran people during these two weeks is priceless.

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