Clinic Day 3-Reflections of a Traveling Doctor-Dr. Carl
“6am-sitting on a hillside overlooking BML, sun reflecting on ocean, rising over the island across the cove. Yesterday was fascinating, house calls to see the old and infirm who could not make the journey to BML. On our way up the hill, past the Baptist church, down a rocky path to a lagoon, with boys naked and fishing, our guide Jordani suggested that another village “nearby” had more needy people. So we bypassed Bouchi and walked down a long beach, got a boat ride across a river, waked through bean and peanut gardens bordered by cacti, to Guillotine -named for the French revolutionary execution. Much more spacious than BML where houses are crowded 3&4 deep on a narrow coastal strip, this village has large groves of coconut and mango and shade trees. Upon meting the people I found cases such as: Multiple inguinal hernias - one in a fisherman aged ~80 on the beach who pulled down his shorts to show me, while his younger fellow fisherman hooted with laughter at his shamelessness, two in small boys and one in an old man the size of a football and almost down to the knees-he was moaning in pain, lying on a mat in the sun, intermittently vomiting, this will likely kill him-I suggest a cold compress and gave tylenol-as he is too infirm to go on a list for surgery. A women ~ 65, smoker, wasting away, abdominal pain, huge liver, probable interabdominal cancer. I gave Tylenol as this is all I had with me. A 2 y.o. boy very small for age whose heart could be see beating in his upper abdomen- it was greatly hypertrophied left ventrical from congenital heart disease. Plus a very large umbilical hernia-no prospects for surgical correction. Three old women who were cousins but looked so much alike we thought we were seeing triplets, all with hypertension. Two of them had a peculiar thickening of the sole of the foot with deep painful cracks. All were examined under a tree with 10-15 onlookers of all ages chattering surprised to see a blanc Doktè~ (white doctor) in the village.”
Back at the clinic we were wondering what had happened to Dokte Carl-Linda in particular was wanting to “kick his ass” for being three hours late on the return to BML!
Well be sure to tune tomorrow for Reflections of a Traveling Doctor-Dr. Linda!