One would think that we have all the answers and that we can anticipate what life will have in store for us. Well, think again. Today was an eye opener for many, and what I am about to share with you, are the stories and experiences of those who cared for those who came to clinic.
An eighty something year old woman complained of her back and shoulders hurting. When her dress was lifted to examine her legs, two very swollen and bulbous legs and feet were seen, with skin so tight that it was transparent. When asked if her legs were bothering her, she said no, just her back and shoulders.
A thirty something man presented with amputated toes on one foot, half of the other foot was gone, large sores and unable to walk. He had been like this for fifteen years. Half of his life. When asked how this had happened, he said the doctors didn’t know.
A middle aged women presented with a large amount of fluid in her abdomen with a diagnosis of hepatitis B. She was going to live maybe another year.
What to Say
So how do you tell them that there is nothing that we could do, or how to tell that middle aged woman that she was going to die soon through an interpreter and not knowing the ins and outs of their culture – what to say and what not to? You stumble, you grasp for words, and hope for the best.
Life is cruel sometimes. I for one am not always the true and valiant humanitarian, nor the consistent family man. And I wonder how I would fare if I was that eighty year old woman, that thirty something man or that woman who will die in a year. My life has not been all roses and peaches, as many of yours haven’t I would bet. It’s not what we expect of life. For those three patients, it’s not what they expected of life either.
Closing out the trip
We have a very short 3 hours of clinic tomorrow as we wrap up this medical mission trip so I’ll close out this blog for this trip. We came expecting to see a lot of children, and found ourselves surrounded by elderly adults who had ailments and more. It wasn’t what we expected. But then again, neither is what we face in life. I’m not so sure I understand it all. Let me know if you do.
Until next time, in all things give thanks.