Thursday, March 15, 2012

"Everything hurts."

When Hearts in Motion medical staff told 70-year-old Herminia that she needed to go to the doctor, she nodded, and said she would go as soon as she could. 

But the volunteer staff knew she wouldn't.

Her blood pressure was extremely high --- 210/100 -- and with that level, the medical staff said the woman could have a stroke. 

In situations like this, the best the clinic can do is tell her to drink water, give her a small baggy of Asprin, and tell her to see a doctor immediately. 

The organization also notifies the public health department, which is provides care and medication for diabetes and high blood pressure. However the department rarely has enough medication to care for those who need it, said Karen Scheeringa-Parra the founder of HIM. 

The HIM health clinic brings basic health care to villages where the populations would otherwise have limited access to it. 

When the volunteers asked Herminia if she knew she had high blood pressure, she nodded yes, and said she's known for awhile.

While the clinic can't offer controlled drugs like what Herminia needed, they can deal with the basic health concerns such as colds and aches and pains, which is one of the most common complaints.

"Everything hurts," most people say as they sit down with the HIM medical staff and translators. They then begin to point to various parts of their body. 

Some say they get pain when they do housework. Others work in agricultural jobs, even if they're in their 60s or 70s and their faces are deep with wrinkles. They have chronic pain in their backs, arms and legs. 

Herminia, 70, came into the free HIM health clinic today and was told to see a doctor. Despite the medical staff's insistence, it's unlikely she will do it.
Most leave the clinic with a baggy of ibuprofen and are told to take one pill when needed with a glass of water.

Karen also told some volunteers to take people’s blood pressure – even if it wasn’t needed - in order to make the patients feel secure when the medical staff told they were healthy.

While most patients come in with minor health complaints or discomforts, other times, these health clinics reveals more horrendous circumstances such as sexual abuse and family tragedy. During the clinic today, a middle-aged woman came in complaining of chest pain. 

When asked what circumstances reproduces the pain, she said it happens when she was upset. She then explained that her brother had recently killed her son, leaving her as the only caretaker of her elderly mother and another relative who was in a wheelchair.

1 comment:

  1. Just read through all of your posts so far - they are truly amazing and heart wrenching stories. You really have a way of taking a personal perspective to each story, it's lovely xxx