Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Everyone is feeling much better today and the busy days are continuing. I spent yesterday morning in bed to recover and by the afternoon was doing much better. There is a nurse midwife that works in the parish clinic here at the church that I was able to work with for the first time. The clinic is actually a Pro-Vida Clinica (Pro-Life Clinic). It is run by Cecelia, a nurse midwife. Although it wasn’t a super busy afternoon for her we saw about 5 patients together and it was a lot of hands on work. In a way it was like OB clinical, but got to do a lot of hands on work. Cecelia said that people here really trust nurses a lot and especially trust us being from America. So they were more than willing to let me examine them with Cecelia. I love this stuff so I had a great afternoon!

Abortion is completely illegal in Peru and any form contraception is looked down upon because of the great influence of the Catholic Church in this culture. They teach Natural Family Planning to their patients and this is well accepted by the people. However, premarital sex is also looked down upon and when someone does become pregnant the parish does a lot to help those in these situations. For example, there was a 13 year old girl that became pregnant and her parents basically disowned her. The father of the child was also completely out of the picture because of the shame his family would face because of the pregnancy. Cecelia did a lot for this girl during her pregnancy and the church had recently built a shelter, Casa del Maria, for girls in this situation. This 13 year old girl lived in the shelter for her entire pregnancy and recently had her baby. Luckily this girl’s parents accepted her back into their home after the birth of her child. However, for those that don’t have a home to return to they stay in the shelter for as long as it takes them to get back on their feet.

Then today I went on home visits out in the villages. I really enjoy doing the home visits for several reasons. First, it is a very humbling experience to be welcomed in the homes of these patients and see the conditions they live in. Second, the patients are so happy you are there and truly appreciate everything that you do for them. From taking a blood pressure, to giving a bed bath, and to dropping off new medications they are filled with gratitude Third, I leave these home visits feeling like I made a difference in their health, life, and day. The first patient we saw today recently had both her leg amputated because of neuropathy from her diabetes. She was bed-bound and the daughter was unaware that she had to turn her in order to prevent pressure ulcers from forming. This resulted in the woman having a stage two pressure ulcer forming. We provided the daughter with information of how to treat this ulcer and how to prevent ulcers in the future.

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to go to Casa del Maria, the shelter for woman I just talked about above. It was such a fun afternoon; we gave the moms and young daughters’ manicures and spent time coloring and painting. The newborns slept for some of the time so the mothers were able to relax and enjoy some rest time. I painted one little girl’s nails pink and put gold sparkles on and within a minute the gold sparkles and pink nail polish were all over her neck and face. I guess a three year old doesn’t quite understand “don’t touch anything until its dry” haha.  

Pictured below: Continuing bounding by coloring and painting with watercolors.

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