Sunday, August 1, 2010

Some things never change

We drove out a long distance to see a young girl with both legs burned and this indigenous cemetery was near her village. The crosses signify the tree of life.

My fifth day here reveals the same traumas I've seen over the last two years since meeting Don Sergio: boiling water burns, gasoline accidents, lower extremity ulcers, dog bites and various ailments that need proper medical attention.

Many people come to Don Sergio's museo complaining of UTIs (bladder infections), arthralgias (chronic joint pain), headaches, etc. They see Don Sergio as a healer although he readily admits he is not. He gives people Tylenol or Advil when he has it and directs them to the appropriate health care facility, however, in many cases it is unlikely they will go.

One patient's home we visit has jugos awaiting for us. For politeness sake we sit for a moment and enjoy the fresh fruit juice of the season in their central patio (always the most pretty and cared for part of the house).

Amidst his giving tours to visitors of his museo for a 35 pesos donation, rhwew ia this constant stream of patients coming. As of now there are few foreign tourista due to the economic recession. However, one recent visitor was his landlord requesting his monthly payment for his museo who recently raised his rent 66%. Paying consistently has always been challenging for Don Sergio because when he receives money it goes directly to the need at hand. This can be anything from a hungry family that presents at his door, medical supplies or paying his driver for patient rounds. Don Sergio has no car and it is much cheaper to have someone drive him around than pay for a taxi every stop along the way.

The colonial homes all have indoor patios, which make so much sense to let the outside inside.... always a lovely site.

Most recently we owe thanks to the IF Foundation for their recent donation to Don Sergio. They are a non-profit seeking hopeful alternatives to end the violence, greed and destructiveness of our world. They're based in Watsonville, California. Please click on the above link to visit their website.

Be forewarned; following are photos of various wounds:
Boiling hot water fell on this young child whose wounds are recovering well.

This elderly man shows up from Ocosingo, a town a few hours away. He has a basal cell carcinoma (not life threatening but it can be if he lives a long time an it is not taken care of). I recommend he go to Tuxtla to see a general surgeon (no Mohs around here) to have it excised. Per Sergio, it is "unlikely he will go", hence wound care and slow progression of this massive tissue destroying lesion.

This girl grabbed my hands, cried and held on as Sergio changed her bandages. Afterward, she's fine. These kids never fight, resist or complain.... they may cry, but they know it has to be done and they know there is an end to the pain.

This patient is the one that seems to suffer the most during his visit to Don Sergio. Changing the bandage is so painful for him as he screams, "¡Me duele!" (It hurts me) but never does he pull back, put his hands in the way, or interfere with application of the wound dressings. In the US, we would never allow a child to endure so much pain.... here there is no choice. When we're done I see sweat droplets on his nose and upper lip and his hair is drenched.

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