Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Medical Assistance

One service that is provided by the Pastoral House is financial assistance for medicines, special medical tests and exams (CAT, X-Ray, etc.) or even a regular doctor’s consultation for those without the financial resources to handle those.
Why would folks need to pay for a medical consultation when the clinic up the street gives basic consultations for free?

Here is the reality … testimony provided by a woman and her daughter this morning:

Margarite and her mom ... I did not ask her to lift her shirt and I apologized profusely for being so intrusive of her privacy - Blanca explained that she could be helping someone in the future - perhaps her story will move people to help.

Margarite had a hernia that needed surgery.  She and her mom came to the house today asking for assistance for the post-operative medicine she needs – we helped out with that …

Margarite’s history: she had gotten a referral from the clinic here in Berlín to be seen at the little hospital in Santiago de María (25 minutes up and then down the road).  The hernia was apparently bad enough that it needed surgery.  She had that scheduled and then done. 

As she tells it: she was given too much anesthesia and woke up vomiting and with a severe headache.  Her neck had been in a hyper extended position (she demonstrated from her standing position with her chin pointed at the ceiling). 

They sent her home after the vomiting subsided.  The vomiting returned and the headache never went away.  She went to the clinic here in Berlín looking for relief.  She waited several hours to be seen and ultimately was never attended to.  So she went to a private doctor, who after a cursory look and simple questions, prescribed acetaminophen.  She was told to go back to the little pharmacy at the clinic where she was told they had none.  She had to go to the clinic in Alegría which is a 10 minute bus ride to the next town.  So she and her mom took the prescription and went.  There she was given 2 (yes … TWO) acetaminophen.

Wonderful health care provided to the folks here.

Please: for every delegation that comes down … each one of you – please consider going to Costco or Sam’s and buy the huge bottles of Acetaminophen, antihistamine and antacids (like Tums) to donate them to the Pastoral Team.  Those things are very expensive here and are weaker in strength to boot.  A big bottle could help a lot of people!

When people come to the house with headaches or aches and pains and they need basic OTC medicines – and we happen to have some here, we ‘baggy-up’ 20-30 for them. To me, it speaks volumes that people come to us for medical assistance.

We do have a small health fund that used to be supported by the sales of Blanca’s Bags – but because we only sell them to visiting delegations, those proceeds are very minimal.   With the quantity of people who come to the house in need of medical financial aid, those funds dwindle down rapidly.

I wish we had a dollar tree.  Better yet … a 20 dollar tree.   

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