What level of impact to do feel you are making in your service communities?
Throughout the four clinics we held during the trip I could feel the gratitude of the people we helped everyday that we had clinics. Though we were only in these certain places for a few days, the people that I talked to would always thank us at the end and several times they would specifically thank us for doing what we were doing and for running these clinics for them. Our impact may not be long lasting but the short-term impacts I felt were just as significant. The smiles I got from the children from giving them something as simple as a coloring book or a sticker was how I knew we were making a true impact. On our second clinic in Xaibe there were these three little girls I was playing with while I was working in the pharmacy. I was letting them listen to their heartbeats and they were all smiling and at the end one of them gave me a hug. While they were leaving the clinic their mother told me thank you and that made me feel overwhelmed with joy over the simple connection I made with that family.
Another time during our open clinic we were supposed to go to Chunox, however due to police protests and upheaval in the area we were not able to go there. Instead we went to San Roman / Santa Clara for our open clinic. We were worried that since our clinic was unannounced no one would come. To our great surprise we had about 60 people come to the clinic. One thing that struck me was when a woman said to us “thank you for coming here.” It was a simple phrase but it made me think about how us not going to Chunox led us there instead. During the open clinic we had one woman with a glucose level of 534 which is extremely high even for someone with diabetes. Dr. Gutierrez referred her to the hospital because of how dangerously high her glucose was. I am not sure whether or not she went to the hospital but I know that if we hadn’t come to that town she may not have known she was in danger and could have gone into a coma if she had not gone to the doctor. In these situations, with people having serious medical issues I know we were making a long term impact because the help they received, especially in the cases of terminal diseases or lifelong ailments, would be life long. These people who may not have otherwise seen a doctor were now getting the help they needed and we were adding years to their lives. Though I do not know the level of compliance people had to treatments made by the doctors, I do know that if even one person was helped or had their lives changed or improved by our clinics, we made an impact.