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Day 3 – March 8, 2019

I slept well last night in spite of having only screen on my window and the highway not far away.  Lots of night noise around here, trucks and buses, dogs barking, sometimes loud music playing, motorcycles racing by, and the occasional rooster who thinks it’s time to get up.  However, I have a secret weapon to manage the noise.  I capitalize on my hearing loss.  I take out my hearing aids and all is quiet and peaceful!  Then, sleep comes sweet and persists all night long.  

This morning after getting ready and reading some devotions I joined the others in the kitchen of the casa where we stay to have breakfast together.  Loida fixed me some scrambled eggs and we had some fruit and bread.  A good breakfast to get the day going.  Of course, a couple cups of coffee fresh brewed helps at lot on that.  

Then we met in the clinic for devotions.  Jane leads the devotions with reading the comments for the day from Our Daily Bread.  The team all have these little books in Spanish so Jane reads it aloud in Spanish first and then will translate it to English for those of us who can’t understand Spanish.  Then we sing a hymn, in Spanish of course, and then pray.  After that we go to our respective duties for the day.  

Jane and I went to her consultation/exam room to see patients.  We spent the morning interviewing and examining patients who were being considered for surgery.  We saw several women ages 26 to 75 with various gynecological problems.  Of those we scheduled some surgeries to address their specific issues and some others we gave medical management and follow up visits.  The exam room was very warm and humid and I was dripping with sweat most of the morning.  It makes one appreciate air conditioning!

Lunch consisted of empanadas that were hot and good.  Unfortunately, I bit down on one and some fluid, including the cooking oil they were fried in, squirted out and covered one leg of my shorts I was wearing.  The food was delicious.  We had lots of fruit – watermelon and mango along with orange juice and watermelon and pineapple blended together into a juice.  

Back to the exam room and we saw several more patients, some of whom were post-op patients that needed incision checks.  There were a couple people with urologic issues that really left us wondering how to treat.  I wrote a urologist friend in Ft. Wayne to pick his brain on how to manage a poorly controlled diabetic with overflow incontinence that is probably coming from a neurogenic bladder.  It is difficult to deal with these problems because there is really nothing we can do here to help.  Certainly, surgery is not the answer.  It is hard to tell the patient that we really can’t help them when they come in with the hope that we can.  They either can’t afford to go to a big city to see a specialist and the only other choice is to just live with the problem.  Jane and I want to help them but we can’t let that drive us into doing something that is unnecessary or even causing more trouble that is unfixable.  Sometimes the best treatment is to back away and not commit the patient to a false hope and a lifetime of dealing with a new irreversible problem.

Our surgery schedule is mostly full at this point.  Our anesthesiologist will be here on Monday and will work through till Friday mid day.  The last day we will do only surgeries that are more minor and won’t require a lot of post-op care.  So far we have three major surgeries each day which will be at least 6 to 9 hours of standing at the operating table.

I am back at my room for some time to relax and also have my shorts soaking in soapy water to clean the grease out of them.  There are no more patients to see so the rest of the day is down time.  Tomorrow we have no patients to see and this will be a day of rest and relaxation.  Sunday is church and then on Monday we start our week of surgery.

Father, today has been a good day serving You.  We saw several patients who need Your healing hand upon them and You have given us the privilege to being that hand.  Thank You, Lord, for the wisdom You give us to help those in need.  Thank You for bringing the patients to us today.  Thank You, Lord, for Your incredible love.  I pray for those patients today, Lord.  Please bless them in a special way today as You have blessed us.  

Father, I pray for my dear wife, Phyllis.  Thank You for watching over her and helping her.  I miss her dearly but I rest in the confidence that You are right beside her and have Your loving arm around her.  Please bless her today and thank You for Connie for coming to stay with her while I am away.  Please bless Connie in a special way as well.  Thank You, Father.  Amen.

We went out to eat tonight stopping down the street at a corner restaurant.  The grill is outside on the sidewalk.  Three menu items to choose from: chicken, pork or beef.  The meat is then served with rice, beans, some slaw like salad, and a potato. The food was very good and cost was only $3.00.


After dinner I was able to get online and spent some time talking to Phyllis via FaceTime.  Our connection speed isn’t fast enough to support video without some interruption but the audio came through fine.  It was good to hear her voice and talk for awhile.

Now it is time to settle in for the night.  Neighbors on the other side of the wall have their music blasting loudly.  Hopefully that will quit soon.  Father, thank You for a good day here.  It is hot and muggy but we are able to still work serving You.  Thank You for making this possible.  Our goal is to bring You glory and hopefully we have done just that.  I pray for a good night’s sleep tonight.  Carl and Jody leave in the morning and I pray for a safe trip for them as well.  Thank You, Father.  Amen.

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