Day 3- Day 2 in the San Francisco Clinic

Posted on: 01/15/2019

Author: Stacy Alexander

The number of patients served on Monday are below:

General Med - 141
Pediatrics - 63
Gynecology - 37
Dermatology - 36
Dental 65/extractions - 112
Cervical screening - 44/Biopsy - 1/ Cryo - 1
Wheelchairs - 20
Referrals - 103
Total # patients - 509
Not included but obviously important were Labs:
Pregnancy tests - 2
Urinalyses - 38
Hemoglobin - 3
Sugar/Glucose - 12
Plus 12 or so Ear washings - times two!
And Prescriptions filled: approximately 509 - because they all get something even if it’s just vitamins!

The day started again at 5:30 a.m. with an inspiring devotional and song, and some fantastic costumes. Silvia Recinos won 1st place with Minnie Mouse. General Medicine Team (Dr. Robert Wright, Dr. Michael Spohn, Dr. Bernie Gallagher, and interpreter Doug Alexander) won second prize as a spectacular Mexican Wrestling Team. Pharmacy came in third with a fun Mardi Gras theme. And the Washington state group won a prize for their clown noses. 

At mid-day, Ivan Gomez reported about a precious little lady, Louisa, age 95, who lives in San Francisco and sleeps on her floor. When she was taught how to use her wheelchair her little face just lit up and you could see all two of her teeth!

Pastor Andy Gans, and his wife Pastor Cheryl, are always so animated with the children. It is so hard for the youngest to wait hours for their, or their patients’, visits with the doctors. It is frequent that the entire family arrives to camp out the night before, outside the clinic, and then they wait all day to complete their visits with the various teams. You never hear them complain. Andy dances with them. And he has a pocket full of balloons - he teaches them how to blow them up and make squeaky noises. This makes them giggle. Cheryl has yarn for making friendship bracelets, which the little girls love.

Dr. Phil Johnson told of a sweet little old man, 92 years old, who told him he just wanted to be able to read his Bible. He said that’s where the only truth is. When Phil asked what he reads with now, Antonio pulled out a little monocle. Upon departing pharmacy, after being fitted for eyeglasses, his good-bye to Craig and I was long and in Spanish. We nodded vigorously and shook his hand to acknowledge his gratitude and then turned to a translator to ask what he said. He was telling us how much he appreciated our help and blessing us for our service. God bless you, Antonio.

Dr. Donna Moore, our physiatrist, reported this:
“A 98-year-old woman came in with no teeth but an intact mind, who had many children to help her in her old age, but her hip was broken and never fixed because she did not have access to medical care. She couldn’t walk or bear weight on her left leg without severe pain, therefore she was not moving much. As a result, she was sad and frustrated. A wheelchair changes everything, now her family no longer has to carry her in a white plastic chair. She is able to push herself around inside the family home independently. She can visit with people outside of home with her family’s assistance. Most people in their 80s have similarities when studied: optimism, ability to deal with loss, and meaningful social contacts. Having renewed independent mobility gives life quality and helps restore hope. It’s great to be part of the Faith In Practice wheelchair team.”

And Donna also reported:
“It’s probably politically incorrect to have a favorite patient just like it is to have a favorite child, but I found my favorite patient today. She was a 33-year-old female who looked like she was 16. She was born with dwarfism and has spinal cord anomalies that resulted in the loss of use of both legs.
In the United States, she likely would have had numerous corrective spinal surgeries to keep her walking. Being a little person makes it easier for her to be carried by her family but it does not do much for her self-esteem or social development.
Today, she received the first wheelchair that she has had since she was a child. She can now sit up and be face-to-face with others without being lifted like a child. It was a long day for her and she was exhausted as it took several hours to fit her wheelchair. Her beautiful smile did not come easily but was worth the wait. Her smile lit up the room and warmed my heart.”

This day was rewarding beyond expectation. As much as we do for them - they do even more for us in return.

Stacy Alexander