Day 12 of 46, of my daily Lenten blog
The Honduran people are very nurturing. It seems that it’s second nature to look after their loved ones, as well as their neighbors. I have yet to hear of a patient going to a nursing home, although I know they exist in some of the bigger cities. People appear programmed to take care of their elders, their disabled, and their ill.
Awhile back I was attending a delivery of a young lady. We don’t use anesthesia of any kind for our deliveries. Yep, that’s right, no epidurals, no IV drugs, nada. All Natural. We offer our patients a well worn, thick leather biting strap (that’s not true…). It’s not that we are cruel or unmerciful, it’s more a matter of resources, safety, and logistics. Consequently, there is often a lot of yelling, writhing, and hollerin’. Rightly so…
The young lady was starting to lament her situation a bit more, squirming and wiggling. It was clear that it was just about go time. I hustled into the room, directing traffic, “places everyone!” The soon-to-be grandma grabbed one leg, the nurse grabbed the other, and we got down to business. Eventually a lovely little girl was produced, cleaned up, and swaddled in a blanket.
After finishing up all the ‘yucky stuff,’ I had a look at the little princess, then asked mom if I could pass the baby off to Grandma. The new mom said, “That’s not my mom.” Then the older woman that was holding her leg and attending to her needs said “Oh, no, I’m not her mom. I’m here with the other girl next door, I just came over to help.” I was stunned. Can you imagine that playing out in the States? I think a restraining order would be in the works.
Let me share another scenario that I have seen play out more than a few times in our inpatient ward. I will walk in to see my patient and someone will be there feeding them, or adjusting a pillow, or helping them back to bed. I’ll start to address the helper about their ‘family member,’ only to find that they are not affiliated with them at all. They are there in the ward with someone else, but they just jumped in to help where they saw a need.
I once had a patient bring his neighbor in to the hospital. They lived very far away in a little village. The patient was an old man who apparently lived alone and didn’t have any family. The neighbor, a young man, took it upon himself to bring the old fella in, and he proceeded to stay with him at the hospital for the next week. He just put his life on hold to watch after the guy. Very sweet.
It’s a privilege to get to serve these generous people.
Photo of the Day:
Pineapple fields just outside of La Ceiba, Honduras.
12 of 46, done baby…