Monday, February 26, 2007

Cairo: the 2nd day

Another late start that seems to have become the norm for Egypt. We got to the clinic, but waited on the interpretors and finally began seeing patients at 10am. By the end of day we had seen 300 patients, almost all adults as to compared to yesterday when we saw almost all childen. There were a lot of disease entities that we came across: more rheumatic fever, TB, arthritis, diabetes, hypertension and anemia. All the interpretors were medical again, both pharmacy and medical students. We finished the day seeing 300 patients and we've begun to run out of medicines. In just 2 days we've given out 10,000 vitamins, 400 doses of antibiotics, 200 doses of various skin medicines, and over 400 doses of upper respiratory tract medications. And that is just a small percentage of the total number of medications we've prescribed in just 2 days.

Every one of us has had a patient or more who has touched us. I had a 30 yo woman who came to me asking for help in having a boy child. She had been married at the age of 14 years and has 2 girls, one 14 years old and another girl who is now 4 years old. She has had 6 miscarriages, all during the 5th and 6th months of the pregnacies. 3 of those were male. When I asked her why she kept trying to have a baby after so many miscarriages, she said her husband made her because he wants a son. She is afraid to so no. I didn't have to ask her why she was afraid. I saw it in her eyes and on the bruises that she had. I had nothing to help her with. I asked her if she could leave her husband and she looked down and simply shook her head no. She is a coptic christain, and a member of a very low society and culture that is far removed from respecting women. Prayer, silent prayer, was all that was allowed. She would not pray with me and almost got up to leave when I offered. You wonder why people treat others the way they do. But I cannot judge, or so I am told. But I can sure ask the question....and maybe that is all that is needed for people to begin to judge themselves. I've been there. Judging one's self is a very hard thing to do...but in the end I believe we are better people because if it. I pray that that dear woman finds solace in the love of Christ's grace that I told her was hers, no questions asked.

In all things give thanks,