don't wanna clean the dirt from my fingernails
don't wanna sleep cuz I won't remember I was there
don't wanna dream cuz my memories will fade
don't wanna stay here, I'll never be the same
broken hearts, and smiling faces
dirty streets and dirtier faces
don't wanna leave but we're needed in other places
set it up, tear it down and then we leave
don't wanna leave the land of rolling tongues
don't wanna leave the need I better come back soon
my heart is there but my head is here
it's tearing away but the end is near
I hear the promise that i'll go back soon
oh please let it be sooner rather than later
I'm needed, I'm needed.
You're need, You're needed.
Oh please let me go back soon
Not much can be said to sum up my trip. But I'll try.
We set up make-shift clinics in 6 spots throughout Mexicali. Basic triage, consultation with physicians and prescription/administration of meds; it was the most reaffirming trip of my life. I had fun struggling with the language and actually picked up quite a bit. Made a lot of friends with local kids and adults and learned some very valuable and applicable skills towards my future profession. Before I left I told myself and God that this trip would determine the role of medicine in my future, which might have been a bold declaration, but I feel it was necessary. Needless to say I could have stayed in Mexicali, at the clinic we were based out of, for the rest of my life. To serve with the professionals around Mexicali to meet the needs of the locals reaffirmed my mission in life which is: To serve with the people of a different culture to meet the needs of those who normally do not receive medical attention. I developed my mission statement before going to mexico without having experienced what its like to serve the medical needs of the people of a different culture, but I am sure of my mission now.
My only qualm is I want to work in a more fast paced medical environment, life and death kind of situations. So I'm thinking ER.
Highlights of my trip:
-Three local women were in the triage station and Mitch, Rakan and myself were attending to their vitals and they started to make fun of Rakan. The amazing thing is that wherever Rakan goes he is made fun of, but in a good way, you know? He is kind of a big loveable teddy bear and has the best laugh I have ever heard, definitely one of my best friends down at APU, and so I joined in with the women and we made fun of Rakan. At one point, I tried to communicate to the women that we do NOT speak very much spanish and they said "we do NOT speak english!!!" (in spanish of course) and so we kept gesturing to each other our inability to communicate and we ended up laughing at each other and our shared predicament. It was amazing.
-The last night we were in Cuernavaca several girls on the special needs team were in the sick bay because of a bug or food poisoning and we were injecting them with fenigrin (an anti-nausea medication) so that they could maintain healthy hydration levels and one girl was unstable, borderline hypothermic and horribly dehydrated, so katie (our PA) decided to get her on an IV saline drip. [I don't want to seem like I am tooting my own horn in this story but it was a very exciting moment for me, so keep that in mind] Anyways, for those who don't know my background, I'm a phlebotomist (one who draws blood, works with needles) and volunteered my skills, but the doctor insisted he try as well as his fiance (a nurse) and they both missed. This poor girl was stuck five times. Then I tried and got it first try. I've never been the clutch person in a medical situation but to be that person and get it first try, felt really good. I won't go on and explain all the details, but she (the patient) was very grateful and within half an hour and 500 ml of saline she looked soooo much better. It felt great to have been the key player in the recovery of a patient.
-The second day we were set up in a poor community for the whole day. Since we were there for so long, all of the kids around the area came and played with us. Rakan was made fun of by the kids (they called him gordito, or fat haha) and they called me nacho libre. One of the little kids, estephania, became really attached to us and brought us candy and all sorts of little things. Rakan gave her a prayer in arabic he bought in Jordan and I was going to give her my HPI bracelet from Hume but couldn't find it. The cutest thing was she brought Rakan and I bracelets that say "Orgullosamente mexicano" or proud to be a mexican and tied them onto our wrists. To sum it up we had a real connection with the kids and spent most of the day playing with them, playing soccer, throwing the paquito ninos y ninas up in the air and chasing them around. It was amazing. :)
So now here I am, at starbucks, around 12 hours after we got back. We got in at 6am and I slept until 6pm. All I can think about is how I want to go back and I have so much to do to finish up the semester. One of these days I'll serve long term, ideally for the rest of my life.