Tuesday, June 20, 2006

I feel like I've just done my residency training...

or something along those lines. The benefit about being a translator for the doctor was that I got to PLAY doctor. For real. And translate and rework and play with my cultural knowledge to transmit the right info to the patients. Things like knowing dietary trends, common skin ailments, worm symptoms, and the like have finally come in handy. I felt like my foreign trivia was well used these last five days!

I had the chance to interact with a lot of interesting people.

The lazy and slant-eyed seventeen year old with a bad bowl haircut and lanky walk, who scrupulously ignored my tactful questions about drug use when he came in complaining of immobilizing migraines. Scoring high on caffeine use, nicotine, and alcohol pretty much sealed his fate, even if he wasn't going to admit to using marijuana or cocaine. (Although probably only the latter would have really affected his medical condition adversely...) I reamed him out about the smoking, told him that he and his whole group of friends should just stop smoking together, because besides being bad for his health, it was driving the girls away...and got hit on even after all that!

A father who came in with his toddler and then lifted up his shirt to show us the bruises where he'd fallen into an open SEWER...looked like he'd been run over by an eighteen-wheeler. Miraculously, nothing broken, popped, or hurt worse than serious bruises.

And lots of mothers with two or three kids, with fifteen-year old pregnant daughters, with simple cases of worms and difficult cases of never-been-diagnosed-let-alone-treated Parkinsons' disease (the tremors of which she was sure were caused from moving furniture...).

A beautiful woman with a stressted smile and wiry curls popping out all over her head who was simply undernourished and overworked with four small children and at least one grown one and a teenager that died last year from an overdose...she was having anxiety attacks. Her address was a perfect complement to her stress level, being well within the danger range during heavy shoot-outs, so we prescribed breathing exercises and meditation and lots of time talking to God...in addition to the meds the pharmacy gave her.

The lady whose hair was falling out...and two or three or was it four? small children...

Most of these women just needed a week off, some vitamins, and childcare.

Can that come in a pill form, please?

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