Sunday, May 24, 2015

Peru General Pediatrics: South America Part 4

It's taking me a while to get all up to date on South America, so here's Part 4 of 5: General Pediatrics.

There was a team from my hometown (a different one from the surgical team in Ecuador) doing General Pediatrics at the Kausay Wasi Clinic in Coya, so I spent the week working with them.

School Clinic

In the course of that time we saw about 350 patients in the clinic itself, plus a couple hundred more on the day trips to the smaller outlying communities (the campo). It was a lot of fun, and I got to see a lot of interesting things as well.

There was an incredible amount of tooth decay, lots of parasites, none of the kids in the campo wear shoes so lots of nail fungus and lots of other interesting problems too.

Urobamba Valley


The clinic before we opened the doors in the morning.

A typical sight. Also lots of sheep and llamas and alpacas and dogs.

Waiting in line.

Mobile pharmacy.

We enlisted John to help with flouride varnish.

At the end of the day, here's the kids we saw at the school.

I didn't actually take that many pictures of this part - it was pretty busy. John had arrived but he kept busy during the days going into the nearby towns and hiking etc. 

This part ends the work portion of the trip. In the next part (which will hopefully be posted some time soon) we get to the last week of the trip - the vacation part, so look out for that. 

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Peru Cast Change: South America Part 3

Read Part 1 and Part 2 here.

When we left off I was headed back from Ecuador to Peru.

I was traveling with my Dad and Dr. Noall who were headed back to Coya for cast change on a large group of patients from their last trip to Peru.

Our itinerary took us from Guayaquil to Lima and then to Cuzco. Unfortunately our flight from Guayaquil to Lima was early Friday evening, and then the flight to Cuzco was not until the next morning.

The nearby hotel is $200 a night and we decided that was too much, so we spent 10 hours in the Lima airport. We couldn't check our bags until after 1 AM, so we spent the first portion in the food court.

Around midnight they make you move all to one side so they can clean, and then all to the other side.

After checking the bags, we went through security and found a spot at the gate. I feel asleep on the floor next to an outlet to charge my phone. At this point the cough I caught in Ecuador was probably at its worst, so I'm sure I was a delight to those sharing the boarding area with me.

When we arrived in Cuzco we went straight out to Coya to the clinic. We were initially intending to just drop off a bag and go by the hotel, then come back and get to work, but when we arrived there were a lot of people out in front waiting, and we just decided to get started.

Cast change day was busy - we either took off or changed casts for 18 patients.

Here's the trash full of casts at the end of the day.

The following day we did a small case and had one leftover cast change from the day before (you can't eat before anesthesia and one of the patients had so we had to postpone her.)

Mom and Dr. Noall's wife arrived during the afternoon of cast change day and came with us for the morning. Look how cute Mom is in the surgical cap:

After we were done for the morning, I worked with the General Pediatrics team for the day, more about that in the next post. 

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Ecuador: South America Part 2

I didn't have a chance to do much blogging from South America, so I'm scheduling some posts to catch you up on my rotation there. 

My first post is Welcome to Peru, which talks about my first few days and some of the Easter festivities.

After my first week, I went over to Ecuador to work with a pediatric orthopedic surgery team from my home town. We were in Guayaquil, and saw about 70-80 patients, did surgery on 31, many of which were bilateral. 

My trip over was really long - I had a delay and got rerouted to Columbia, but eventually I made it and it was a lot of fun. I did lots of exams, some procedures, and it was just nice to be part of a team again. 

The surgical team at work.

Our surgeons: Dr. Noall and Dr. Shaw

Trent our therapist helping the kids walk.

Pre-op foot washing.

Sitting in suitcases when there weren't enough chairs.

This kid was born without a right arm, a short right leg and a club foot on the left, and after surgery, a prosthesis and a walker is now walking for the first time.

Iguana park.

Cast change day. I think these were some of our cutest patients.

We lost power during our last surgery and they had to finish by cell phone light.

Me and Dad.

We stayed at the Hotel Oro Verde in Guayaquil, which is a really nice place and here's a typical breakfast.

We had a great time, but it went by really fast and before we knew it we were headed back to Peru.

Stay tuned for South America Part 3: Peru Pediatrics.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Welcome to Peru

Despite a few threats of flight delays I made it with no trouble to Coya, Peru where I'm currently staying until next week's adventure takes me to Ecuador.

The trip wasn't bad, though I didn't sleep much on my red eye and was certainly tired when I arrived. During my layover in Dallas I found a coveted chair AND outlet combination so I was able to work and stay busy until it was time to take off.

Landing in Cuzco.

It's Easter weekend, so there were lots of services and celebrations here. Lots of people's families came from Cuzco and other cities to be all together.

There's also plenty to do - this morning the lady I'm staying with here in the community woke me up at 7:30 because there were patients in her living room. I ended up seeing 7 before breakfast.

This is one of her grandchildren who was here for the Easter celebrations.

For Easter here they eat "the 12 plates" which I tackled with great ambition and did not successfully finish. It's literally 12 different plates of food - soups and appetizers and mains and salad and desserts. Everyone's been really accommodating when I say I'm vegetarian (I don't typically eat completely vegan when I travel internationally, especially when I'm staying in someone's home) - but honestly there was only one of the 12 plates I didn't at least try.

This morning we also took a walk up into the country. The last time I was here in Peru was 9 years ago and I had forgotten the natural beauty a little bit.

I'm now off to find some food and probably some more work.

Thanks for reading, see you soon.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Packing List for South America

Today I leave for 5 weeks in South America.

I'll be in Peru and Ecuador, mostly working but I also have some vacation at the end. 

I wanted my packing to be smart and compact, so I could easily carry everything between buses etc. if necessary, but also include everything I need for work, hiking, nights out, thunderstorms but also 90 degree weather. It's admittedly a little bit of a challenge.

It took me a couple tries and I had to make a couple tough cuts, but what's left I think will serve me well. In the end it all fits into a carry-on size suitcase and my Cynthia Rowley duffel-style shoulder bag. 

I've been making lots of lists:

Assembling all my items. At this point I'll admit I had some doubts about fitting it all into my intended luggage.

It took 2 tries: turns out laying the clothes flat really does take up less space than rolling. 
All packed up:

Working in South America Packing List

- Scrubs x2 sets
- Dresses x3 (appropriate for both work and going out)
- Warm vest
- Scarf x2 (one with a zipper pocket)
- Socks x7
- Underwear x10
- Bras x3 regular, x1 sports
- T-shirt (sleep/casual) x2
- Skirts x2
- Athletic shorts x1
- Dress shorts x1
- Layering black tank tops x3
- Swimsuit
- Athletic shirts x2
- Long sleeve shirts x2
- Sweater x1
- Fleece jacket
- Cardigan
- Leggings x2
- Jeans x1
- Gloves and hat

- Hiking boots (also double as supportive shoes for work in scrubs)
- Dress sandals
- Flat ankle boots for work/day use

- iPad
- iPhone
- Kindle
- Camera
- Adapter [all my devices are dual-voltage 110-240 V so I won't be needing a converter]
(with respective chargers)

- Toothbrush/toothpaste/floss
- Makeup
- Deodorant
- Comb
- Travel size perfume
- Visine
- Meds and vitamins, bandaids
- Chapstick
- Sunscreen
- Hair ties/pins
- Face wipes/sanitizer/hygiene products
- Razor
- Thin super-absorbent towel
- Small shampoo/conditioner/soap

- Water resistant watch
- Ring/earrings/necklaces x2 (inexpensive - I'm leaving my diamonds here)
- Day bag
- Sunglasses
- Camelbak

Work Items
- Stethoscope
- Otoscope with extra tips
- Alcohol swabs
- Notebook
- Pens
- Penlight
- Flash drive
- Badge

- ID/Passport
- Insurance card
- ATM card
- Gum
- Cash
- Money belt
- Sleep mask
- Headlamp
- Snacks

I take off in a few hours so I'm just checking and rechecking, saying goodbye to Luna and getting ready to go.

Thanks for reading, see you soon [from South America]!