The power of care and kindness
One of the reasons that I’ve always wanted to be in healthcare is the chance to work with patients it’s a chance to learn another persons story in a way to help them know that they can be confident in themselves and feel good with who they are. Growing up, this is some thing that was extremely important to me. I always wanted people to feel included and never to be separated by something that they couldn’t control. This is something that I experience firsthand growing up and never wanted to happen to anyone else. Health is so important, but sometimes we can’t control the things that happened to us. In many ways, doctors and other medical professionals are there to help us get through those tough times. They help patients to feel better when we come out on the other side of treatment.
However this trip also showed me another aspect of this concept. The community that I’ve seen at La Ciudad de la Esperanza is so special. We’ve seen families come in with generations of members. From grandparents to children to grandchildren, they all take time out of their day to come visit us together. This is some thing that I find so cool and really warms my heart. Especially seeing all of these (mostly) women taking care of their parents is so special. It’s not something that we really see much in the United States anymore in the way that I’ve seen in Guatemala.
Today,I had a patient who visited with her elderly mother. They were so connected that there was actually confusion between which patient was experiencing what symptom. We couldn’t differentiate whether it was a daughter or the mother experiencing these things because both of them talked so much about the other. The daughter especially. While she had a plethoras of her own problems; however, her mother was at the forefront of her discussion. In the middle of the daughter describing her own symptoms, she would bring up her mother and press the importance of her mothers treatment above her own.
It has also been touching to see the power of a caregiver. Many of the women we saw came with their parent and children. However, these women almost never seek care for themselves. On the first day, I was at the glasses station. While this was one of the fastest stations in clinic, I found that it could have some of the greatest impact on these people. Because the station was so quick and had such a large impact, I worked to ask both of the patient and their accomplices if they would like to receive an eye exam. However, I didn’t realize how much the simple question of whether or not someone would want treatment would have such an impact on a person. When I would ask these mothers or daughters they would be shocked by my question. Some would even grasp at their chest in exclamation because they were not expecting to be treated. This opened windows to treatment that these women were never expecting to experience. It was really rewarding to see the shock and excitement in their faces when they were offered the chance to be cared for. They finally had an opportunity to receive something for themselves. It was so rewarding to see their joy and excitement and to be able to give them something that will better their quality of life!
The women in this community are so strong. They are so hard working, and have a lot on their plate. All they want is to see their families happy and healthy, but seldom do they think about themselves. It was so nice to see the moms and daughters get so excited about such an easy clinical exam. It was so rewarding because it offered them a chance to feel cared for. This was something many of these women may not have felt for several years.
To me, this was an important reminder to appreciate the moms in our lives. They do so much for us. It was important for me to make sure these moms/daughters felt loved, valued and included in our community just like the rest of our patients are. No person is outside the boundaries of quality care, and I am so happy to have provided it first hand. Health care is an amazing opportunity to give everyone a chance to feel confident and comfortable in their bodies. It gives them a chance to live their best lives, and I am so thankful to be a member of this amazing community and witness some of the best, wholistic care that you can find. Thank you to the medical team for showing us what it means to be a provide and truly care about the quality of life for their patients.