Do wisdom teeth roots grow like tree roots? Apparently so!

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Today was the first day of our medical clinics- and it was a total success! We left our resort in Sosua at 8:30am with our truck fully loaded. We arrived at La Grua around 9:30am; and lucky for us, the strapping young men had our gazebo tents already set up. There were six stations total- registration first, then the patients were moved on to vital signs. Next they were seen by the doctor and nursing students, then they picked up their prescriptions as they were leaving the clinics. We also had a station where patients could see the dentists- where they did everything from checkups, to cleanings, to fillings and wisdom tooth extractions… You should have seen the roots on that thing!

We were steady going for four hours and were able to provide care for 173 patients. Imagine if Canadian emergency rooms could run as fast as we did! We spent the remainder of the day debriefing (what we experienced today and how it made us feel), and preparing medications and supplies for the clinic tomorrow. To speak on a more personal note, during debriefing Nettie asked us to talk about a special moment we each had today at the clinic. Here are ours:

Vanessa- for me there is not just one particular special moment of my day. The entire day was a special experience. I was in the pharmacy which was lot of fun and very busy, but when I had a moment to myself I stopped and looked around at what was actually happening. Such a variety of cultures and backgrounds- Haitians, Dominicans, those from Nova Scotia, Ontario, Alberta, and Newfoundland and Labrador all coming together for a common goal- to help those in need. I never thought it would have felt so amazing.

Amanda- I spent half of the day with the dentist, and half alongside a doctor. Firstly, it was a major learning experience. I learned how to better my own nursing skills, but I also got to learn new ones. I learned so much about the people here. Common health problems, what a major role the amount of money you have plays in your health, that there are little things I take for granted every day in Canada- I dislike going to the doctor and especially to the dentist, but I have the accessibility to do so whenever I need to. It was a profound moment for me when an elderly gentleman needed four teeth extracted, sat there and hardly flinched while we did our jobs, and had the biggest smile on his face when we were done. The gratitude they’ve expressed is heartwarming, and is something I’ll never forget.

Tomorrow we go to the next village we will set up a clinic in. We are eager to meet more smiling faces who are so grateful for what we are providing. Goodnight!

Amanda & Vanessa – LiveDifferent Hero Holiday Medical Trip 2012

Author: LiveDifferent

Date: August 21st, 2012