Today on the way to the clinic there were a lot of people, a few donkeys and one horse crowding the road. Everyone seemed to be in good spirits despite the loads they carried. They walked together laughing and socializing along the way. (It made me sad to think I don't even know some of my neighbor's names.) We have had a lot of rain over the past few days and the muddy hills were difficult to climb. Edelin stopped his SUV to pick up people along the way. I lost count of how many people ended up loading into the vehicle. Even the hatchback was full. In Haiti, it seems they always make room for one more.
When we reached the clinic, the crowd was much smaller than the day before. I still saw 22 patients in 2.5 hours but it seemed much more manageable. I saw a variety of cases including a large neck mass on an 80yo man. He reported it had been present for 15 days, but in Haiti I have found "15 days" to mean anything from days to months. It's like saying you are 50yo regardless of your actual age. The mass was not red, warm, fluctuant. It was 6cm in diameter inferior to his ear running along his jaw and anterior cervical region. It was firm and fixed. I know some will disagree but although unlikely to be an infection, I prescribed an antibiotic in hopes that it was not as sinister as it seemed. He agreed to follow up next week. If no improvement, he will be sent to the hospital for further testing.
On a more humorous note, I had an elderly gentleman report "loss of energy" (i.e. erectile dysfunction). He asked for Viagra by name. The Viagra marketing department should be proud.
The clinic closed early so staff could go to the market and Edelin drove the little girl with the eye condition (from yesterday) two hours north to Cap Hatien. She was found to have a small piece of gravel lodged in her cornea (if you zoom in on her picture you can see it in her right eye). The doctor removed it and prescribed cipro drops. He said she would have gone completely blind in that eye had she not had treatment. On the way back Edelin had to cross several streams that run across the road. Unfortunately, due to the heavy rain, Edelin's vehicle was overcome by water while attempting to cross a stream. Everyone managed to escape without harm but they had to get a taxi home.
I spent the rest of my day with the kids and learning Kreyol with Jean Francois. M' wè ou!
Summary Day 4: All-in-all it was an amazing day and so much fun to see that community spirit everywhere from the marketplace to Edelin picking up people along the road and then driving a child two hours, in a flood, to save her eye.