Day 5: Thursday: This was by far our busiest day - as if the people of
St. Bernard's again discovered that we were here. We served over 154 patients
and gave over 200 shots! A VERY busy day! What did we see? Infected hands,
infected feet - we even saw a man who had been out to his home and whose
neck was lacerated when one of the walls fell down on him. A prison guard
who came by to get a shot gave us a bit of a fright when she passed out
after getting her shot, but she's fine.
A teacher from a school somewhere in St. Bernard's Parish came by after
she'd gone to the school. She was suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress
Syndrome and broke down sobbing in the clinic. She clearly wasn't capable
as of yet of returning to work, but we didn't have anyone who was properly
trained to diagnose her and to be able to give her a diagnosis that would
allow her to not return to work. Fortunately, someone from the Red Cross
came by, and through some connections they had, we were able to get this
woman in touch with a psychiatrist who was willing to see her and talk
with her right away and who was able to diagnose her properly and give
her the diagnosis so she could have some more time to recover from her
trauma before she had to return to work. Because this doctor was able
to give her that diagnosis, she'll be paid for the additional time she
needs to get better.
The people we've seen here are all so grateful just to be alive. We only
have one more day here - and we are all feeling like we wish we could
just stay. It will be so hard to pack up and leave on Friday night. We
know that we are the last of the 4 scheduled teams to come here and work
in this location. We can't help but wonder: will there be other teams?
Who will help to care for these people who have so many deep and profound
needs? What will happen to them? It brings us tears to consider that we'll
have to leave, and we're already talking about how and when we might be
able to come back and serve here again.