THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 3 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 2, 2009

The word is out that the 19th Medical Campaign is in full swing. Crowds of patient patients waited at the three venues: Cruz Roja, Escuela Enfermera, Hospital General. The sun shone to greet us, too. There are so many persons of need, it is sometimes hard to focus on our MISSION STATEMENT:

TO PROVIDE HIGH QUALITY SPECIALIZED MEDICAL TREATMENT TO THE POOR TO TRAIN LOCAL DOCTORS AND NURSES IN MEDICAL/SURGICAL TECHNIQUES TO BUILD BRIDGES BETWEEN BOULDER, COLOADO AND CIUDAD MANTE, MEXICO

A serious situation with the Eye Team is missing supplies. A box of VISCO-ELASTIC, Ocucoat brand has never shown up. This is essential for cataract surgery. Jenelle, the Eye Team Lead, will try to get an additional donation of this, valued at $70 per dose. If none can be provided, it may affect the numbers of surgeries that can be performed. (Check your departmental supplies to see if there is a weird box).

New gadgets for use in Mante include an Automated Keratometer. It measures the cornea/surface of the eye and checks for astigmatism. An A-Scan measures how long the eye is. It cuts down on the time needed for these evaluations. Zury is a great help for the team.

Interesting pathology found this year includes basal cell carcinoma and corneal problems. The latter cannot be repaired here. There are disappointments, too. Juan came in for a cataract repair that caused blindness. But, the vision loss was due to glaucoma, not cataract. Neal B had to report that this was not reversible.

Out of the cave and into the light…fitting for reading glasses now has a bright room with great lights. Most persons are so thankful to get glasses, but some style mavens are looking for different colors or designs.

At the Hospital General many patients arrived bright and early to wait for their scheduled surgical appointments. Day one of surgery began as nurses, surgeons, and anesthesiologist formed teams to help patients with a plethora of symptoms.

Joel and his brother came from a small village two hours outside of Mante to receive treatment in tandem. Joel had an obstruction in his nasal passage and was receiving a third and hopefully final surgery. In good spirits his brother patiently waited, looking forward to his appointment at Cruz Roja on Wednesday to remove his cataract.

In the waiting room (or hall), Perla awaited a routine gal bladder surgery. However during triage, the nurse identified a small kidney stone. Perla decided to go forward with the arthroscopic surgery to remover her gall bladder immediately, during which Dr. Charlie would also try to identify if the kidney stone could also be removed with a minimally invasive procedure.

A small five year old boy was born with hemi facial microsomal, a malformed jaw and earlobe. Although he was too young to receive surgery this year, his face needed matured, his family was educated about the jaw expansion surgery that will happen next year, and the three ear reconstruction surgeries to follow.

Oh, my. Why so many referrals from GYN to PT at the Clinic? It seems as if many women have leakin’ bladders. PT instructs them in the famous Kegel maneuver. A comment was made that if you are in the line at the supermarket in Boulder and there are many women over 40, they are all doing Kegel!

There are angels in our midst. These include Sr Karim y Sra Nora. As their mission, each day they provide breads and coffee at Cruz Roja for any hungry folk. 80-100 people come for this feast.

Gracias from your reporters Jean and Abby

Medical Mission Personel Fly to Mexico by Rich Lopez

Flying during the Super Bowl in a commercial jet with only 14 passengers is peaceful.  One can only imagine what is taking place in bars, homes throughout the world.  I’m arriving late to El Mante, Boulder’s Sister City in the State of Taumaulipas Mexico. [Pilot: we’ll be taking off in a few minutes, score is 3 to 0 Pittsburgh].  Nearly 100 medical personnel from Boulder Community Hospital are here for the 19th Medical Mission.  The Advance Team arrived on Wednesday to begin the hard work of setting up clinics to treat patients, some who have been waiting a year to see a doctor.   All but 7 of us are medical personnel. [The score is now 10- 0 Pittsburgh]. We are administrative persons or in my case, a member of the Boulder Community Hospital Board of Directors.  What will I do there?  Help.  Help in any way I can.

A few years ago I spent several days trying to arrange for a young girl and her mother to fly to Colorado where a Loveland surgeon volunteered to perform a delicate surgery on her face to remove a large growth.  Visas, paperwork, calls to the US Embassy and then calls to representative Mark Udall’s office consumed my time.  Ultimately, the girl’s family decided against traveling to the US, but we learned that a relative living and working in the US had sent money to the family to pay a local surgeon to perform the operation.  Seem unusual to forego a free operation and free trip for two to Colorado?  The girl and her family are indigenous Indians who live in the mountains, miles from Mante.  She came to the clinic with an uncle who spoke Spanish.  Her language was spoken only in the villages. [Flight attendant: the score is now 10-7 Pittsburgh]

I don’t know what to expect when I land.  There was one email from friends in Mante, who were going to try and have a car and driver meet me at the Tampico Airport and drive me the 90 kilometers to Mante.  But, it is Super Bowl Sunday and many of our friends South of the Board do enjoy football too.  I’m prepared to take a taxi to the bus station and catch a bus to Mante.  I wonder what the score is now?   It’s 6:30 PM Boulder time.  Looks like we’re getting ready to land.

THE FULL MANTE Vol 11, No 2 – All the News To Print That Fits – February 1, 2001

There is always hub-bub on Saturday morning. The dignitaries, the press, the DIF persons all gather near the podium on the lawns of the “La Escuela Enfermeria” or the Nursing Schoo1. We celebrated the opening of Brigada Medica XIX…our 19th year in Cd. Mante. At 10:15, the procession started down the center aisle. It included the Dr. Davkd Rodriquez, Mante Presidente, Hector Lopez, Secretary of Health Juan Guillermo Manzur Arzola from Tamp State, Mayors from five near-by referral cities, Dr Silvia Elena de la Garza de Lopez president of DIF, and, of course Sr. Mike Moran.

Speeches ranged from 2 to 15 minutes, and included warm words of welcome with the belief that “Gratitude is a Memory of the Heart” and that “Languages nor distances can support this humanistic bond.” More than 5,000 patients have already signed in. Each message was easily understood with the simultaneous translation to English.

LET THE WORK AND MIRACLES BEGIN!

Since he lost both legs in an accident, Manuel uses a wheelchair. Today he came not for himself, but for his father. His father may have had a stroke and now has balance problems. But here’s what is amazing. Manuel supports himself repairing computers. But, he is on a Handicap Basketball team which came in second place for the national competition for all of Mexico! What an achievement.

Dave in GYN commented that as a first-timer, there is no one here to show him the ropes. The good side of this is, anything he does is OK. At 4:00 he still had a line of women waiting. This year there is only one exam table instead of two, which obviously slows the process of seeing women.

Can it be a new epidemic? I don’t think so, but peds is seeing a lot of ventral hernias.

What a blessing it is to have Dra. Moreno Bringas here from Tampico. An oncologist, she works with women with breast cancer. She is unhurried and thorough seeing and talking with women and examining them. A group of women watched the video she showed about self-examination and early diagnosis of breast cancer. She will be here tomorrow (Sunday) and has also been an inspiration for the formation of a breast cancer support group here.

Each year, Magda an OR Nurse, and I have fitted 10-12 women with prostheses. During the year, Magda works with an additional 10-12 women. My source for donated prostheses has gone. Women we saw today are using rolled up socks or plastic cups. Here’s great news: DIF has offered to pay for prostheses (about $30-$50 each) for women living in Mante who cannot afford to buy their own.

Before and after visits to the general physicians, many families and children stopped to learn from our dietician Elizabeth and student nurses about daily habits to help reduce the likelihood and effects of diabetes. With children running around the nursing school grounds, every bit of education will help reduce the likelihood of more diabetes cases.

Hasta manana from your reporters, Abigale Stangl and Jean Bedell