By Rich Lopez
Visit his blog on The Daily Camera
February 13, 2010: Tomorrow is Valentines Day, the day of love and lovers. Although Valentines Day originated in the US, its popularity knows no bounds. This day is alive and well in Mante.
On Saturday, the Clinic opened for patients on a sunny day. Most of the Coloradans basked under the warm sun. Busy doesn’t quite describe the morning. Hundreds of patients, young and old were waiting to see a doctor, PA or nurse. Some had waited a year to see a doctor. Others hadn’t seen a doctor in years. Some of their ailments are visible, like the man with a growth the size of an egg on his ear or the woman with the yellow ocher skin.
Intake is an importat part of the process. At the Clinic “medical”translators don’t exist, but soon our translators are identifying ailments, medicines and organs. Some of the patients are nervous, others stoic and some entertaining. For example, a short elderly man started his intake by flirting with Susan. When she replied with a “Mi Amor” the comedy began. We were chucklng by the time he left to see his doctor.
Today the surgeons examined the patients and scheduled surgeries for the rest of the week. Sarvjit an ENT surgeon from Loveland is back again (“gotta pay my rent for being on the planet!”). He examined a young boy with a tumor inside his ear. A “cat scan”is needed. This is an expensive procedure and approval from the DIF (department of social services) is required. The fear is that the tumor might be malignant. So his mother is weeping quietly while someone comforts her. Tomorrow, the boy will be examined more closely while he’s under general anesthesia. If the tumor looks malignant the boy’s scan will be scheduled for Monday. Then, more decisions and posibly more tears.
Sunday the surgeries begin. The teams are prepared, the instruments in place and the patients scheduled. Tonight, there will be prayers, candles will be lit and tomorrow lives will be changed.