Clinic this past week has been full of great learning experiences and lots of patients! We have been seeing lots of patients each day which has meant we are limited with the time we can spend with each. Add to that language and cultural barriers making it sometimes a challenge to address the mental/emotional causes of disease. We seem to draw on some modalities more than others (ie. hands-on physical, energetic) in treatment because of time constraints.
Yesterday, I (Keshia) asked for help from the acupuncturist here – to treat my shoulder which had gone from a small annoyance to a major disruptor of my daily life. (Two weeks ago I stepped on something in the street that punctured through my sandal and into my foot. With tetanus being endemic here and my out of date vaccinations, the docs on staff here were worried about it. This gave way to a search for the vaccine, and a possible trip to the Dominican to get it. Long story short, I did get the vaccine in Haiti and since started to progressively lose mobility in my shoulder!)
The acupuncturist’s confidence in her medicine, the time she took out for me, and her hands-on, energetic approach stirred me to much gratitude. Not only because the build up of toxins in my neck and shoulder was set free with her treatment, but her care sent me a message so important about taking the time explore the not so obvious causes of disease. About sensing and exploring intuitively to heal people.
Haiti has mass nutrient deficiency and this guides our medical practice here in a big way – we give supplements to correct the deficiency. But, we give supplements in every case because it is convenient and easy but also necessary. But the people we see carry something much deeper than that.
One woman presented with Stage 2 Hypertension (190/100 mmHg, nearly a medical emergency warranting immediate hospital referral) and multiple abnormalities on listening to her heart. We suspected multiple previous small heart attacks. She said it had been like that since the earthquake when she lost two of her grandchildren. She literally and metaphorically had a broken heart. Her face was quivering, but she was containing it all as she told her story. Here is where I want to work! That is where the realness is.
Despite that, the ‘high volume, long day’ style of practice has brought many lessons and rich experiences to us. It has been incredibly valuable to our clinical confidence and also to the people of this community. We have learned many fold more than what we would have at home in clinic, and really we are just so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this project 🙂 Thanks for all of your support!!