In a lot of ways, this was … a very humbling experience.
One of the things that I was interested in, or fearful, was not having seen young children and taking care of different medical ailments that I hadn’t taken care of in 25 years, since I was a medical student. But I realized that all my skills came back to me, or really never left. One of my big fears was that I was going to have to suture. Hadn’t done that in 25 years. So I went to the emergency room and talked with one of my colleagues there who reviewed things with me and said, “Paula, it’s just like falling off, it’s just like riding a bike again. You’re not going to forget it.”
So when we went and we were doing the clinics in Chumanzana, Barbara Tobin, the nurse practitioner, asked me to come over and listen to a young girl. And when I went over and listened to her heart murmur, I realized it was mitral stenosis, which I hadn’t heard in about 20 years because these days with antibiotics, we don’t hear heart murmurs like that. Because it’s a consequence of rheumatic fever, which is just treated with penicillin.
So, of course, I became very excited about it; I remembered immediately what it was and started talking excitedly to Barbara about it and went and asked Roberto to come over and confirm it and also talk with the family about it, so that they could be taken care of and referred to Guatemala City.
The girl’s family began to become immediately upset, because for them it was the first time that this was noted, or a name was put on it. They had brought the little girl in because she was tired while playing. And when Barbara went out and asked me to come in, la doctora Americana, and when I asked Roberto to come in, it became a very big deal for them.
So it was important to remember that people were shocked by diagnoses that they had never heard of and also that I was making diagnoses without all the technology that we physicians rely on these days. So in a lot of ways this was very reassuring but also a very humbling experience.
8:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist
9:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist with music
10:00 a.m. Parish Forum & Kairos
10:15 a.m. worship.together
Holy Eucharist for families with young children
11:15 a.m. Choral Eucharist
Silent morning meditation is offered at 8:15 a.m. weekdays, in the Mary Chapel.
We would love to have you join us.
This Episcopal church is located in the heart of the historic neighborhood of Chestnut Hill, five blocks west of Germantown Avenue at the corner of St. Martin’s Lane and West Willow Grove Avenue.