This week was a little odd, as there was a holiday, I was sick, and our Spanish professor went missing for a few days. This Monday I shadowed in Hospital de la Mujer. It was very boring for three hours, as I was observing women in labor and taking their vital signals. I was on the verge of leaving from boredom, right as two women gave birth!! I was pulled into the delivery room to watch a birth from a patient that I had been observing, and then 2 minutes later another patient came in. The two women gave birth in the same room, side by side. It was a crazy experience to literally watch two birth simultaneously.
On Tuesday, I observed Dra. Salette, who specializes in the phenomenology and down syndrome. From the short amount of time I spent with her I could tell she is very respected within the hospital. Her work is quite fascinating and she is very good with the children. We followed her during her rounds in phenomenology, which was rather entertaining. There was a little boy who was quite the troublemaker and kept trying to play with the doctors the whole time. He had leishmaniasis on his nose, which was beginning to destroy his cartilage tissue and caused a lot of swelling. He had been in the hospital for a few weeks and had improved immensely, but had a lot of pent up energy. After rounds Dra. Salette gave us a mini tour of the hospital which was very fun. After the hospital we rushed to eat lunch, then met our Spanish professor, Jehny, to go to Valle de la Luna! A beautiful park in La Paz, which sadly is very small as a neighborhood was built over it, destroying most of it. Entering Valle de la Luna feels like entering another planet, the land formations are seriously amazing.
On Wednesday, we were planning to go to Coroico, a town in the jungle as it was a holiday. Unfortunately, Jehny, who has been helping us a lot with planning our trip, went MIA so we found ourselves stranded in La Paz. Jehny ended up being MIA for three days!! I guess this is normal for Bolivian standards, but for me it was shocking! Stacie and I ended up catching up on some work and relaxing for the day. On Thursday, I woke up feeling a little sick so I stayed home again and caught up on some more work.
On Friday, Stacie and I shadowed Dra. Salette again, but this time she had consults. She only received three patients, but they were three really interesting cases. Dra. Salette is using an experimental drug, ayahuasca to treat some of her patients. One of the patients was born with a distal perfusion (if I understood correctly) and it was amazing to hear his improvement after just ten days of treatment with ayahuasca. His mother and grandmother described how he had become more attentive, social, and was even beginning to eat on his own. Medicine is quite the mysterious miracle!
Hi there! My name is Jenna Grunwald and this summer I will be gaining an understanding of the relationship between disease processes, social-economic circumstances, poverty, geopolitical realities, historical contexts, culture, and how these play into the complexity of healthcare in Bolivia and Argentina with Child Family Health International.