San Lucas 2019 – Day One
Welcome to day one of the 10th anniversary San Lucas Medical Missions adventure. Our volunteer team, as well as the hospital staff, started the day ready to serve all who came to the hospital.
Our medical team prepared for the first stretch of surgeries. The schedule so far has 80 surgeries, that will be completed by the end of the week! Today our surgeries included many children, including nine year old Miguel.
Miguel was the most curious person in the waiting room. After, reading a book created by one of the volunteers about the medical processes involving surgery, he still had many questions he wanted to ask the nurses and doctors.
Miguel’s mother had a worried look on her face, but that didn’t seem to phase Miguel. He spent his time before his operation reading, drawing pictures, and even taking pictures of Grace. He would talk to anyone who would sit down and listen to him, regardless if they spoke fluent Spanish or not.
I write in Spanish better than I speak the language, so Miguel and I also passed the time before his surgery writing notes to each other with sidewalk chalk. The language barrier was difficult, but we were able to learn quite a bit about each other. I learned that Miguel’s favorite food was eggs and he enjoyed reading. We also share a love for cats and dogs.
Miguel came to the hospital today with his sister Rosa and his parents. Both Miguel and his sister Rosa were scheduled for hernia surgeries.
When I asked Miguel if he was nervous about his surgery today, he said he was quite excited but, his sister was nervous. His father told me that he was most looking forward to his leg not hurting anymore.
“Patients at home are nervous; they are very vulnerable, surrendering themselves to our care. Imagine being nervous, vulnerable, surrendering, and not understanding our language. That all reaches a new level. We must treat them gently for them to trust us, in that we are both vulnerable.” Lisa, an anesthesiologist at St. Luke’s South, says in regards to the patients we serve.
This is what medicine does, is a phrase I’ve heard today. Medicine is more than just completing successful surgeries; medicine is about our ability to trust and be vulnerable with those we work with and those we serve. This ability allows us to connect in a way that goes way beyond the operating room.