Day 1: Primary Care

Yesterday we arrived at Port-Au-Prince without a hitch. As we drove through the mountains, our stomachs braved the hairpin turns. Our driver, Ron, never ceases to amaze me. Somehow he managed to to eat lunch - spaghetti - while driving a stick shift through the mountains. (I have a picture below). When we arrived at Son-Son’s home, it was like a home reunion. Lots of hugs from good friends were waiting for us. We had dinner shortly after we arrived at Gabby’s home which was a delicious traditional Haitian meal - lentils, rice, chicken, avocado, fried plaintains, and a leafy green vegetable. The banter between Greg and Gabby reminded me of Randy and Brenda whom I miss greatly. With full bellies, we prepared for the first day of clinic and went to bed early. I slept like a rock.

The first day of clinic started, as always, a little frenetic as we sorted meds and greeted about 100 patients that were prepared to wait all day to be seen. There were a lot of familiar faces, hugs and kisses. Seeing the children growing up just reminded me of why love primary care. Providing healthcare to families is such a gift. You get to be a part of their joys and sorrows and have a window into their lives that other specialties never see. I got to see the mom whose life was saved by the generous donations from many of you that provided her a chance to go to a hospital for a life-threatening illness. Her baby was 12 days old at the time. Today the mom came into the clinic and hugged me with a joy I cannot explain and presented her beautiful little girl who is now 1 year old. I have a picture with the family below. Another one of my favorite patients, an elderly woman, came in and held my hand for awhile before I started her exam. This is why I went into medicine.