jueves, 5 de marzo de 2009

Another Frontal with the Hospital

I have spent the last three days with-woman in and out of the Regional hospital in San Cristobal. This is the public hospital in the town where I work. 
A traditional midwife referred a woman who had been pregnant for more than 9 and a half months and still no birth pains. I checked her and couldn't feel a baby or hear a heart beat. This is out of my league... So we went to our back-up gynecologist who carried out an ultrasound and diagnosed a molar pregnancy (this is where the baby doesn't develop, instead little bubble balloon type masses form). A molar pregnancy needs to be terminated and could be cancerous. This woman has a 9 month belly. The gynecologist referred us immediately to the Regional hospital for dilation and cutterage with blood bank close by, in case of hemorrage. 
So we went. 
The first day the hospital was full. No beds. The other IMSS (Social Security hospital) had no doctor, so all the patients had been referred to the Regional. So we went again the next day. After waiting for two hours we were finally admitted to the ER. We waited 45 minutes until a resident checked her. 
Resident: Whats wrong with you?
Woman: I've been told I have a molar pregnancy (hands referral letter over, again)
R: When was your last period?
W: 15th of May
W: 15th of May
R; Are you sure?
W: Yes
R: thats not possible
W: thats when it was..... (this continues for about 10 minutes)

Resident brings over ultrasound machine. 
R: There seems to be something in there... not a baby... maybe a mole... maybe a cyst... you have to go get an ultrasound for a diagnosis.
W: I already did (hands referral letter over, again)
R: Right, but, this isn't enough. We need another diagnosis. Go home and get another diagnosis tomorrow and then come back. 

Its Midnight and I'm standing in the ER after 36 hours of no sleep (had a birth the previous night). OK, I guess we'll be back tomorrow. Maybe tomorrow there will be a gynecologist in the Hospital, or maybe there might be a bed. Maybe the Gods and Godesses will help this woman if she starts to bleed and maybe they will protect me from losing my mind. Maybe she will get some care, and then again, maybe she won't. 

1 comentario:

  1. What a shocking story!
    That woman must have been so glad to have someone by her side...I hope she gets the care she needs, and soon.
    It's great to see your blog, and the beautiful artwork to go with it.
    Looking forward to the Luna Maya Fundraiser in NYC---see you March 16th!