Thursday, July 29, 2010

Maria makes small improvements living with AIDS

just recently I shared the sad reality of 15year old Maria, who is a victim of sexual abuse and now AIDS. We have made two visits to the AIDS clinic with Maria, two hours from our mission clinic. Clinic workers presently are accompanying several patients with the diagnosis of AIDS, from the area we serve. The Catholic Church has campaigned ardently for accompaniement with compassion for persons infected with HIV. Our Parish Clinic has one worker, who represents Pastoral Health for the diocese, for the National Association for AIDS for this region of the country.

Maria has made small but significant changes since she began treatment. She has less nausea and diarrhea and is beginning to eat and drink more fluids. She is more talkative and occassional smiles are a welcome sight. People from our church are coming to pray with and for her at request of her mom. We bought her new more comfortable clothes and coloring books. Fr Hazy donated a big furry dog that he had received as a gift. A Mayan Psychologist has come twice to be with her. Maria, one of our auxiliar nurses spends as much time with her as possible and warm baths are a great comfort to her. Please continue to pray for Maria´s return to health.


Enclosed is a more recent Photo of Maria, with Maria, auxiliar nurse of the Clinica Maxeña.

DIABETES is a Health Issue here and worldwide!

Friends and Family,
Each month our Clinic sponsors Diabetic Club. Today thirty five Mayan men and women came to learn more how to live with their DIABETES. The guest presenter was again the Nutrionist of Pastoral Health of our Diocese here. Diet plays a major role in the control of Diabetes. The common diet for their ancestors was very basic, BEANS, RICE, EGGS, HERBS, and LOTS of Corn Tortilla. Globalization has brought to this society, pop, potato chips, fried chicken, french fries,ice cream and many other snacks. These diet changes have complicated their lives; there is more obesity. Ten years ago everyone walked, sometime miles to another community; few cars were available. Today in our community there are more than one hundred small taxis. Daily these taxis come up the hill to the clinic from the town center, just three blocks away; some workers even use this convenience and cost is equvalent to thirty cents. Exercise and Diet are two important rules to control for the diabetic. Today, Caroline, the Nutritionist, repeated in many interesting ways these rules. Repetition is vital for these people to learn and accept changes in their lives.

At the end of the day an ONIL STOVE was gifted to one of the six Diabetics with perfect attendance for these classes this year; the winner was chosen by a drawing.

Each Club Meeting a different snack is give to the diabetics and often they participate in the preparation. Our Kitchen has two ONIL stoves that we use daily and the promotion and gifting of these stoves is the main environmental project in the Clinic. Thank You to all those who have gifted a stove to a needy family for one
hundred dollars. Remember you can now donate on line at:

Blessings and have a good day.

Attatched are: A picture of Miguel, from Medicinal Plant Clinic, with the plant of Three Point, "Tres PUNTOS", which is an excellent medicinal plant to lower blood sugar. A picture of Carolina, the Nutritionist, discussing Soy flour, and the other picture is Manuela, diabetic and the winner of the Onil stove with our worker, Micaela, in the clinic kitchen.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Cloudy Skies in the Forecast

Friends and family,
Greetings of Love from Guatemala. I was hoping I could report blue skies and sun but we are still hearing the drizzle of rain at night and soggy earth about us. I think it does affect one´s spirit even though I lived many years in Seattle and should be used to overcast. The news yesterday informed us that rains would be present until November and storms and hurricaines are brewing in the atmsophere. This will affect greatly the roads, crops and prices of food.

Yesterday was Nutrition Class for mothers with malnourished babies at the Clinica Maxeña. All the chairs were occupied by mothers with their infants and other small children under five. Micaela presented the class and taught a new recipe to the women and a short video was presented. The main ingredient in the nutritive snack was Chipilin, from our medicinal, nutritive garden. Chipilin is a tropical, leafy, green plant that is high in iron, calcium and beta carotene. This plant gives flavor and color to corn maze and used locally in tamales. Today it was combined with rice, and spices. After the class, the babies are brought to the clinic for consult and examined by Doctor Ever. The children all appear more healthy, smiling and gaining weight. Milk supplement is not a part of their normal diet but reality is the mothers all suffer a scarcity of breast milk because of their own nutrtive status and it is a necesity to recovery of malnutrition. Formula is expensive here, 20. dollars for 2.5 pounds. We limit the mothers to two cans per child per month, except in severe malnutrition. Powder Milk, Nido, is provided to older infants and children and also a local protein supplement, Incaparina. Soy is also promoted and grown in the clinic Garden. The women have learned how to make milk from this plant in this class, but time and patience is required. Chico, in charge of clinic projects, recently did some home visits with Micaela. These visits are essential to help us to understand the home situation and verify the poverty of the families. We hope to provide small gardens for the mothers in their own environment as a longer term solution. At the end of the class an ONIL stove was raffled to the mothers in attendance, and the mother who had the winning number was very happy with her gift.

Thank You for your donation to our clinic which enables us to provide milk and medical care to these mothers and infants. We do plan to provide more ONIL STOVES to the mothers in this class. 100. dollars provides a free stove to a needy family.

You can donate on line to the CLINICA MAXEÑA!! at

Photos included are: Micaela with Chipilin in the clinic kitchen, Myself with the mom who was gifted an ONIL STOVE and a view of a village road, damaged from the storms.
Blessings! love sheila

Thursday, July 15, 2010

When Life seems UNFAIR

Friends and family,
It has been awhile since I have sat to write a bit on my blog. Life has been very busy. The rains come and go and the greatest damage is to the roads, which daily have more bridges out and roads impassable. One learns to adjust to the inconvenience and we remain optimistic that better wheather is ahead.

We have a new young patient in our in patient ward. Maria is 15 years old and has only fourth grade primary education. Her life has been very difficult. She was kidnapped when she was seven years old, apparently in the time when children were being stolen and sold; she was recovered in fifteen days. Details are sketchy. Over two years ago she was sexually abused by a family member. Very sadly she is now HIV positive and with AIDS and Papilomas. This was discovered by our clinic doctor when she was referred here by the catechist of the community. Apparently she was in treatment for sexual disease with a different clinic; she was never checked for AIDS until now. Once we had made the diagnosis, we took her immediately to the AIDS clinic and she started antiviral medication. She will remain in the clinic because of her AIDS symptoms and the malnourishment as long as needed. We also will remain responsible that she takes her antiviral medications. We ask for your prayers and support for this very special young person.

The clinic is very busy with increase in patients coming in with respiratory and gastrointestinal disease; this increase is a result of Storm Agatha and the destruction of water systems. Our Nutrition Project continues to grow, serving more children each month. We are very grateful to all who responded to our plea for support for patients and others who suffered with the storms. This has allowed us to purchase more medication and milk and protein products.

Health care in Government Hospitals has improved, as the present government removed all costs to patients for some exams and medicines; care is completely free. The problem is that the budget did not allow for increase of patients and the reality is the Hospitals lost some revenue they did receive from patients. The management and Doctors are demanding more workers and equipment and medicine for the needs of the patients. Monday the Roosevelt Hospital, the largest Hospital in the country, will go on strike. Other National Hospitals have threatened to do likewise if their demands are not met. This will cause a crisis for the poor and sick, especially with the already increase of disease from the storm and the epidemic of Dengue in the country.