From Thighland to Thailand

March 2, 2019

Thailand 7.7

Filed under: Uncategorized — markchinmd @ 3:22 pm

Thailand 7.7

March 2, 2019-Saturday

Today was a good day and I hope yours went well too. We went to one of our favorite stops-Huaisan Akha village where we set up camp at the new church. The earthquake demolished the old church a few years ago so the new one was erected in its place. One of the buildings was painted by the team last visit in 2017 and the paint still looks great and that’s where Ellen set up her women’s health clinic. The dental and eye team set up in the sanctuary though we told them it wouldn’t count for going to church this week; they’ll have to go tomorrow to get credit. Medical and pharmacy enjoyed the cool breeze on the veranda and I even had my own surgical wing shared with the optometry cutters. It was a grind. Familiar faces from the village quickly greeted us, including Luka’s mother and brother. Luka’s mother had a big smile and gave me a great big hug and kiss on the arm. I don’t know their culture well so I just gave her the “I love you” sign with my fingers. It was nice to see how all the children are growing up over the years as well.

I’m so happy. I got to see blood. Being a surgeon, we like to see blood (in moderation of course); “Cut to cure” is our motto. “When in doubt, cut it out” we like to say. So now that I have my surgical tools, I feel more useful to the team but most of all, to our patients. We all get disappointed when we can’t deliver a service or meet the expectations of our patient. Thank God we have our toys! I had the opportunity to see one of my patients who I removed a giant sebaceous cyst 2 years ago from his buttock. It was like lava flowing from a volcano (yuck!). The last time he gave me a purse to show his gratitude for my effort. He humbled me, this time, as I was admiring his scar when he said the cyst came back. Great, revision on the recurrence, patient satisfaction guaranteed. Did he get that in writing? I was hoping he wasn’t going to ask for the purse back. So I reoperated on him and he was again grateful I also got to remove some fatty tumors and skin lesions from other patients. I was in my element so I honestly don’t know what else the medical team was doing since I was having so much fun back there with Wan and Lynette assisting me with my surgery.

The optometry department was grinding away lenses and making frames. Gi and other team members helped out with the assembling with Mark and Pastor Jack doing the grinding and buffing. The dental team removed a lot of teeth and Lynelle was ecstatic cleaning with the appropriate tools. I’m happy for Bill but I was wondering why the last two days Bill has the constant look of euphoria and he’s been in such a good mood. I don’t think he’s smoking anything or using the local betel nut so maybe he’s just happy to see all his precious bins. We are working together smoothly and being as productive as we can.

We have a lot of translators, which is a big help. All of the Chermue children are helping and some even took off 2 weeks of work and school completing assignments ahead of time so that they could help us these two weeks. Some of their friends have been helping as well. It was kind of embarrassing for the team the other day when Chris came out of building asking, “We need a translator. Does anyone speak Chinese?” We all looked at each other saying, “Don’t look at me.” For a team from First CHINESE Baptist Church someone ought to speak a little Chinese (Mandarin). Where was Ming? Doesn’t anyone watch Chinese kung fu movies? We just said that we didn’t speak his dialect, which was still the truth, since Bill speaks Cantonese but not Mandarin. We need to offer Chinese lessons at the church. Any volunteers? I actually speak more Spanish than Chinese (which isn’t actually saying much) and I was proud to use it when we were at the Chiang Rain International Christian School. A little girl from Spain got hurt on the playground and we were told that bamboo had impaled her armpit. They called me and I rushed down with the nurse. I wanted to find out how deep the wound was. “Hola, yo soy Dr. Chin. Tiene dolor en la hueso o piel?” Translated, “Hello, I’m Dr. Chin. Do you have pain in your bone or skin?” She replied, “What’s that?” in English. I cracked up. She spoke perfect English an she’s probably never seen a Chinese guy speak Spanish before and it wasn’t even the right dialect; she spoke Castilian Spanish, not Mexican Spanish. These trips out here just seem like the Tower of Babel sometimes. Sometimes we have translators for translators. Anyway, I got the ER doctor Kane to check her out and she just had a flesh wound and will be fine.

Most of us are enduring the water and the food. Some have had mild GI complaints but we have been staying at a hotel and eating prepared foods. When we go to Pastor Phongkaeow’s Changing Life Center in Chiang Khong that may be a challenge on our GI tracts since it is more out in the country near the river. We have had long bus and van rides and we are a little sore all over. Pastor Jack threw out his back saving a team member from injury that fell out of the back of the truck several feet above the ground onto his overloaded backpack. Him and Andy tried to catch this dead weight. (He was overweight due his extreme muscle mass in addition to the 20 lb. backpack.) Lester said the guy looked like a helpless tortoise on his back. I won’t mention that team member’s name because I don’t want to embarrass myself but all I can say is that Pastor Jack has your back. As they say at Children’s Time, “Thank you Pastor Jack!”

Missing the Saturday night market to finish this blog. Thank you for saving me money, Bill. I hope you brought me something back.






1 Comment »

  1. Wonderful pictures and testimonies. Prayers for all and also for PASTOR JACKS back. Glory be to GOD!!!

    Comment by Pamela Blakeman — March 4, 2019 @ 2:15 am

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