Saturday, March 22, 2014
I am sick...the nurse is sick.
I have had congestion and a cough for two days now and it looks like my cough is just getting worse. The good news is I feel well enough to work and I am sure It will run its course here in a few days.
This week was a busy but successful one. We had a conference with an administrative representative for a laboratory in guayaquil about the new insurance and about our motives to have a contract with them. They have several different laboratories located throughout Guayaquil and we will be able to send missionaries to the laboratory without seeing a doctor or receiving a script for exams. In the past we have sent missionaries to clinics, the first day they have a consult with a doctor, the second day they have labs done such as blood or urine, 3rd day imaging if needed such as echogram or xrays etc, and then they return a fourth time to read all the results with the doctor. This has taken so much time out of the sector and a lot of money. This sparked the idea that maybe we could just send missionaries to a lab and order tests that we want and send the results of the exams to the area medical doctor in Bogota, Colombia for evaluation for treatment. This means the missionary will only have to go to the lab to drop off a specimen or have blood drawn and we can receive the results by internet. Cutting down 4 visits to 1 as well as costs for doctor visits. Dr. Piepgrass and President loved the idea however I was not sure if it could be done. We made a lot of calls and visits to different laboratory facilities. Last we heard, the insurance company and the laboratory we had a conference with were starting to make the contract yesterday. I am beyond thrilled that this is coming to pass! Also come to find out this company also offers an ambulance service that will transfer from smaller clinics in other provinces and imaging.
Yesterday we traveled with president to Libertad (the peninsula) and I got to see the BEACH.... from the car window but still… first time to leave Guayaquil. My companion Hermana Saucedo, who I am training right now for nursing, and Hermana Smith, my last companion, performed health interviews for all the missionaries in the zone. We have a medical history sheet that they filled out and explained any complications on the mission or before etc. Also they did a lot of teaching on prevention of illnesses and my favorite.... how to use a thermometer. We use the glass ones here and about 70 percent of the missionaries do not know how to use one. This makes it very difficult to explain to them over the phone etc. They also took blood pressures and pulses and talked a lot about diet and exercise. While they did the interviews, Hermana Blas, the other new nurse, and I assessed 3 clinics and talked with administration about the new insurance etc. There are actually about 9 clinics in Libertad and the neighboring town Santa Elena. We didn't have time to assess all of them but found a fairly nice clinic that we are most likely going to use. Hermana Blas and Smith will assess the other 6 clinics. It was a lot of fun to tour the clinics and see how things work here. We also taught a few small lessons about the gospel here and there to staff at the clinics. It was nice to visit Libertad but for some reason I was happy to be back in Guayaquil. Guess it is kind of like my home in Ecuador.
The office elders call us insurance salesmen and President and Hermana Dennis are so thrilled about what we are doing. One week into the projects and so far so good!
President and Hermana Dennis will be traveling this weekend so they asked Hermana Saucedo and I to stay the night Sunday with their daughter Sara in the mission home. We are so excited and Hermana Saucedo loves working as a nurse! She now wants to go to nursing school when she gets back. We are still taking all the calls of the sick missionaries but hopefully in 2 weeks Hermana Smith and Hermana Blas will start receiving calls from the zones in Guayaquil and we will receive the calls from the 5 zones outside of Guayaquil.
Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Lots to report from Ecuador!
I received a new companion on Monday, Hermana Saucedo, from Arkansas. We have only been together 5 days and it feels like months. I have never laughed so much in my LIFE!!! She is loving the nursing aspect of the mission and so excited to be a nurse. We had another conference this week with President Torres from the Guayaquil South Mission. He is a doctor so he gave us a basic overview of how he runs things as far as missionary health. We received some great ideas from their mission however feel that more organization is needed. We have spent so much MONEY on clinical visits in the 6 months I have been here alone and so we have some great ideas on how we want to cut the cost of missionary health down. Hermana Saucedo and I have done a lot of research this week and had a 2 hour meeting with President Dennis and Hermana Dennis last night about our ideas and things we want to do. They LOVED our proposal and want us to have another meeting once we decide how we want to prioritize our projects. With this being said we are no longer proselyting missionaries. Due to the amount of research and reports that will need to be done for this to come to pass we will be spending everyday in the office and a lot of time traveling. We only have a few clinics outside of Guayaquil and NONE of them accept our new Insurance Aetna-GMMI. We will be traveling to every zone in the mission to assess clinics, speak with administration about contracts with the new insurance companies, missionary trainings in district meetings, and health interviews for every single missionary. I will also be administering the FLU vaccination to every missionary. Here in the southern Hemisphere, flu season started this month.
The new insurance also provides contracts with imaging and laboratories. Part of our project will be assessing medical equipment used for imaging for the make and year or generation. A lot of the imaging machines here are old equipment that was bought from the USA. This makes a huge difference in the diagnosis process for the doctors in Salt Lake. For example we had a sister that was sent home in February for a meniscal tear in the knee, however when she returned home and received another MRI, it showed it was an old tear. With an old generation MRI machine it is unable to detect certain things such as small brain tumors etc. With this being said we will be writing reports on every clinic and lab about the equipment and how the tests are performed to verify.
Will keep everyone updated on our projects throughout the next several weeks. We will be starting with clinics and laboratories in Guayaquil.
Love and Miss Y’all,Hermana Lyman
Saturday, March 8, 2014
So new news for this week is that with transfers coming up this Tuesday we have been preparing for the new missionaries to arrive. We have 7 Hermanas and 5 Elders coming. This is so STRANGE that there are more Hermanas than Elders! Also President and Hermana Dennis are going to leave me in La Florida for 6 more weeks to train a new nurse that way I can leave Guayaquil one of these days and experience life outside the big city and see the coast! I love Guayaquil and the office but ready for a change. It will be so nice to have more time in the sector as well! We currently only have one assistant and a new secretary being trained in the office so it just won’t be the same without the original office crew that our mission (being new) started off with. We also have a new Region Medical Doctor, Dr. Bart, in Lima, Peru who is awesome. I’ve had the chance to speak with him twice this week and he about talked my ear off about how certain labs here don’t have the adequate equipment for certain testing and imaging procedures. Makes me super nervous for our missionaries that have to have surgery when the need arises. We are really blessed to have him and he is very helpful. This week we wrote a monthly report for the month of February with all of the missionaries with health problems that impeded their work. This was by far my longest monthly report! Also two other reports, letters for zone leaders, and organizing binders for the other future nurses.
Monday and Tuesday we were pretty much locked into the apartment all day because of carnival. During this time we went exploring and discovered that the 4th floor of our apartment building has stations for washing clothes and a WASHING MACHINE!!! WHAT.....almost 6 months of washing some of my clothes by hand. Oh well building character, right? Made me think of a lesson that Hermana Dennis gave in our Sisters’ Conference last week about ¨living below our privileges.¨ She showed us a Mormon video about a man who took a cruise and only ate canned beans and stayed in his room for the duration of the trip. At the end of his trip he came to realize that the food and activities aboard the ship were included in the travel fee and he had rights to everything the ship had to offer. The moral of the story is that Heavenly Father is willing to give us so much...and more. However most of the time we don’t care or even think to look outside of our own view to access all of the marvelous things this life and our Heavenly father is wanting to bless us with. Are we ¨living below our privileges? ¨
Love and Miss Y’all,
Saturday, March 1, 2014
This foto is of 3 of my conversos--Rafael, Oswaldo, and Richard moments after they received the Melchizedek priesthood! What a wonderful day this was! Rafael (21) and Richard (20) are preparing for their missions and have been accompanying us with lessons. This week we I gave Richard Preach My Gospel and he was so Happy to receive it. Rafael went to a missionary get together with conversos, menos activos, and investigadores last night and bore his testimony about the gospel and thanked me for teaching him and the change the gospel has brought to his life. I teared up a little bit and it meant so much to me to hear that. He has also gone to the temple a few times and is so faithful! Oswaldo is gold through and through.
My Compi, Hermana Smith, My New Yorker. She speaks a bit of Chinese, completed a year at BYU, plays the harp, lived in Beijing, China for 6 weeks and loves Chinese Medicine.
Some random cute kid with his gorgeous hair! Everybody drives motos here...family and all.
This a view of some of the houses in part of our sector, Las Lomas. In one of the photos you can actually see the church at the end of the street. The chapel is beautiful with big palm trees.
My most recent convert, Michelle (22) I just LOVE LOVE LOVE her and her BEAUTIFUL family. This week she invited us over to teach her about family home evening and Monday we are planning on having it with her family. She is so gorgeous. This photos are after her wedding....wonderful day.
Michelle and Orlando in front of the temple.
Michelle holding her wedding licence...she was GLOWING all weekend!
Hermana Chillagillo one of my favorite Mamitas! She is an awesome cook.
El Centro, edificios bonitos!
My converts Rafael and Bella. Rafael baptized his mom shortly after his baptism.
Elder Lopez and I in the CCM in Mexico City! Sure he is doing great things in Chile!