236 Patients. Today.

I would have never dreamed I could encounter 236 patients in a day, let alone personally see them. Had Stacy not been there counting, I would have guessed it were half that many. If you’ve read my blog at all the last few months, I’ve talked a lot about event orientation vs. task orientation. Not worrying about all the stuff. In fact, I told Stacy to not even count the number of patients we saw on this trip (she never listens to me anyway-wise woman that she is) but she knows I’d want to know so that I can better plan logistics for future trips.

Anyway back to the 236. It’s not about the 471 eyes (can’t count the prosthetic one) but about the lives touched and the doors opened. These eyes have seen the rest of their bodies brutally abused and sold. Seen their community rise up from being a hotspot of prostitution and human trafficking to now a center of light in the darkness. Now these eyes see that they have a future. And that includes the eyes of the five year olds as well as the 80 year olds.

We won’t have hardly any pictures from clinic today (for obvious reasons). Suffice to say, words nor pictures could begin to describe working in a former brothel which now functions as a church.

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stacy did sneak in this picture from clinic…..of the old lady with her hand on my thigh

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one of the brick factories where many of the children’s parents (as well as many of the children) work

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a lot of the Vietnamese children come from these fishing villages along the river

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“The Pink Room” made famous in the documentary by the same name. This room, more like a stall and now used for storage, is left as it was when it was part of the brothel. The drum set gives some idea of the cramped quarters.


For the eye nerds out there wondering how in the world we saw so many: I have a PlusOptix handheld autorefractor/screener (thanks for the loaner Cyd!) which we used to screen about 80 of the children. For the other 150 or so, I’d do retinoscopy. Our glasses supply is made up of ready made readers and any other glasses where the anisometropia is less than 0.75D and the total astigmatism correction is less than 1.0D. Before you think that’s crazy just think of all your patients who are happy using OTC readers when they have 1.5D cyl.

For the medical part of the eyes I use my direct ophthalmoscope. And I only use that when vision is poor. I guess glaucoma would be the biggie we’re ignoring but I’d have to spend tons of time looking for it, tons more time educating, and tons more time & resources coordinating care. I’d rather get 10 more patients seeing well during that time.

I mention all that to say: you should be doing this! You’re missing out my friends πŸ™‚


2 thoughts on “236 Patients. Today.

  1. Pingback: 2020aroundtheworld | I missed it

  2. Hi uncle Jonathan. Love hearing about your work. Love you and miss you! πŸ™‚

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