Monday, June 13, 2016

2016 June 1-19

June 1, Wednesday, St. Angela Merici
Gil C was given initial stock of antiviral medicine on May 30 and was expected to come back on the first week of June for evaluation but did not return.  Perhaps his lesions have already resolved and that he is well.  

Burial of Jose A. a deceased patient, in Sarangani Province 
Although his calendar was very full, Fr. Timothy Pfeiffer came to offer Requiem Mass in Sarangani Province.  The Mass was humbly requested by the deceased patient’s neighbor - Decena Candig, a regular patient of the mission since the year 2012.  After 3 years of being part of the mission, she asked for baptism on the year 2015.  She did not understand much of the catechism but she knew enough to care that her neighbor should not die without the Sacraments. She spoke to her catechists about her dying neighbor and asked if they could make arrangements so he could be visited by a priest.  The visiting priest was very busy and she was not well understood by her catechists so she alone exhorted her neighbor to say sorry to God for all his sins and to confide his soul to God.  She guided him in praying the Rosary.  During the rosary he died in his hospital bed.  She was much worried about his soul and spoke with his family regarding the burial.  She was able to convince the Protestant family that, since the deceased was Catholic, he needed a Requiem Mass.  They promised to respect the religion of the deceased and to accept a Catholic burial.  Day by day, Decena visited at the wake to pray the Holy Rosary for the deceased. She pleaded in vain for them to stop gambling and to pray. On the day of burial, Decena prepared a makeshift Altar for the Mass.  Soon afterwards, she was troubled because the Protestant members of the family and the irreligious neighbors began mocking her, saying that the priest wasn’t coming.
When the priest finally arrived, few mission patients in the neighborhood attended the Mass.  The general attitude of the crowd was not indifferent but superstitious.  The place was very dirty because they refused to clean, insisting that cleaning the place while the dead was not yet buried would bring them bad luck.  After the burial, the staff and volunteers were exhorted to take every opportunity to tear down the superstitious beliefs of the people in order to prepare their souls for the true Faith.
There, from the crowd, one of the most recalcitrant mission beneficiaries came over to greet the priest.  He was poor before he came to the mission, then at one point while receiving medical and employment assistance to work in the construction of the mission building, he demanded money claiming falsely that he was dealt with unjustly.  Although there was no proof to his arguments, the labor officer sympathized with him.  To avoid a protracted dispute that would drag indefinitely and cause much loss of time and energy,  he was paid the sum that he demanded using personal funds. This man immediately betted all his money on a fighting cock and lost.  Olala!  Today he appears not a peso richer but perhaps a tad wiser?  We cannot tell.
           After the burial, Fr. Pfeiffer gathered the catechists, discussed the challenges of the apostolate and gave directions on how to proceed with the work.  

June 2, Thursday, Feria
·        Request for removal of contraceptive implant.  
              After a year of wearing the contraceptive implant on their arms, women from the mission village begged for help to have the implants removed.  They could no longer tolerate the side effects: numbness and weakness in the affected limb, headaches, weight gain, abdominal pain, among others. The implants were inserted free of charge as part of the population control program of the municipality but the women were not adequately warned of the side effects and adverse effects so when they began experiencing the unwanted effects, they asked for the implants to be removed.  Alas, there was a catch.  The municipal health workers would only remove the implants if each of them would pay P2,000.00 but that was too much for these poor people to pay.  So this was how the women\s rights advocates made sure that the women would have "ready access to reproductive health without coercion or shame"! What a way to "empower women". And to think that this deceit was spending millions of pesos of taxpayer's money and causing much moral and spiritual damage!
            Rejected at the public health center and having nowhere else to go to, the disillusioned women came the mission office for help.  At the mission they were given a brief lesson on the true sense of reproductive health and their responsibilities and duties as parents and as children of God.  The implants were then removed pro bono and they were guided on the examination of conscience and exhorted to go to Confession.  

Signing the consent form.
      As these women were neighbors of the departed patient who was buried the previous day, they were given an explanation on the sinfulness of superstitions and encouraged to rid themselves of superstitious beliefs to keep their Faith pure. They were asked to teach their family and neighbors in turn.
    Thirteen other patients coming from Sarangani Province were assisted for evaluation and given medicines for various illnesses, i.e.: skin diseases, cough and colds, gastrointestinal problem, liver disease, diabetes, cardiovascular, urinary tract illnesses and epilepsy.  

June 3, First Friday, Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
      Various patients were assisted: 

      from Sarangani Province: a 10 year old boy with pulmonary tuberculosis was given a month's supply of drugs; a 6 year old boy who was vomiting was sent to the outpatient department of the local public hospital for treatment; a 14 year old girl with cough and colds was also examined then given medicines as prescribed; a 28 year old male was given anti-psychotic drugs;

      from Camiguin Island:  a 53 year old male with abdominal pain was assisted for laboratory tests. Ultrasound showed that the pancreatic new growth that was previously treated with anti-tuberculosis drugs had already disappeared. But there was a focal left lobe intrahepatic biliary ectasia, stenotic common bile duct duct obstruction, tiny hepatic calcifications and a faint somewhat tubular like echogenic foci in the right and left bile ducts that the radiologist could not differentiate whether bile sludge or ascariasis.  The patient declared that he was able to get assistance from the Bishop of the diocese and was scheduled for free surgery on August.  His wife said that all they needed from the mission was money to pay the laboratory bills but they lacked foresight and understanding of the nature of his illness.  In fact, after some time, they asked for more medicines. The patient and his wife were very sentimental and emotional - as they have always been since they first sought help from the mission a year ago - and speaking with them was time-consuming as their emotions were constant barriers to communication. They were so wrapped up in their own problems that resignation to the Divine Will was alien to them.  They were always passionately agitated. Talking to them was a enervating.

      from Tacloban:  a patient who was assisted for surgery due to thyroid cancer asked for and was given thyroid medication; another patient with goiter requested help for surgery.  She was told that since she was already given personal assistance by the mission staff in the year 2014 (in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyan) to pay her final tuition in order to graduate in college and find stable employment, and that since she is in fact already employed and earning some salary, her request for surgical assistance would be disapproved.  She was advised to pay for her own surgery.  She conceded but asked the mission for help in paying for her cardio-pulmonary clearance as her money could afford only the actual operation. A mission staff accompanied her to various agencies and foundations which give discounts for laboratory and diagnostic tests, thus a minimal amount was paid by the mission for her cardio-pulmonary laboratory tests; a patient who was assisted for the surgical repair of perforated eardrum asked for ear drops.  The prescription was bought by the mission staff.

      from Samar:  a leukemia patient asked for anti-neoplastic drug.  Hydroxyurea was given as prescribed. He was first referred to the mission in Tacloban on April 23, 2015.  He was admitted to Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, a public hospital.  His ultrasound showed hepatomegaly with early cirrhotic changes with sign of portal hypertension, marked splenomegaly (splenic index: 1738), bilateral renal parenchymal disease grade 1, cystitis, mild pelvic ascites.  His heart was affected.  His doctor and his family believed that he would not survive. On May 19, 2015 without much hope to live long, he received Extreme Unction from Fr. Hora and was discharged the following day, fully expecting to bid goodbye to his family soon. As he rallied for life, the mission supported his food and his medicines which were Hydroxyurea, Ramipril, Spironolcatone and Furosemide. From April until November 2015, the mission spent a total of P47,157.93 on his medicines, food, fares to and from the hospital.  By God's grace, he has survived. He is feeling much alive and light-bodied.  Whereas before his abdominal girth was 98 inches, now it is down to 30 inches.  His most ardent wish is to see again the priest who administered Extreme Unction to him and to spend his days in serving at the Altar of God.  

      from General Santos City:  a 54 year old patient with a lung mass was assisted for CT scan guided biopsy. Tuberculous infection was found. He was prescribed anti-tuberculosis drugs. This man had been suffering from fatigue, cough and difficulty of breathing for 3 years but he stopped his medication for lack of money and did not return to his doctor because he could not afford the CT scan ordered.  In desperation he joined a superstitious sect that claimed the power to heal diseases.  He left the Catholic Faith and in vain sought a miracle.  His wife fought bitterly to bring him back to the Faith and to the doctor but he resisted.  When his wife heard of the medical mission on February she literally dragged him to the mission.  As it was against his will, he did not come back on his follow up schedule. By his wife's perseverance, counseling from the social worker and with grace from God, he returned to the mission, subjected himself to biopsy and resolved to adhere to the treatment protocol. He also extracted himself from the occult practice and and though he still has not returned to the Sacraments, he has occasionally attended Mass and has agreed to attend a counseling and apologetics session. 
       At Holy Mass and at the night Adoration and Benediction, prayers were offered by the mission  staff for the intentions of the mission benefactors, volunteers and the patients.  Prayers were also  offered for the dying and for the souls of the departed patients and benefactors. 

June 4, First Saturday
       Another Requiem Mass and burial in Sarangani Province.  ACIM staff assisted as servers and choir.  
   Laboratory assistance for a 38 year-old patient from Sarangani who had hepatomegaly with parenchymal disease and signs of portal hypertension (dilated portal vein), chronic calculous cholecystitis, splenomegaly with parenchymal calcifications and minimal ascites.  This man also had anemia secondary to upper gastrointestinal bleeding.  He was also given blood for transfusion and medicines as prescribed.  A patient from South Cotabato was given pediculicide shampoo.

June 5, Third Sunday after Pentecost
     In General Santos, After Holy Mass, 16 patients (8 pedia and 8 adult) were given medicines for cough, fever, hyperthyroidism, asthma, hepatitis B and psychosis as needed.  In the afternoon, the staff accompanied the Priest at the sick call to the mission patient who was assisted on hospital discharge as she could not pay for the surgery that removed a rectosigmoid mass/carcinoma.  The procedure done was exploratory laparotomy, total abdominal hysterectomy bilateral salphingo-oophorectomy, total mesorectal excision low anterior resection diverting ileostomy JP drainage.  She was a poor widow without pension whose 2 sons were simple janitors.  When she was detained in the hospital for failure to pay the bill, they came to the mission to beg. She and her family were counseled about the morality concerning extraordinary health care that was beyond the means of the family to pay for and counseling was given on death and dying.  Upon her discharge she requested for a Priest to visit her at home.

     Assisted during the Holy Mass in Kawas which was attended by around 80 patients, some of whom lined up for Confession before the Mass.  
      In Tacloban, 2 patients from Samar attended Holy Mass, one of whom was the boy with leukemia.  
 June 6, Monday, St. Norbert
    In Gensan, meeting with a mission volunteer to discuss the weaknesses of the February mission, identify areas that needed improvement, and plan for the next mission.  Discussed also was the need for videos on bioethics concerns in order to educate the public about moral healthcare issues.   

A pediatric patient was treated for cough, while an adult postoperative patient was given medicines for diabetes, and 3 others were assisted in pre-operative evaluation.  A patient was accompanied to the ophthalmologists clinic who examined the patient pro bono as he was supportive of the mission.  

Two patients in Tacloban were visited at home and given medicines.

June 7, Tuesday, Feria
     Went to Sarangani Province to deliver medicines to Besalbino Olog and to teach catechism to 2 other patients to encourage them to receive the Sacraments.  
       The parents of a 4 year old patient with meningocele came to give information that they had received a positive feedback from the Mayor's Office and the Pacquiao Foundation for free surgery but that the VP shunt would not be given free.  They were advised by the mission nurse to try asking for help at the Congressional Office, the Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office and the Department of Social Welfare and assured that if they cannot get a shunt from these offices, the mission would supply it.
·   Two patients from Sarangani were accompanied to ophthalmologists but the mission did not pay because they could afford the fees.  A poor patient from Gensan was brought to the opthalmologist for cataract surgery but his insurance could cover the bill so the mission only paid for his medicines.

·    A patient in Sarangani who refused radiation treatment for his numerous warts was informed of the Japanese research where multiple warts were resolved within 4 months with the use of Cimetidine. He was willing to try the protocol.  Boxes of Cimetidine left over from the February mission was then set aside for his use.

     A patient in a private hospital who was a resident of a mission village in Sarangani sent her son to the office to beg for assistance in paying her hospital bill.  She was visited by the mission nurse to ascertain her condition. Counseling was given regarding death and dying.  She was guided on how to examine the conscience and how to Confess in preparation for Extreme Unction.    

·      In Tacloban a patient was guided to submit her requests for laboratory tests to the Tingog Sinirangan Partylist to avail of free medical assistance in the amount of P1,260.00. The mission paid for the tests that were not available at the public hospital (xray and prothrombin time).  A patient with ear infection was given medicines as prescribed.

June 8, Wednesday, Feria
·    The patient with multiple warts was given a new set of cleaning implements and epsom salt for soaking and washing his warts and given vitamin and mineral supplements to boost his immune system in preparation for the Cimetidine protocol based on the Japanese research.  

     The construction of a chapel and function area for the mission in Kawas was visited. The sun was scorchingly hot and the glare was insufferable.  The laborers setting the galvanized iron roof were given sunglasses to prevent injury.  A couple wishing to receive the Sacrament of Matrimony came over to seek help in processing the license and preparing the wedding.
·       Pictures of the Leyte-Samar mission were submitted to the prior in Davao.

·    Three surgical patients were assisted by the mission nurse.  One of them needed cardio-pulmonary clearance.  The other needed an abdominal CT scan.  The third one needed an ultrasound of the mass in her abdomen.  These three were all residents of Sarangani Province.  They first came to the mission on February and were referred for surgical assistance.

June 9, Thursday, Feria
    Three adult patients from Sarangani Province, 2 from South Cotabato, and one child from Gensan were assisted in their laboratory tests and medicines.  
            One of the patients assisted was Leo, a driver, with a one-year-old son and pregnant wife. He came to the mission on February and was advised to return to the mission for further evaluation and management. He had anemia, chronic calculous cholecytitis, and splenomegaly.  He needed blood for transfusion and medicines. Since he was the breadwinner and since his wife had to provide bedside care for him at the hospital, they were completely dependent on his siblings for food and on the mission for medicines, medical supplies, diagnostic tests and blood.   

             Another patient was also a driver.  He had a swollen leg. He came to the mission on February and was referred to a bone and joint specialist. He was found to have tuberculosis of the bone and his medicines were supplied by the mission.  

               The other patient works as a treasurer in her barangay but for her work she receives only a small honorarium which is just enough to sustain life but cannot pay for any surgery.  So she happily came to the mission on February but when she discovered that it was a Catholic mission, she became reluctant because she was Protestant and she worried that she might become disloyal to her religion by receiving help from Catholics.  It was with great anxiety and confusion that she debated within herself until she decided to return.  She was scheduled for surgery but during the cardio-pulmonary clearance tests, her xray showed that she had pneumonia.  So instead of being admitted in the hospital today, she was simply given antibiotics and advised to return after one week.  Although they were not Catholics, when instructed about the Miraculous Medal, they were willing to receive the medal and keep it.

       June 10, Friday, St. Margaret Queen of Scots
      Continued care for the patients seen the previous day:  accompanied the patient with abdominal mass  to the doctor to help the her understand the diagnosis; visited the patient with lung mass at the hospital for bedside catechism.  Paid the biopsy and anti-TB meds for the patient with TB of the bone.  Paid for the antirabies shot of a boy bitten by a dog.  A 64 year old patient was accompanied to the ENT clinic for her follow up visit to check her response to drugs given for her hypothyroidism. 

I    In Tacloban, the patient with goiter was admitted to the hospital for surgery after cardio pulmonary clearance.
June 11, Saturday, St. Barnabas

      Bedside catechism for patient in the hospital regarding preparation for death and dying, confession,  trustful surrender to the Will of God. 
    Four patients from Sarangani were assisted:  One was prepared for surgical evaluation in Davao (necessary papers for referral were filed and instructions given regarding the referral system and the hospital admission process and the procedure for gaining access to free lodging before admission to the hospital).
Angelyn, with thyroid enlargement, referred to Davao for surgery
   Two other patients were given medicines and medical supplies.  A boy with leukemia was given P6,500.00 for chemotherapy support. 

      Disapproved request for food sustenance for a family in Tacloban because the patient had not yet availed of city social welfare services.  

June 12, Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
      Holy Mass attended by a good number of patients.  Baptism of a baby patient, niece of the late 
      Jane Paglinawan of happy memory.  
Margaret, fully wake but uttered not a cry nor a whimper through the whole ceremony
Catechism for 10 adult patients on the Holy Mass and the Sacraments.

      Dispensed medicines to 14 patients (antibiotics, antihistamines, thyroid drugs, insulin, pain relievers, anti-tuberculosis, antipsychotic). Catechism for 9 children.  Counseling for two mothers of patients regarding work attitude and lifestyle changes and household management skills needed to improve the health of their families and become independent in matters pertaining basic survival. Three other adults were exhorted to prepare for Matrimony to receive grace to embrace parental duties with more generosity despite the sacrifices needed and become prudent and courageous in providing for the basic needs of their children.
June 13, Monday, St. Anthony of Padua

    Five women from Sarangani Province asked for the removal of their contraceptive implant.  The removal was done by the mission nurse after health counseling and catechism.  Three medical patients were assisted for medical consultation and medication.   
     A patient with kidney problem first seen on February was confined in St. Elizabeth Hospital due to abdominal pain.  Medicines were supplied by the mission.  A patient with myoma was prepared for surgery in General Santos City Hospital.   A patient with goiter who was identified  for surgical assistance last February was accompanied to Davao and oriented on the process for availing social welfare assistance.  A patient with cataract inquired about her surgical schedule.
     In Tacloban, the patient who persisted in asking for food supply for his family was reminded to seek social welfare assistance as the mission could not provide for every need of the patients.  Phenobarbital for an epileptic patient and Levothyroxine were requested for patients with epilepsy and  thyroid problem.

a      Surgery of patient Jocelyn Caracotdacot in Southern Philippines Medical Center. Her left kidney was removed.  The biopsy showed hydronephrosis with chronic pyelonephritis.  She sends thanks to all the mission benefactors for all the help extended to her.  

June 14, Tuesday, St. Basil the Great
    Medicine inventory done in preparation for the upcoming medical mission in Samar in cooperation with the Philippine Military.
     Four patients were given medicines (cases:  anemia, asthma, hyperacidity, prostate enlargement, and congenital heart disease). Two patients from Sarangani were  assisted for medical evaluation.

June 15, Wednesday, Feria   
      Blood was given to a poor surgical patient from Sarangani who was in the hospital for removal of a uterine myoma.  She had no relatives nor friends who could donate blood so the mission staff and members of the Apostles of Mary lined up for blood extraction and the mission paid for the blood screening.
Blood typing was conducted by the mission nurse
among the construction workers, the Apostles of Mary and the mission staff 
to identify possible blood donors for a patient in the hospital
The mission nurse led the initiative to donate blood for the patient
Joel (mission disbursing officer) and Rey (construction worker) generously responded to the call for blood donors
Lovely, a member of the Apostles of Mary dizzy but very honored to give
      Assistance was given for the burial of a deceased patient who was the mother of one of the masons in the mission office construction.     
   The patient from South Cotabato who was operated because of juvenile nasoangiofibroma was discharged from the hospital after 4 days in the intensive care unit.
Catechism at the hospital for the surgical patient and his brother by an aspirant of the Apostles of Mary
     An aspirant in St. Bernard Noviciate in Iloilo was sent support to buy medicines to control his liver disease.  
    A religious Brother brought his poor 18 year old sister to the mission to seek assistance for the removal of a painful mass at the back of her knee.  She was brought to the city hospital for appointment with the surgeon.
    A surgical patient in Tacloban who was scheduled to see her doctor for evaluation arrived late and missed her appointment.  She was instructed to process her insurance papers meantime and to inquire about the coverage for her surgery and look for other agencies that could help her pay the excess.
      June 16, Thursday, Feria
      The mission nurse continued assisting the surgical patients.  Patient Danelia was given CP clearance and given a schedule at the operating room.  Patient Marjee was seen by the surgeon at the government hospital and determined that the mass was vascular and referred her to a private surgeon. Three regular patients came for refill of their medicines for hypertension, diabetes, and pulmonary tuberculosis.  A patient was treated for fungal infection and given health counseling.

     June 17, Friday, St. Gregory Barbarigo
Xyrel Joy (hydrocephalus case seen by Dr. Thomas Neinaber on February) was given multivitamins as prescribed.

    Patient Jennelyn Siblos (first seen at the mission on February) came for her  ENT evaluation and thyroid medications.   Lorelyn, a surgical patient confined in the city hospital was given medicines. Rosemarie, a patient with pulmonary tuberculosis was given medicines.  
   Elaine proceeded to Samar to prepare for the upcoming medical mission in partnership with the Philippine Army.  A 4 year old girl with fever and cough was brought to a private clinic and given medicines for pneumonia, asthma and fever.  

     June 18, Saturday, St. Ephrem
   Catechism for a patient in the hospital: review of procedure for examination of conscience and Confession and set up of room for the visit of the Priest.  The patient went to Confession and received Holy Communion.  The priest blessed other patients in the hospital, taught catechism briefly, imposed scapulars and gave miraculous medals.  

     Laboratory tests were paid for the patient with gall bladder and liver problem, first seen at the mission on February, now confined in the city hospital with the support of the mission. 

      June 19, Sunday, Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
      Six patients lined up for medicines after the Holy Mass.  
     Conference with Sarangani patients and their families to check the status of their preparations for their reception of the Sacraments (Baptism, Matrimony) on the  upcoming feast of St. John the Baptist. Reviewed the festival program to ensure their participation.
     The mission nurse visited the surgical patient (myoma) in the city hospital and brought the removed specimen to a private hospital for biopsy.

No comments: