News BlogLatest News From Our Volunteers in Nepal

 

End of Life Care in Rural Nepal

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lauren Pegoli

Basanti is a 32 year old woman from the small village of Bajrabarahi, about three to four hours from Kathmandu (depending on your mode of transport). Ten years ago she fell in love with Dikpal; they married and had a child together. She presented at the clinic with stage four breast and brain cancer that had metastasized, possibly spreading to her bones.

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Lauren Pegoli

Basanti was carried into the clinic by her husband in the early morning. Requesting a bucket be placed beside her bed, within minutes she was throwing up. It was Basanti's first visit to the clinic, her chief complaint being nausea and a one-sided temporal headache. For the past fifteen days she had been vomiting intermittently due to the severity of her pain. The constant sharpness in her left temple was so severe she had been bed ridden for weeks, struggling to keep food and water down. Basanti was initially hesitant to disclose her recent history, possibly because she was weary of further medical intervention. After some time she revealed she had had a mastectomy on her right breast eight months prior, followed by six courses of chemotherapy and twenty-five days of radiation therapy. Almost as an afterthought, she told me of a lump on the left breast that had been itchy for the past few months.

Read more: End of Life Care in Rural Nepal

The Color of Love

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Emma Ellsworth

In my first week with Acupuncture Relief Project, a grandmother came to the clinic complaining of abdominal pain. She had eaten some bad buffalo meat and was now suffering from diarrhea and cramping.  Despite her discomfort, she had a face that seemed made for smiling. As we discussed her pain, her face broke into a huge goofy grin, perhaps made goofier by the mere four teeth that comprised it. Her eyes twinkled and searched my face as she spoke.  I took her vitals, felt her abdomen, gave her advice and treatment. The next time I saw her, she said her diarrhea had ceased and she had returned with a new complaint. As I evaluated her for this new pain, she looked at me and smiled her big goofy smile. She said “You really Love me. You Love me like my mother Loves me.” I was a little bit blown a way and admittedly, tears came to my eyes. My first thought: has no one loved you since your mother? Surely if someone had, you would have referenced that Love, being that you are so far in time from your mother’s Love.  My second thought was no, “Love” is too strong a word; I “care” for you as any good practitioner would.

Read more: The Color of Love

Integrated Medicine for Rural Primary Care 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Andrew Schlabach

“Easy! Easy!” My motorbike’s rear tire spins out to the left as it loses traction on the rain soaked, stony... road? path?. It’s a cold wet Saturday morning and I’m wondering how good of an idea it was to come this way. Saturday is usually our day off, but today we are on a mission: three motorbikes slowly winding up through the misty hills near our clinic in Tistung. Mercifully the precarious drop-offs are obscured by low clouds meandering their way through the eerie landscape, giving us the illusion of navigating a precipice surrounded by an endless abyss.

The river is a lot deeper than I expected, soaking my boots. Now climbing the steep muddy bank, I grab a little too much throttle, finding myself slipping somewhat sideways with my bike bouncing ungracefully over the loose stones attempting to gain purchase. 

Acupuncture Relief Project  | Good Health Nepal | Andrew Schlabach

Yesterday at our clinic, a volunteer practitioner, Emma Ellsworth and I managed a rather gory draining of a large skin abscess (carbuncle) on a thirteen year old boy. It was about a one inch, very painful lesion located between his left temple and the root of the ear. The procedure seemed easy enough as we numbed the area with lidocaine, sterilized his skin with povidone-iodine and prepared our tools. After making a small incision using a three-edged needle, copious amounts of turbid yellow puss were drained from the skin. (That was the easy part.) Then, using a sterile stick swab soaked in an antibiotic solution, I inserted the swab several centimeters into the pocket to clean its margins. Thankfully my assistant held steady as we worked quickly to finish the procedure. We dressed the wound, gave our brave young patient some medication for pain and infection, and sent him on his way.

Today we are following up with a house call. 

Read more: Integrated Medicine for Rural Primary Care 

More Articles

  • End of Life Care in Rural Nepal

    End of Life Care in Rural Nepal

    Basanti is a 32 year old woman from the small village of Bajrabarahi, about three to four hours from Kathmandu (depending on your mode of transport). Ten years ago she

    Read More
  • The Color of Love

    The Color of Love

    In my first week with Acupuncture Relief Project, a grandmother came to the clinic complaining of abdominal pain. She had eaten some bad buffalo meat and was now suffering from

    Read More
  • Integrated Medicine for Rural Primary Care 

    Integrated Medicine for Rural Primary Care 

    “Easy! Easy!” My motorbike’s rear tire spins out to the left as it loses traction on the rain soaked, stony... road? path?. It’s a cold wet Saturday morning and I’m

    Read More
  • Wound Care

    Wound Care

    Recently while working in the Bajrabarahi clinic I had the opportunity to help someone with an infected wound. A middle aged woman came into the clinic with a swollen, painful

    Read More
  • Rice Harvest in Nepal

    Rice Harvest in Nepal

    I don’t know about you, but I grew up eating rice for basically every meal. My job in the house was to make sure the rice was washed and cooked

    Read More
  • The Faces of My Patients

    The Faces of My Patients

    tamangwomen I looked down to check that I had everything. I wore my white lab coat, new name tag, and had pens in my pocket. My supplies were all laid

    Read More
  • Nepali Women

    Nepali Women

    Cricket highlights are buzzing in my left ear, as I peel apart crinkling, plastic sleeves of a wedding album. My patient’s fourteen-year-old son splits his attention between the static screen

    Read More
  • Naturopathy in Nepal

    Naturopathy in Nepal

    Four years ago I fell in love with the most impoverished district of Nepal called Humla. Though I was there to research malnutrition, I quickly realized the desperate need of

    Read More
  • Human Suffering

    Human Suffering

    Yesterday, I saw an 80 year old patient whose oxygen saturation read 75. In America, anyone under 90% gets an immediate oxygen cannula in their nose. When I first encountered

    Read More
  • Bimdev Says His Daughter’s Name

    Bimdev Says His Daughter’s Name

    Not long ago, I watched a man carefully walk into clinic, cane in hand, right arm and leg trapped in contracture from a stroke. He sat down silently and handed

    Read More
  • Tamang

    Tamang

    She sat there like a queen, or a dictator, regally poised in a red plastic chair, her gold-tasseled nose ring eclipsed by her broad nose. Faded tattoos traced the corners

    Read More
  • The Best Medicine of All

    The Best Medicine of All

    I’m totally overdressed, now sweating in my puffy jacket that only a few hours ago seemed totally adequate to stave off the morning frost. The Nepali middle hills tower and

    Read More
  • My Home Away From Home

    My Home Away From Home

    After living in Bajrabahari at the Acupuncture Relief Project headquarters for 3-1/2 months it has become my home. As I think about my “other home” in Portland Oregon it seems

    Read More
  • This Is A Place I Call “Home”

    This Is A Place I Call “Home”

    Sitting in front a window at the Roadhouse in Thamel, realizing I’ll be leaving Nepal in less than 8 hours, feel like unreal. There is a strong voice inside me

    Read More
  • Heart Wrenching at Times and Exhausting at Others

    Heart Wrenching at Times and Exhausting at Others

    It has been a month now I have been living in Bajrabarahi, Nepal and I am in a nice groove. I am consistently seeing around 15-20 patients a day in

    Read More
  • Walkabouts in Nepal’s Agricultural Nirvana

    Walkabouts in Nepal’s Agricultural Nirvana

    As an American Acupuncture volunteer for Acupuncture Relief Project (ARP) in Nepal, I stepped into an eastern culture that is a distant shadow of my own, regarding the traditional farming

    Read More
  • The Work of Farming

    The Work of Farming

    I’ve been moving around for awhile, but for most of my life I lived in one place. There is much to be said about having roots and feeling at home.

    Read More
  • Everyday Acupuncture Podcast

    Everyday Acupuncture Podcast

    Here in the west we are used to seeing acupuncture clinics in an urban setting, and it is often sought as an adjunctive therapy used in combination with other modalities.

    Read More
  • Jatra: The goddess

    Jatra: The goddess

    Patients come on a first come, first served basis, often arriving a little before 6am, slipping their appointment cards under a designated stone on the reception window sill. Many will

    Read More
  • Beyond the White Coat

    Beyond the White Coat

    When I started fundraising for this volunteer trip, many friends asked me why I chose to come to Nepal with ARP, and my simple response was, “to step out of

    Read More
  • Baskets and Knees

    Baskets and Knees

    In the foothills of the Himalayas, Bhajra Barahi is made up of steep hills, the slopes of which have been terraced for farming. These plots of rice, cauliflower, mustard, squash,

    Read More
  • A Day in Bajrabarahi: Where There are No Doctors

    A Day in Bajrabarahi: Where There are No Doctors

    When we open the clinic doors at 8:30, there are usually already a handful of patients waiting outside in the crisp morning air. Patients arrive throughout the day. There are

    Read More
  • Ten Years in Nepal: A Tale of Three Brothers

    Ten Years in Nepal: A Tale of Three Brothers

    The day started like most days, a brisk late-autumn morning with a light frost on the ground and clear blue skies. A breakfast of churra (beaten dried rice), chickpeas and

    Read More
  • Death

    Death

    Today's topic: Death! (the author does not pick blog topics; the blog topics choose him) I began thinking about this after hearing that one of our ARP staff members, Tsering,

    Read More
  • Together We Drink Tea

    Together We Drink Tea

    The morning sunlight, through a gap in my curtain reaches onto my bed and teases my skin. I look outside the window to see beautiful blue sky above our mountain

    Read More
  • I love food

    I love food

    Fun fact, my body is 85% digestive tract with the rest being sensory and motor structures that assist me in attaining more food. My genetics are closely related to a

    Read More
  • Return to Baseline

    Return to Baseline

    As part of our long term goals in Nepal, it is our aspiration to train several Nepali born practitioners to serve in our clinics. We have partnered with a small

    Read More
  • Today, I am very happy.

    Today, I am very happy.

    After clinic one day I had the opportunity to experience a wonderful delve into the down country culture of the local folks I've befriended over the last couple weeks. Gunaraj,

    Read More
  • My Bone Problem

    My Bone Problem

    Today I fitted my elderly patient with her (hopefully) semi-permanent shoulder cast. This woman came into the clinic a few weeks ago. I remember treating her knee pain and when

    Read More
  • Worth it

    Worth it

    Having lived my whole life in a developed country, with most of my needs magically looked after for me, it was a cultural shock to see the many inadequacies the

    Read More
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Latest Instagram

Follow Us on Facebook

Your Donations Help

In addition to volunteering their time and energy, our practitioners are required to raise the money it takes to support their efforts at our clinic. Please consider helping them by making a tax deductible donation in their name.

DONATE NOW

Support our work

Donate Volunteer Get in Touch

Support Us