Saturday, January 17, 2009

Summit Community Care Clinic


Stories from the Clinic

Children Become the Parents

When Spanish speaking families come to the clinic they come as entire family. Mom, Dad, Sisters and Brothers. A group en masse. Mom and dad cannot speak English. The children can speak perfect Spanish having spent most of their life in the United States and in school learning English. Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

The children bring their parents to the clinic. The children ask the questions and give the information to their parents in Spanish. What a neat reversal of roles. The children in this situation have become the parents. The parents are the children. Imagine an eight year old boy becoming the father at the clinic. It happens every day.


Parents and Grandparents keep on keeping on

One of the most touching pictures is that of parents and grandparents who bring their grown children for mental health appointments. They bring them in as if they are small children and need protection and help. They are always touching and hugging and giving support. One set of grandparents came back to the desk several times because their daughter or granddaughter had walked off before her appointment and they could not find her. They were directed toward the cafeteria to check if she was there. I could only imagine they did not find her because they did not return. So sad.

The Cowboy

He was very irritated. He could not understand why he had to wait for all of the women and children in line. He was obviously a man of wealth. A man of distinction. When he was asked about the items needed for a Care Card to get services he said that if he had all of that he would not have to come to the free clinic. He did not understand that there is nothing in life that is free including the community care clinic.

The woman with two heads

She was a middle age woman who was in severe pain. She had a normal size head with a huge lump on the left side that looked like a second head. Her complaint was a tooth ache and she was in severe pain. It was obvious that she did not have a dentist and that she had probably gone for days or weeks hoping the pain would go away. It is delores in Spanish. In English it is pain. She was quickly taken to the dental clinic where she reemerged about an hour later with only one head. The other swollen painful mass was gone with an extraction and some pain killers. Her remaining head had a big smile.


Summit County, Colorado Independent

Stories from the Summit Community Care Clinic




Family Dress Up Day

Oftentimes the entire family will come to the clinic together. Normally only one member is going to see a provider but the other members come along for support. What strikes me about this is that everyone in the family is very well dressed and wearing their very best clothes. I imagine that it is out of respect for the doctor and the providers and to give their very best impression on their day at the clinic. It is an event of great proportion where they can proudly walk into the clinic wearing their entire splendor to see the honored doctor. They are so very proud to do all of this for the doctor.

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