Clinic Blog: 2012 Mexico Clinic Blog
November 16, 2012
Here's a fantastic story by one of our leaders, Jamie Fenton:
In February of this year, I lost someone very dear to me - my wife's grandfather - Pa Jack. He was 92 years old, and up to the day that he took sick he lived on his own, cooked & cleaned for himself, did Sudoku every day, and he was always doing his crosswords. He still drove to sing with his Church Choir every Sunday - all in all an amazing man with lots & lots of fascinating stories. Before I came to Mexico, my wife managed to get both of Pa Jack's reading and distance glasses for me, and needless to say that they were the first things on my packing list!
I was having lunch on Friday when I got a call to say that an elderly gentleman had come through clinic who matched Pa Jack's prescription for distance glasses. It took me totally by surprise and as I was fitting the glasses to the new recipient, all I could see was Jack in front of me and it was a fresh reminder of what a great man he was. I will admit that I kinda lost it a bit as I dispensed the glasses, well I actually lost it a lot, but it was an amazing moment in my life. Later that day, I got a call to say that another man called Pedro Pablo had come through clinic matching Jack's reading script. Instantly I developed a bond with Pedro Pablo, and with the help of our translator Anna Sofia, I explained the history of the glasses and explained how much it meant to me to pass on Jack's glasses to him. He welled up, as did I, and he explained that he was honored to receive this "Gift of Love" and that knowing the history behind the glasses, he would take extra care of the glasses. He hugged me for several minutes, and ironically we probably said more between us without our translator than we did with our translator. I think it was a moment in my life that neither Pedro Pablo nor I will ever forget. I think it's testament to the kind of man that Jack was that he is still making a difference to people's lives even after he has passed away.
November 15, 2012
Since we have such an amazing and diverse team from all over the world, I wanted to give some space here for a few to write their stories and experiences in their own language! Even if you don't speak their language I would invite you to use an online translation tool to read what they have to say. Thanks to Daniel (italian) and Tina/Ferat (german) for sharing!:
L`esperienza di one sight e iniziata diversi anni fa quando a ricordo delle missioni di certi miei colleghi mi emozionavo solo a sentire le loro storie di aiutare con un piccolo gesto tutte quelle persone piu bisognose..Adesso dopo anni mi trovo io qui a raccontare a tutti voi la mia esperienza come prima missione in Messico con un bagaglio pieno di emozioni che cresce ogni giorno in clinica con pazienti che vengono sempre piu a ringraziarmi lodandomi anche al signore,semplicemente arrossiscono: come ad esempio una ragazza che mi ha colpito molto nel primo giorno,quando gli ho dato l`occhiale lei mi ha guardato ed improvvisamente e arrossita si e guardata attorno incredula e ha cominciato a piangere..Questo e un piccolo esempio nella mia espoerienza in clinica ma penso che basti questo a pensare che donare gli occhiali fa felici gli altri con un gesto che fa felice anche te nel cuore e nella vita..Per me e stata un`esperienza indimenticabile regalare con un semplice gesto,che per tanti sembra banale,ma per queste persone cambiera la vita. Volevo condividere con tutti voi questa esperienza perche il mio aiuto a loro insieme a tutti voi continuando a reciclare gli occhiali nei vari centri che poi verrano portati in missione,mi sento parte di una grande famiglia,pronti ad aiutare e a fare emozionare il prossimo come solo la famiglia di one sight.
Unser Mexiko-Abenteuer neigt sich so langsam dem Ende zu. Die Zeit verging viel zu schnell. Vor kurzem waren wir noch sehr gespannt auf das,was uns erwartet. endlich kam der Tag der Abreise und 26 Stunden spaeter waren wir auch "schon" am Ziel, total geraedert und uebermuedet. Als wir vor dem HOtel aus dem Shuttlebus stiegen, traf uns erst einmal der Kaelteschock. Es hatte gerade einmal 7 Grad und nicht wie erwartet 27 Grad. Den Rest der Woche wurde es auch nicht besser. Unsere kurzen Sachen blieben schoen ordentlich gefaltet im Koffer uns es hiess fuer uns: Shopping-Time fuer Winterklamotten. Zu den ganzen Unannhemlichkeiten kamen noch Magenverstimmungen, Mueckenstiche und eiskalte Hotelzimmer hinzu.
ABER HEY!!! ALLES SCH... EGAL!!!
Wir wurden dafuer mit wundervollen und einzigartigen Erlebnissen waehrend der Klinik belohn! Nur um Euch eine der vielen, vielen tollen Geschichten naeher zu bringen:Eine sich sorgende Mutter klopft verzweifelt an der Kliniktuer. Zunaechst wurde ihr der Einlass verwehrt, da sie kein Ticket hatte. Unser Klinikleiter Troy bekam das mit, sah in die Augen der kleinen Tochter und lies sie herein. Es stellte sich heraus, dass das Kind seit ihrer Geburt keine Augenlinsen mehr hat. Sie wurden ihr entnommen, da sie mit einem Katarakt auf beiden Augen zur Welt kam. Da die Familie sehr arm ist, konnten ihr aus Geldmangel keine neuen Linsen eingesetzt werden. Sie musste sich mit eine Fehlsichtigkeit von +10 Dpt. ohne Brille zurecht finden, da ihre letzte zu Bruch ging. In wenigen Minuten war ein fuenfkoepfiges Team unterwegs um ihr eine passende Brille zu suchen. Wir wurden fuendig und konnten der kleinen Marisol an ihrem 6. Geburtstag das Sehen schenken. Sie bekam zwei neue Brillen, Buntstifte, Spielzeug & Suessigkeiten und verlies die Klinik mit einem strahlenden Laecheln und ihrer uebergluecklichen Mutter. Diese Geschichte ist eine von vielen, die in den letzten Tagen unser Herz beruehrten und die OneSight ausmachen. Wir sind dankbar fuer diese einzigartigen Erfahrungen, die wir hier sammeln durften und fuer Ewig in unseren Herzen tragen werden.
Tina & Ferhat.
November 14, 2012
Here is a great entry from our resident Chabella expert, Robert Martins from Canada, to tell you what they are and how they're made!:
"What is a Chabella? One of the stations at clinic is the Production department. In the Central LOM labs, lens blanks are selected and then generated to produce the desired optical characteristics, then polished, coated and finally edged to the shape of the frame. In the Clinic, all of that work has been completed before the Clinic starts. The key difference is the frames - all Chabella frames are round - looking like Harry Potter glasses (or John Lennon is you're of an older generation!). This ensures all of the lenses fit the frames without needing edging - all of the lens stock has already been cut circular - it then becomes a matter of matching the lens selection to the patients needs.
The IMS department's doctors select the lens type from the available inventory and send the job over to Production. Chabella's are intended to suplement the pre-made glasses - to fill in the gaps in inventory. How many gaps there are (and therefore how many Chabella's need to be produced) depends on the available finished stock inventory and the demographics of the patient base being served. As finished stock is exhausted over the course of the Clinic, the Chabellas can help fill in those gaps.
To make a Chabella, the lenses are selected from the pre-cut lens inventory. The typical available range of lenses are from Plane to +/- 4.00 and up to a -2.75 cyl. The empty frames are opened up enough to pop in the lens and then before they are scewed down tight, the axis needs to be set. The glasses are placed in the Lensometer with the lense still loose in the frame. The power is dialed in on the Lensometer and the axis dial set as needed. Then the lenses are rotated until the desired axis is set. The frame is tighted to maintain the axis firmly in the frame. The process is repeated for the other eye and then the completed pair is inspected to make sure all optical parameters are correctly set to the Doctor's (and patients !) requirements. To make a pair of Chabellas only takes a few minutes - the major time component being unsrewing the frame and inserting the lenses - the frame screws can be quite stubborn sometimes!
Through the first 6 days of this clinic we have produced over 400 pairs of Chabellas - which has kept the Production Department hopping! The best part of working in Production is that the glasses are so unique once they are completed. We are fortunate to be staying within walking distance of the Clinic site and also of the town center area. Each evening we walk to dinner, often through the square in front of the Cathedral. Yesterday there was a little girl of about 9 years old playing with her friends and wearing one of our Chabellas - that really makes all of the effort (and the sore finger tips and occasional screwdriver puncture wound...) worth the trouble. So if you are ever selected for a Mission - try and get assigned for at least a day to the Production Department. You will gain valuable Lensometer experience and you will never forget which way a screw turns - Lefty Loosey - Righty Tighty !
Special Tanks to Jacqueline Smallwood and Crystal Schintz for all of their hard work in Production. At my last Clinic in South Africa we produced 87 Chabells in 2 weeks. We've done 5 times that many with still a day to go !
In closing - a big Beunos Dias to everyone at the Main LOM Lab in Winnipeg - while you were shovelling snow over the weekend we were sufferning through +30C heat!
November 9, 2012
Is it just me or is our team really getting warmed up!? Today we helped 1450 patients!!! Once again, even though there were MORE people coming through everything was flowing so well that it felt like there was LESS people we were seeing, awesome! Some highlights from the day:
Picture 1: Annie fitting a man for his new glasses.
Picture 2: Gotta keep things fun! Mark Dilts modeling some very modern sunglasses :)
Picture 3: Tina working fast on IMS/quick pick. This is the area where we store highly organized boxes of glasses. Once a prescription is ordered by a doctor it is found by hand in this are... all 1450 of them today!
Picture 4: Sometimes it's hard for a patient to focus on their visual aquity test... maybe because they don't know where to look or which finger to focus on? Robert and Melissa getting that coordinated :)
November 8, 2012
Wow what a day, our busiest yet with over 1250 people coming through! You can see in the pictures below just how busy it was in the IMS station, lines of people as far back as the room would allow (Picture 1). IMS is where the current prescription is put into a computer database to acquire the closest prescription available. The great thing about to day was, even though we saw more people, it felt less chaotic and more smooth = great team!
Before the day gets started, we have to prepare the stations and get the clinic set up. Picture 2 is of the dispensing station setting up for the day. This is where each pair of glasses and/or sunglasses is personally fitted for each person and a last visual acuity test is given. This station is also where the life changing stories take place, when someone who hasn't EVER worn glasses puts on a pair of lenses that allow them to funtion, it really dawns on you what a difference you're making in their life and you can see the look on their face as they start to see for the first time.
We had a fantastic group of school kids that came to volunteer and translate for us. In Picture 3 Robert (our fantastic team translator) explaining to the new volunteers in Spanish what exactly they need to do and how the clinic works. The good thing is that these kids are absolutely amazing and pick up each task easily and thoroughly. The hard thing is we get to know them and become friends with them and they only can be away from their school for 2 days, so every other day we have to say goodbye to the new friends we've made.
Picture 4 is for a little fun :) Contrary to what a lot of us thought the weather would be like in Chiapas Mexico (i.e. HOT) it turns out its very cold (and damp) at night and in the morning. This translates into Poncho attire since many of us didn't bring a lot or any warm clothes, you can see in Picture 4 the start of the team's Poncho trend.
November 7, 2012
One of the best parts about working with such a high caliber team is that the collaboration and flexibility just gets better and better the more time is spent together. Today showed just that since the clinic ran smoother and we saw 1167 people!!! Yes, we rocked it so hard today that our building shook! :)
To view pictures click on the individual post. (Pictures courtesy of Mark Lyons Photography)
November 7, 2012
After we received our station assignments for the day we had a group huddle/cheer and before we knew it we were full swing into our clinic's flow. In general the "flow" of a clinic goes something like this: patients start out by completing a brief registration and health history check. They then receive dilating eye drops and stay in a certain area for about 15 minutes to allow time for the eye drops to work. On then to check their basic visual acuity and take their general prescription reading via auto-refracting. After that they see a doctor who personally checks their eye health more in depth and determines which type(s) of eye wear the patient needs. At our clinic every single person is receiving sunglasses even if they don't require a prescription since sunglasses play a vital role in preventative eye care. The patients are then moved to dispense to await their new glasses and to get a personal fitting with one last eye check before leaving with a brand new view of the world!
One thing to be expected when a large group tackles a new task together is working out the kinks and hitting home runs with the curve balls that are thrown at us, which is exactly what we did! After some trial and error in the beginning of the day our results started becoming continuously more efficient and by the end of the day we had helped over 800 people!! Muy bien!
To view pictures you'll need to click on the post and will then be able to view pictures on the post's page. More individual stories to come!
November 5, 2012
It's orientation day! Thankfully our clinic is literally about 3 blocks away from our hotel, I've been hearing stories about Thailand and South Africa clinics where the groups would have a 2 hour drive on a bus EACH way!! We feel very fortunate! The clinic building itself is also a fantastic facility; well lit, air conditioned, stone floors and a great layout for the clinic flow.
After walking our 3 blocks (only on the narrow sidewalk, there are no stop signs so cars have "the right of way") we had a group introduction, clinic flow overview and then broke up into groups to train. We learned how to work the various stations, pictures below (to view pictures in any of the posts you'll need to click on the individual post).
First day of clinic is tomorrow and we're all excited to put our practice and our years of optical expertises to use! We have a goal to see about 10,000 people during our time here, stay tuned for our progress!
November 5, 2012
Wow, what a team we have gathering in Chiapas! Many of us met in Houston and flew together to Mexico City. After arriving and clearing customs we then flew on AeroMexico from Mexico City to our closest airport Tuxtla-Gutierrez. We were met by some buses to take us the 1.5 hour drive from sea-level up to a 8,000+ elevation where our clinic is located in a beautiful, mountainous San Cristobal. Overall, everyones travels went great, we had a couple pieces of luggage lost and our european team was delayed about 8 hours but arrived safely at 2am.
In speaking to a few members who have been on several global clinics it sounds like this clinic has the most diverse and international team yet. We have a base team from the U.S along with members from: Greece, Germany, Netherlands, Turkey, Brazil, Peru, Canada, Italy, Ireland, Mexico and South Africa! The more the merrier!
October 30, 2012
Hola from the Chiapas team! I'm so excited that we're less than ONE week away from meeting up in Chiapas Mexico for our two week long clinic! Our fantastic team consists of 46 people from literally all over the world who have commited their time, energy and passion to one thing: giving the gift of sight. A big "THANK YOU" to all of our family and friends who have helped support and contribute to our clinic. Because of you, you have made it possible for us to go on this global clinic and make a difference for someone's sight and life.
Over the next two weeks we hope that by reading our stories and viewing our photos that this will allow you to feel as if you are here with us. Please stay tuned as we bring these experiences to life for you and start our journey together. Until next time!
About the Clinic
2012 Mexico Clinic Blog Clinic
A team of OneSight volunteers and doctors will provide free vision care and eyewear to those in need.