On Thursday the woman holding hand-written ticket #1 was Brenda Joyce Jimenez, of Miskito origin, who has worked as a cleaner at the Pearl Lagoon clinic for 10 years. Her mother, Joyce Corina Jimenez, held ticket #2.
Brenda is 28 years old and has two children; she wants one just one more child and stopped taking Depo Provera in February. She told her interviewer that she was worried that she hasn't gotten pregnant, but her PINCC doctor assured her nothing is wrong - after years of being on the injection for birth control, it can take up to one year for menstrual periods to resume.
Family planning is something that was not available to Brenda's mother, 62-year old Joyce. Mrs. Jimenez had 14 children, six of whom died before age seven, primarily of diarrhea and dehydration The eight remaining children all live in the Pearl Lagoon area, where we are working this week. Brenda's father died of cholera - at first she called it diarrhea and vomiting- when she was eight. Her mother washed people's dirty clothes to keep the family alive. Brenda's mother told me, "Some people helped me, some didn't. I worked hard for them. I worked for food and I worked for money."
Brenda went to school until age 14, coming to class only when the dory stopped to pick her up. She stopped school to help her mother, as did her siblings. They are proud that once they were working, they were able to support their mom so she could stay at home.
Brenda's inspection was "inadequate" - meaning the nurse and doctor could not see the entire cervical area to determine if there are lesions. She had a PAP smear done and will get the results in two days. Her mother showed vaginal atrophy and the speculum exam was uncomfortable, so she also had a PAP test. Brenda will get those results at the same time she gets her own.