My name is Mamie David and I want to share with you how grateful I am to La Clínica because they went far beyond anything to help my situation. I moved to the Bay Area from Florida a few years ago. The rest of my family is in Illinois so I am here all by myself. During this time, I've been struggling with my health. I've been dealing with chronic illness, surgery, infection, and a long list of daily medications to relieve my pain and maintain my health. Life has been very stressful for me. Last year, everything got to be too much and I had a stroke.
The medical care I've received at La Clínica saved my life. The Vallejo Medical Clinic and pharmacy where I receive all my care is around the corner from where I live. This means that I don't have to take a taxi or a bus and I don't always need an appointment to see my doctor. My doctor has been amazing. There are days that I drop in unannounced for a visit because I feel lonely or worried. My doctor always makes time for me and listens to me with so much care and concern. When I had my stroke, she suggested that I would heal better if I wasn't alone. I invited my niece from Illinois to come and stay with me which really helped with my recovery.
Through the clinic, I've found other community resources and tools to support me. I've received help in paying my rent and utilities and other bills that would have been a hardship for me. They also referred me to the nutrition program at the farmer's market where I received information and support for how to eat a more healthy diet. La Clínica gave me hope to change my life for the better
My recovery has been faster because of the accessible care and support I get from La Clínica. I know of many people in our community who don't receive medical or dental care because they just can't get to the facility. When everything is in one place, it makes it convenient and encourages people to take care of themselves. La Clínica is planning to put up a new clinic in Vallejo which combines all the services and I know the new site will make it more accessible and help people in the community live a more healthy life.
Since I was a baby, my family and I have been going to La Clínica to receive health care services. In the 8th grade I was nominated by several of my teachers to become a Peer Health Educator as part of La Clínica's program. I didn't know what I was getting myself into at the time, but it changed my life.
As a Peer Health Educator I teach teenagers about health, nutrition and sex education. Initially, I was surprised at how little knowledge my classmates had about these topics. It made me feel good that they were comfortable asking me questions that they wouldn't ask their teachers or parents. I've learned that I love teaching.
Now, I'm a member of the Peer Health Education Advisory Board. I am so grateful for the opportunity to be part of this program. It has taught me to be a leader and provided me with valuable skills. With La Clínica's guidance I've gained confidence, I've become a leader, a public speaker and an advocate for youth. Most importantly, I've made a difference in the lives of the teenagers I've taught. I recently submitted my college applications and plan to study psychology. I will be the first in my family to attend college.
Joel, my son, called home on several occasions asking to get picked up because he couldn't stop coughing and he felt like he was suffocating. One of those times it was so bad, I took him to La Clínica. He was immediately given oxygen and soon after Dr. McClaughry conducted a number of tests and diagnosed him with asthma. I had heard of asthma, but I didn't really know what it was. Dr. McClaughry helped me and my son understand what asthma is and how to live with it.
I am very thankful to La Clínica for the asthma care that my son has received. Since Joel has been getting treated at La Clínica, he has not missed school, has not been to the hospital, and has been able to live a normal and healthy life.
In August of 2008, I started experiencing excessive thirst, frequent urination, weakness and fatigue. I knew there was something serious with my health when I started to have blurry vision and began to feel numbness in my hands. I finally came to La Clínica for a check-up and was diagnosed with diabetes. I was alarmed because I did not know anything about diabetes or what it meant to have diabetes. Coming to La Clínica helped me learn the right way to eat. Before, I was eating a lot of red meat. Now, I am eating more vegetables and fruits. It's hard to give up tortillas and tamales, they are staples in my culture, but I also feel it is my responsibility to take care of myself. La Clínica has helped me improve the way I eat and ultimately change the way I live in order to live a longer and healthier life.