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Sunday, November 06, 2011

a typical Kijabe weekend

S  t  r  e  t  c  h  i  n  g   days and nights at the hospital.  This is our monthly weekend on-call.  The paeds service suddenly ballooned to 40-plus patients, half NICU and half older babies and children on the Paeds ward.  Just when we lost our visiting professor and when our Kenyan paediatrician colleague took a week off to teach elsewhere, of course . . . And hardly any of these kids are straightforward cases with solvable problems.  My head is still spinning in spite of hours reviewing and examining them yesterday and today.  Thankfully we're on call with two bright and competent interns.  So when one called Scott at 2 am for help with a breech delivery, and the other called me twenty minutes later just saying "please come", we knew we were in trouble.  A mother trying to deliver twins, first one became lodged bottom-first, compressing the cord in a situation that could easily have ended in death.  Scott managed to wrest the baby out, though he broke the baby's arm in the process, a small healable price to pay for survival. Unfortunately the delay before he was called meant the baby had suffered a prolonged hypoxic period, and he was floppy with no effort to breath for a long while, later developing convulsions.  His prognosis is guarded.  But after that Scott and Dr. Anne whisked the mother into the theatre for a C-section to deliver the second baby, just as the womb almost ruptured.  This baby was also blue and limp but responded to our efforts and was crying by the time he was a few minutes old.  Our work-life has diverged from each other so much since Bundibugyo, it was kind of nice to be working together, even though it was from about 2:30 to 5 am.  

Guests.  A pleasure to welcome our friends who are now living on the coast, and have two boys our boys' ages.  They started off relatively close to us in Uganda all those years ago, and we've crossed paths repeatedly over the years.  In a place where we generally feel like the "new" people, it's nice to have history with someone.  Nice also to have their boys drifting in and out, making pizza together or waffles, giving us that team feel that we miss.

Games.  Jack's last JV football game, a 1-1 tie, good effort but not quite enough to make semi-finals.  Acacia off to a game in Nairobi, victorious, and Caleb to a draw.  And cheering for Julia in her last Bball game of the term, a decisive win over a team with a 6'5" Sudanese 13 year old . . . I'm so thankful for sports for our kids, especially for the girls, promoting a healthy self-image, exercise, friendship, teamwork, fun, belonging.  Kudos to Mr. Gonzalez, Mr. Davis, Mrs. Chedester, Mr. Hazard and Mr. Dahlman, who have coached most evenings and weekends for the last few months.  Coaches are our unsung heroes.  

Events.  Caleb taking SAT subject tests, all attending the high school drama "Death on the Nile" based on an Agatha Christie book, baking brownies for Julia's class to sell at intermission, working on maintaining our database for patients, planning for visiting doctors, coordinating upcoming meetings, thinking through protocols and improvements with other doctors, editing essays, washing dishes, coming up with meals, washing clothes, getting them out on the line in brief respites of sun and pulling them in ahead of squalls of rain, all has to be fit in around the hours in the hospital and calls on the phone.

Family.  Ruth's 79th birthday.  Luke suffering recurrent debilitating back muscle spasm and pain from the injuries he incurred on his motorcycle accident this past summer.  Feeling regret that we miss important life milestones, and impotence to help those we love.

Burdens.  Bearing the sorrow of kids who aren't coping.  Mostly other peoples' whom we see in the clinic, and listen to, and pray for, and ache over.  There is a high cost to this life, and much of it is borne by our children.  

Rejoicing.  The best for last:  a very very generous and faithful friend, who has supported BundiNutrition heavily over the years, decided to step in the gap for Christ School this year.  Please thank God, and pray for this family to be blessed with the same measure they are pouring out for us.  This gift and other responses to the recent appeal reassure us that in spite of opposition and set-back and disappointment, God still has plans to use CSB for the Kingdom.  A key family whom the Johnsons had hoped to work with mutually decided their gifts would fit better elsewhere, which was a huge loss all around, so this unexpected bounty of provision was well timed.

That's a taste of a Kijabe weekend.  Driving rain and moments of golden sun, premier league football on the television, Caleb and a handful of RVA students singing the Hallelujah Chorus with the local church choir in worship this morning, greeting hospital friends on the road, pondering management of a syphilitic rash or an obstructed bowel, gathering a gaggle of 10th grade girls for cookie baking, trying to think clearly in weariness, this is life.

1 comment:

Karen said...

May God continue to be your strength!
Grateful for this faithful, faithful donor. This one has blessed Bundibugyo over and over again.