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Wednesday, April 25, 2012

A Wednesday

 By the time I got to our Paedatric noon meeting and conference, I had attended chapel,  evaluated 23 inpatients, admitted two new patients to the Intensive Care Unit (a five-month-old whose terrible diarrhea left him unconscious, with no discernible pulses and a 13 year old diabetic who was somnolent and cold in ketoacidosis), attended one death (a one-week old post-op neurosurgical baby who survived complicated surgery but then arrested twice from an abnormal heart rhythm, who was brain dead and did not move as he slowly dwindled to lifelessness in his mom's arms once we withdrew support).  Most of the kids who are brought to Kijabe are complicated, desperate, and have tried several other places first.  They are sick.  Very sick.  So it takes time to untangle the web of their histories.  I think almost 20 or the 23 suffer from malnutrition as well.  These kids don't bounce back to health very quickly.  Two make me very happy.  James, the 15 year old whose sinus infection invaded his brain, who narrowly escaped irreversible brain damage and death . . now day 21 of super-strong IV antibiotics, and finally free of fever and headache for 48 hours.  He is soft-spoken and sweet, and probably getting bored.  He could be my kid, or anyone's.  I'm so relieved he is living.  And of course HS.  Today she was sitting up.  She's hungry, for the first time in two months.  We can't understand each other at all... but when our team surrounded her bed and she stood up on her mattress agitated, the mom in me said, I think she needs to go to the bathroom, and the poor little thing let loose with urine.  Which was excellent news as we had worried over her fluid balance. The surgery saved her life but today we finally started to turn the corner towards real recovery.  A long but satisfying morning.  And a good meeting, with lunch and leadership provided by Mardi, ever-organized and visionary and helpful and cheery and committed.  We have a good team.

Meanwhile back at the ranch  . . it rained.  And rained.  And rained some more.
 Jack came home from Rugby FREEZING and wet.  He is growing like a weed in this wet weather, and in spite of being about the youngest kid trying out he was the first to the top of the "quarry" on the run today.  He works hard, like his brother Caleb who is training for Basic Cadet Training (boot camp).  Julia and Acacia are playing volleyball.  And everyone was soaked.  So rather than drip on the floor, Julia did some sort of spunky soliloquy out on the pizza table while waiting for the hot shower to open up.  We have great kids.

Lastly, end-of-the-day mail haul, Caleb's official appointment package from the Academy.  Good thing we found out by email, as the "you must reply by April 15" letter arrived on April 25.  Somehow seeing it in print makes it all the more real. 

A day of patients and meetings, rescues and death, rain and songs, the satisfaction of the moment and the reminder of the future.  A mid-week gourmet family dinner, Champions League football and a fire.  A day of full life.

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