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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Wonderful Wealth

"Dear George, remember no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings, Love Clarence."

After another exhausting night, as the kids went out the door to school this morning, the dreaded 7:30 am text that one of our patients has deteriorated even more and is landing in the ICU.  As I grab my coat and stethoscope and rush to the hospital I text the group of women I would normally pray with at 8 on Tuesday mornings, saying I'm unlikely to make it.  It takes the next 1 1/2 hours to sort out the neurosurgical baby who is crashing and I don't get her intubated until my second attempt.  Meanwhile my week-old patient in another ICU bed takes a turn for the worse, and our longest-term babies in nursery all have acute flares of chronic problems.  I've had three hours of sleep max, and one mom kindly smiles at me as I give her a detailed report on the wrong baby.  My heart was till reeling from a criticism the night before, and aching from several hours of work on trying to arrange Christmas plane tickets and wrest adequate call coverage out of a very lean horizon.  not quite as desperate as George Bailey, but not exactly A-OK either.  

But today turned into a a great day, because of the kindness of friends.  One who let me vent safely, providing a filter before I said things I shouldn't elsewhere, and didn't make me feel bad about it.  Another who let me get out early and walk my dogs in the breeze and sunshine of the late afternoon.  Another who dropped off two culinary delights, and stayed to chat.  Another who just sent a text about a patient saying she is praying for me and told me not to take the burden too hard.  All of these are women I have met in the last couple years working here.  And that reminds me that though this is a community with its own issues and failings made up of sinners like me, it is a community that has a richness of kindness which flows to my soul.

It is only in the press of the struggle that we really appreciate the wealth of friendship.  So here's to a good day, and a wonderful life.

1 comment:

Cori said...

My husband (Rob) and I visited Kijabe in January 2011. Rob, a family medicine resident at the time, immensely enjoyed working with Scott in the men’s ward. When we returned to the U.S., I yearned to hear something about Kijabe; I found your blog and have been reading it since. The stories you all have written have been so encouraging to me (and maintain my desire to return to Kijabe some day!). Thank you for sharing your wisdom and experiences.