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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Sometimes Silver Linings

Shimmering, beneath the surface of a dull, scratched world.

Some are trivial. My swollen not-broken toe is annoying. But, it slows me down to walk Kenyan-paced.  I'm no longer zipping past people in the halls.  I have more time between places to think.  I have more time in general because I'm not exercising at all.  Which is not so mentally or physically healthy, but I think I needed that margin this week.

Or the fact that half my family is in a time zone 11 hours off.  So when I was wiped out post-call and the three kids here were all in late evening study groups and Scott was also occupied, I could call them.  Nice.  Sometimes 11 hours is easier than 7 or 8.

A big one this week is that Scott is finally getting administrative time.  So even though I feel even more behind on many things and tempted towards jealousy, it is HUGE to have a functional parent.  He is making phone calls to teams, working on our legal/immigration issues in Kenya, going to meetings, and even wrote our December prayer letter which is shockingly the only one this year.  It's been one of those years.  And a nice perk is that he made dinner the last two nights.

I had been in the hospital this morning for over an hour with a visiting cardiologist seeing patients when I was called emergently to the Annex.  A neurosurgical patient on whom we had consulted for the last week had been found pulseless, milk vomited all over his face.  He was not just temporarily arrested.  He was dead for at least 10 or 15 minutes, which his mother had not recognized, getting an extra blanket in response to his coldness.  I intubated him and gave him drugs while we did CPR as a team, but no response.  Bagging air in and out, needles, syringes, suggestions, checking anxiously, more drugs, more chest pumping, more time.  It wasn't working.  Finally the reluctant halt, the lifelss reality.  A prayer. Not sure where the silver lining is here.  His mother was hysterical, disbelieving, shaking.  His dad was sober, then weeping.  I am sad, and feel defeated, or perhaps cheated.  He was getting better.  We had not expected this sudden death.  I am going over the scenario this evening in my heart, over and over, looking for answers.

And that is legitimate too.  Lament is lament.  The silver lining is too subtle, too tarnished, for me to see with this child.  I was reminded in reading a friend's blog about Jonah that lament is an expression of faith.  The world is not as it should be.  Sometimes we can see a glimpse of redemption in the suffering, a silver lining.  But sometimes we can not, but we hold on in faith to the evidence of unseen sparkle.

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