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Monday, December 23, 2013

Gift's surgery, lefsa, and the jumble of medicine and Christmas

The 23rd of December, Christmas Eve Eve . . . Caleb home last night, immediately bringing the ease and laughter of a completed family back to us after too many months of aching gap.  So thankful for these hardworking kids, and the way they value relationship, and the way they can keep perspective, can avoid buying in too far for things that don't last, can stay true to who they were made to be.  I can't remember why, but at one point in the car on the way back from the airport I was laughing like I haven't laughed in a long time.  This is their time, to connect with each other, to sleep, to eat Christmas cookies, to play the guitar, to cut out snowflakes and visit with friends.

And a lot of my heart wishes it was my time to do those things, too.  The strike has officially ended, but maternity and nursery are still bursting at the seams. Today was pretty nonstop.  A 30 week preemie, two severely jaundiced babies, rounding on our Paeds ward where there are no visitors to fill the gap anymore and trying to figure out the diagnoses and plans and who can go home for Christmas.

But the good news is, Gift was able to go for surgery, and seems quite stable so far post-op.  Due to a low platelet count he needed fresh blood in the theatre, and I just happened to match his type. That needle is big and blunt but it may be the most concrete way I can help my patients.  The real skills today came from Dr. Erik who was finally able to do the repair.

 And then after a day of labs and resuscitations and orders and calculations, home to make a steaming pile of lefsa and celebrate a traditional Norwegian white dinner and Advent reading with friends here.

Scott read the prayer his Grandfather used to say in Norwegian, and we ate cod and rice and coconut shrimp and vegetables in a cream sauce, polished off by both Australian and American cookies and one of my favorite Christmas books:  Papa Panov's Special Day.  Which reminds us that we meet Jesus now in those who are marginalized, needy, different, difficult, poor. In those who draw out compassion, in those whose gift is their weakness.  

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