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Thursday, November 24, 2016

Defeated but Punching: Thanksgiving that Good triumphs over Evil

The Scripture readings on our annual plan come largely from Revelations, Daniel, Psalms and Isaiah this week. Mysterious dreams that sap the courage out of the authors as evil rears its horned head and plagues descend upon earth. One gets the clear message that evil is defeated, but on the way down is throwing some hard punches.

Which is pretty much how the week has gone. The doctor's strike looms and sadly the poorest will pay with their lives for the intransigence of the dispute between the government and the doctors over pay and work hours. The Friends of Naivasha NGO that encouraged us to plunge in at NSCH finished their planned project and in a surprise to us moved out of their hospital office on Wednesday.  We had a rotation of interns and my Paeds colleague went on leave meaning a lot of transition on the team, with some significant unhappiness expressed to me about my style. A child I was so happy we made a quick accurate diagnosis of intussecption (intestinal problem) on went to surgery and then when I looked for him, I found he'd "complicated" and been transferred (often a euphemism for death, so I was kicking myself for not doing the right thing). Our tiniest preem died. And other sick babies. Wednesday was just a rough rough day. Evil punching.

But we are to be people who can look ahead. That's why we have books like Revelations. We don't minimize what is wrong, we lament it...and then we put it in perspective. These are the punches of a defeated power. We mourn and move on. And particularly in this week, we look in between those easily seen discouraging events for the glimpses of grace at the fray.

So in spite of every evidence to the contrary, I asked my team to each say something they were thankful for today. Soon the day seemed less bleak. And we found some reasons to celebrate. A, pictured above, was discharged. The baby is 3 months old today and has been in NBU her entire life. She had Congenital TB, and her mom nearly died from her miliary TB, yet there they are smiling and improved and heading out the door after months of touch-and-go struggle. And just as I started this post I got hopeful news that baby C with the intussecption and gangrenous bowel was alive at the main referral hospital KNH in Nairobi and potentially can recover. Then I came home to find two neighbor kids playing with our puppy and felt thankful for the way Nyota has opened up some interaction with kids. 

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