rotating header

Saturday, January 29, 2022

a little good news

So, we returned this week to WVU for the results of Jennifer's battery of neuro-pyschologic tests which she did last week. The first thing our PsyD said (the one who scores and interprets all the tests) was "Let me put you at ease - this is all pretty good news."

As Jennifer and I have debriefed this visit with a few people, Jennifer likes to say, "Scott heard the good news - and I heard the bad news."

So, yes, there are some areas where Jennifer struggled a bit. Dexterity with her right hand - due to injury in the parietal region of her brain. Her short term memory is not what is was. She said, "Yes, there are mild residual cognitive deficits which is very much in line with the nature of the traumatic bleeding..."

But the vast majority of the results were stellar.  

"Your have great spatial skills - perfect." 

"Verbal: your ability to find your words and get them out perfectly fine."

"Your reasoning skills are absolutely superb."

"Your ability to focus amid distraction - really really good." 

"You have good insight."

"You are only four months out and we know you will continue to get better over time."

Bottom line - she has demonstrated a fantastic level of recovery. This evaluation has given us confidence that she is functioning at a level that allows her to safely re-engage with her work as a pediatrician and as a manager of people in our mission. 

Thanks to all of you who have prayed for her.

At this point, she has been given a green light to think about returning to Uganda this spring. We have begun to think through the possibilities and considerations. We hope to correspond with a travel agent soon. There are many things to think about. And, of course, we are thinking of all the people we haven't seen since her injury. Omicron has made it so difficult for us to see people. It's distressing, but we feel like it has been the responsible thing to do.

Prayer request: wisdom as we consider the timing of our return to Uganda, discernment about what our work schedule will look like as we seek to balance responsibilities leading the Uganda Team, our Africa Area (ten teams!), and clinical work in the hospital.  We do NOT intend to have Jennifer resume her work life as it looked pre-September-6th! The hospital work is the place that will be the slowest ramp up.

So, prayer warriors unite! We need a lot of prayer. Bundibugyo is a tough place to live with a lot of needy people and problems. We've been living lives of relative comfort and few demands. No one is knocking on our door with severe medical problems. There are no buses which are hooting their horns beginning at 4:45am. There are no mosques blaring their calls to prayer while it is still dark. But we do desire to get back in the saddle and re-engage with our life in Uganda. We know it will not be easy--but it is that unique place where we find an intersection between our hearts and the needs of a broken world.


mercygraceword said...

God, You are so good!
Praising you for this news, for Your mercy in so many ways.
If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives to all generously and without reproach.
It's a privilege to join in asking when and how He would have you return to "that unique place where we find an intersection between our hearts and the needs of a broken world."

So thankful.


Sally said...

Rejoicing in the green light to return, but I will also continue to pray for the "how" decisions to be made in accord with the leading of the Spirit. It's such a delicate balance, Jennifer, between listening to your body's (brain's) need for rest, which most people do not understand, and pushing yourself to exercise just a little beyond what is comfortable. I think it's very much like workouts as our bodies age; we need to slow down in order to tend to our form and to prevent injuries which our younger bodies hardly noticed.

Scott Ickes said...

We are so encouraged by this news of recovery and progress and even more deeply encouraged by your undying commitment to Bundibugyo and your Serge team. Thank you for sharing this journey with us. With love and prayers, the Ickes Family

mercygraceword said...

I read this poem in Treasury of David last week written around 1754. It reminded me of your hearts and your advocacy. Language appropriate to his century :-)
"An ardent spirit dwells with Christian love,
The eagle's vigour in the pitying dove.
'Tis not enough that we with sorrow sigh,
That we the wants of pleading man supply,
That we in sympathy with sufferers feel.
Nor hear a grief without a wish to heal;
Not these suffice - to sickness, pain and woe,
The Christian spirit loves with aid to go;
Will not be sought, waits not for want to plead,
But seeks the duty - nay, prevents the need;
Her utmost aid to every ill applies,
and plants relief for coming miseries." George Crabbe 1754

I fall far short and am praying fervently about this.

Unknown said...

Skip and I are rejoicing that Jennifer has made such an astonishing recovery....yes, there are minor residuals, but every step taken is a grace note considering the severity of the injury! And to be cleared to plan to return to Bundi....we will pray for wisdom as to timing and for the GRACE to re-engage slowly. May a hidden blessing emerge from this season of trial, namely, that the downshift from supernormal to a more normal pace...with margin for contemplation and renewal...will be yours back in Uganda. That reads easy but does hard because the needs and demands are omnipresent. We will be praying! Barbara