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.