Kenya Doctor Strike, losing track of the weeks, however finding holy moments

as well as so the days go by in a blur of exhilarating craziness as well as dreary defeats.  The futility of pouring one’s soul into one admit after another which dies.  The humbling realization which trying to hold up This kind of service by pushing on through day after day does not guarantee better care than the mediocre chaos which preceded the strike.  Glimpses of victories.  Squeezing from the rest of life mostly between a late dinner as well as midnight, calls, emails, work.  Trying not to think more than a day ahead, even though which means we are no doubt very frustrating to the people we are supposed to be visiting for supervision, encouragement, as well as exploring opening a fresh team/field in March.  As in next week.  as well as mostly, in case you don’t have time to read This kind of ramble, realizing which the relational depth we are plumbing with God as well as humans is actually the real story, as lives come as well as go.

(going home tomorrow, day 51 of life, a 27-week preemie survivor)

the item’s hard to think back more than a few days, too much water under the bridge.  Saturday began out with my usual peek into Newborn Unit before heading to ward rounds.  Nurses seem to be doing CPR.  I walk all the way in as well as find a very mottled, dead baby with zero response.  As soon as I help they leave me to do the chest compressions as well as ventilation alone while they get the medications I ask for, as well as some information coming from the file.  Mom had just come in to feed as well as found the baby dead. A full term infant who aspirated meconium at delivery, however as per the file had been breast feeding as well as stable.  the item is actually my first time to see This kind of baby, as well as the item’s too late.  There is actually no reviving her, dead too long.  Thursday I had almost the same experience, I was examining one baby as well as looked over at the one sharing his bed . . who was grey as well as lifeless.  which one I got back with CPR as well as meds however not for long.  After an hour or so the responses become less as well as less, until there was no heartbeat at all.  Two in three days, both Great sized term babies admitted the evening before, dead from the morning.  Either their critical condition as well as hypoxia were not recognized (since we have only 1 monitor to spot check 20-30 babies, which’s understandable) or they crumbled coming from a rising overwhelming infection, or choked on a feeding?  the item’s a depressing way to start the day, comforting a grieving mother.  however there are probably 40-50 patients a day to be seen, examined, touch base with the parent, write for adjustments in treatment, draw labs or review results, discharge a half dozen as well as admit another half dozen.  So we go on.

however the frequent futility puts which puzzling book of Ecclesiastes into perspective.  So much seems to be in vain.  Still delving into Keller’s Every Great Endeavor, trying to embrace This kind of season as well as what the item has to teach us.  Not just a temporary insanity to be muscled past, however an invitation to shape our work as God works.  For wholeness as well as newness as well as beauty, requiring sacrifice . . . however not necessarily demanding tangible results.

Because I want those tangible results, which in my work’s case are actually lives.

Could the item be which God is actually offering glimpses of something bigger?

A few hours later, I’m looking at a baby who has been with us all 37 days of her tiny preemie life.  Many of those days have been tenuous however on Saturday she’s plunging downhill fast.  Her heart is actually beating at an unsustainable 225 beats a minute, as well as when I first check on her her lips look blue, confirmed by oxygen saturations of 77% (should be high 0’s).  Her blood shows signs of another mounting infection, even though she’s barely been off antibiotics more than a few days in her life.  An x-ray seems to localize the source to her gut, necrotizing enterocolitis, a dire complication.  My kind Kijabe friend what’s app group responds to my enquiries with advice as well as rising alarm.  She may need surgery, which at This kind of strike moment might not be available anywhere else however Kijabe.  however her mom has no money or insurance, her dad is actually unsteady with alcohol, as well as I’m afraid to put her in an ambulance looking so unstable.  Fluids as well as antibiotics as well as by mid afternoon she’s marginally better, so with the gracious invitation of Kijabe’s generosity we risk the ambulance ride kangaroo-style (on her mother’s skin for heat).  Before she leaves, all the moms are from the unit feeding, as well as This kind of baby is actually such a precious little long termer which I decide to ask them all to pray with me for her, explaining in my halting Swahili the problems.  We pray, I am feeling pretty emotional, then open my eyes to find her mom with tears streaming.  which, I realize, is actually a holy moment.  What the item’s all about.  The community of mothers, praying.  The teamwork of the public as well as mission hospitals. The mother of the sickest baby sensing God’s provision, presence, support.  Running to the end of our resources, as well as desperately asking for survival.  as well as all which for something so modest as well as fragile as a 3-pound baby.  We load her into the ambulance with our last tank of oxygen, as well as I hear later she’s made the item just in time.  The infection is actually indeed serious, however we have trust she will make the item.

About 5 pm, thinking my semi-off Saturday couldn’t get much worse, my hand is actually literally on the exit door with Scott when a midwife runs out to ask us to come see a mom 28 weeks pregnant with triplets.  Sometimes the item’s so crazy you have to laugh or scream.  definitely?  She’s in active labor.  We recruit one more nurse to double the Newborn Unit night staff, start assembling three oxygen delivery systems (tricky since we are out of tanks completely, so the item’s beg as well as borrow enough concentrators) as the babies start coming.  Scott ferries them coming from the delivery room to the Newborn Unit.  The first two are identical girls, sharing a placenta, 820 as well as 960 grams. They are followed by a big brother.  I line them up as well as keep passing the bag with oxygen to inflate lungs up as well as down the row until the nurses can get the CPAP’s bubbling.  the item’s after 6 when an angel of a CO pops in, This kind of young woman has miraculous IV skills, as well as as I’m preparing a little surgical procedure for 3 umbilical lines she just slips in hand IVs.  Hooray.  Teamwork.  Another holy moment, three tiny lives holding on because of two nurses, a clinical officer, as well as me, helping each additional.

Sunday . . . Scott’s in at 4 am as well as 6 am for emergencies; I’m early to church to practice for helping with the worship team.  As soon as the service is actually over we head as quickly as we can to Nairobi.  The day before, our dear friends’ father had been admitted to the ICU at one of the best private hospitals. Michael as well as Karen are there with Michael’s mom waiting, while his dad goes into surgery for a triple coronary bypass after a devastating heart attack.  The senior Massos had recently retired coming from a 15+ year term of service teaching at a Christian University in Nairobi as well as founding a home for street boys on the side, however were back to sell their house as well as transition to more of a frequent shorter term pattern of ministry.  We sit outside the operating theatre as the risky surgery goes on, sharing some stories as well as memories as well as Psalms as well as prayers with the family as well as a handful of Kenyan adults who were once in their program.  As the hours go by, as well as the report is actually only “we’re trying to get him off the heart-lung bypass machine”, we all become more as well as more sober.  Finally about 5 pm the surgeon comes to the door of the theatre hall, as well as beckons Michael as well as his mom.  He looks tired. The setting is actually surreal, through a cracked door, he tells us which Mr. Masso is actually dead.  Sobbing tears, disbelief.  Holding onto each additional.  More scripture, as well as prayer, as well as a raw sorrow balanced by the truth which This kind of dad lived life fully as well as well as well as died from the midst of doing exactly what God called him to do.  the item is actually dark as we finally head home with Karen, still communicating with family over the globe.  The day is actually unbelievably draining, however holy as well, cutting to the core of family, of love, of friendship, of faith which stands from the room that has a dead body hating death as well as separation, yet says goodbye knowing we will be reunited.

Monday, back to the hospital, an emaciated child, another with the listless swelling of chronic malnutrition.  Two of the triplets have died however the tiniest one fights on.  Tubes of blood drawn, listening to lungs, palpating, thinking, empathizing.  Scott pushing to get emergency c-sections done, made doubly difficult sometimes by the foot-dragging of others.  Hour after hour, again the day slips away, as well as I walk back onto the ward one last time to deliver a lab result I’ve just checked, when I hear a nurse talking about intubation as well as see a clinical officer intern trying to do CPR.  the item’s a 2 year old with severe burns, as well as there goes another couple hours of maintaining his airway as well as breathing while we sort out a way to send him to the ICU at Kijabe.  Once his heart nearly stops.  He’d been treated overnight at a modest private local clinic, not a Great idea, since he’s nearly un-save-able by the time he arrives.  as well as while I’m bagging his lungs with oxygen, I hear coming from Scott which there’s a mother in labor that has a premature baby that has a prenatally diagnosed intestinal obstruction.  You actually couldn’t make up This kind of much crisis if you tried.

So what is actually bigger than a few saved lives?  Perhaps the item is actually building trust with coworkers I used to command/ criticize, learning to value cooperation as well as acknowledge how much we need each additional, which has the potential to save many more lives.  Perhaps the item is actually living a modest glow of light which says God is actually present, even on dark days of a father’s death, a child’s burn, a baby found without breath.  Perhaps the item is actually faith to believe This kind of is actually not all in vain, even when the item looks which way.

Please do pray.  the item might take a miracle to end the strike This kind of week.  We are supposed to leave for Congo, Uganda, as well as Burundi on Sunday.  We feel very conflicted about walking away.  Our hearts mostly want to keep at This kind of work. however we also have committed to additional work.  Pray for wisdom.

Kenya Doctor Strike, losing track of the weeks, however finding holy moments

Leave a Reply