36/46 of the daily Lenten blog…
The 50 year old gentleman, Barney (not his real name), went out of his way to get my attention in the hall today. “Doctor, I want to thank you all.” I looked him in the eye as we stood in the hallway. I recognized him, but couldn’t quite put his face to the scenario. I noticed he had crutches, and so my eyes worked their way down the aluminum shafts and settled on his feet. His right leg looked fine, but coming out of his left tennis shoe was a metal prosthesis. Aha! I had attended him at some point in the past, he had undergone a left lower leg amputation. But here he was, up, and walking in the hall with a little bit of help from the crutches. He looked so proud. I could tell he was ecstatic, and wanted to show off his new leg. About an hour later, he caught me again (I think he thought I might be a different bald, gringo doctor at the hospital…) and he again thanked us and skipped off. He may have done a cartwheel…
We have a prosthetics program up and running now, although still in its infancy. It is the product of a tremendous amount of loving care and effort by many people, both here at Loma de Luz, and Stateside. It is a serious thrill to see some of these folks getting back on their feet.
Edna (from day 30) returned today with her CT scan, and it looked worse than we expected. There is Cancer obliterating her stomach, compressing the pancreas, metastasizing to her liver, and creating buckets of fluid in her belly (ascites). Dr. Brian and I took 3 liters of fluid out of her belly to make her more comfortable. We had a ‘tumor board’ conference with Dr. Dave, and came to the heartbreaking conclusion that even with a biopsy, the odds of any successful outcome was zero.
I was again awestruck by the faith of these people. I had to sit there, look her in the eye, and tell her that there was no hope of healing her (short of a miracle from God). Her husband and their friend were in tears, but she looked at me with serenity and a sad smile. She proceeded to thank me and told me that she had faith in God and in the doctors here at Loma de Luz; she would walk the path that she’d been given. She accepted her plight with grace and courage. Laying there, pale, small and emaciated, she looked angelic. I truly believe that God has special accolades awaiting her soon, in heaven. I went back to my office emotionally spent, and humbled by this family’s acceptance.
Photos of the Day:
Being from the Pacific Northwest, I am well aware of the legend of the Sasquatch. Everyone knows the tails of the furry beast, eluding detection in the forests of Washington and Oregon. Well, I may have made a new discovery in the jungles of Honduras. I managed to capture a photo of a yellow haired creature, slinking along in the palm trees just outside the orphanage. Behold…
Strangely, I encountered the beast again in our kitchen, later that night.
Day 36 done