Day 39, Grief…

Did I mention yesterday that it is hot?

Well, it’s frickin’ hot…  moving on.

Saturday mornings at the hospital are a mixed bag.  I’d say it’s a ratio of 45:55 mellow and relaxed versus chaos.  Today was definitely in the 55 department.  I was not even on call for the hospital, but found myself busy for a couple hours.  It’s like a black hole sometimes, if you get too close to the vortex it sucks you in.

The thing that sucked me in was some drama surrounding a newborn baby that is in the hospital for persistent pulmonary hypertension.  It’s a condition that requires a long time to mend, through a process of weaning oxygen slowly.  The problem is that we sent the child’s mother home awhile ago because she was exhausted and needed to recuperate.  Suddenly, today, the father just wanted to up and leave.  I explained to him that if he took the baby home, it would die.  I even showed him by lowering the oxygen level on the baby, and together we watched its saturation level spiral down into the 70’s.  I promptly cranked it back up, and baby was happy.

Dad then changed directions, and decided he was just going to leave.  In retrospect, I really felt for him because he was in a tough spot.  He said he couldn’t afford to stay in the hospital any longer, and needed to get back to his job.  He didn’t have any money, and couldn’t even afford to pay for his own meals from our little cafeteria.  The baby has been in the hospital for 21 days, and it’s a boring and monotonous process to stay in the hospital that long.

But in the moment, I got angry with him.  I yelled at him, and shamed him a little about attempting to abandon his child (for which I later regretted, and so I apologized).  I had to call the police as well, to document the abandonment.  Luckily, this little maneuver motivated him to rethink his plan to leave.  He’s still here now, as well as the baby, so hopefully baby will recover rapidly.


I was putting it off until the end to deliver the bad news.  Daphne (Day 6) has passed away.  I appreciate your prayers for her, and I think they were answered.  Sure, we always want a miracle healing.  But I think all of us would consider having all your friends and family around you, and having time to hug them and tell them you love them, a good death.  Daphne was able to return to her home, and do just that.  A couple of my colleagues reminded me that with care she received from us, she was not only able  to live several years longer than she probably would have, but she was able to conceive, have a baby, and watch that child grow to age 2.  She leaves the little girl with her husband, who is a loving father.  She also has an older sister and brother, and many aunts and cousins there to support her.

Heidi and I attended the funeral today.  We weren’t exactly sure where it was, so we rode into the village of Lucinda on my Moto, and asked the first person we saw if they could direct us to the  funeral for Daphne.  He said, ‘Yes, just heading there myself,’ so we followed him down the dusty road, then off trail and through a bit of jungle to an opening where a dozen other rustic graves were scattered.  It was a humble and intimate affair.  A pastor led us in a sweet prayer, then Daphne’s father spoke.  It was nothing but praise to God for his work in her life.  We felt honored and humbled to be a part of the grievance.

Photo of the Day:

This was Owen’s little April fools joke on Heidi.  When she went in to ‘drop the kids off at the pool,’ she saw this little thingy.  It looks a lot like a scorpion, which is our least favorite uninvited guest around here.  Turns out it was just a dried up leaf.  Good one, O.


One week left…

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