Apr 25, 2010

page 249

"I don't think we can really understand how time passes. We can't study it like a river or time it with a clock. Our devices only mark its coming and going. I dropped an anchor three months back but time didn't slow. Some things have to end, you know. You feel like life is always leading up to something, but it isn't. I mean life is just life. It's all happening right now, and we aren't going to be any more complete a month from now than we are now. I only say this because I am trying to appreciate everything tonight. I will be leaving soon, and I want to feel this, really understand that it is happening because God breathed some spark into some mud that became us, and He did it for a reason, and I want to feel that reason, not some false explanation."
- Donald Miller Through Painted Deserts

I'll be missing dear memories and dearer faces.
Praise the Lord for such a great cloud of witnesses.

Apr 19, 2010

ants marching

I live in a quaint little red brick house in a quaint little town on a quiet little street. Sounds nice right?

It is. Truly, I am thankful for this house, and I will miss my little home come May 17. There's a little problem though.

The ants.

They are massive, shiny ants with bodies that crunch when they are smashed. I don't mind them so much seeing as how cockroaches and tarantulas will be more the norm in my life. Yet...they are everywhere. It grosses me out.

Anyhow - the ants march, like DMB sings, and time marches on as well. I just came out of my critical care final. I answered 105 questions in under an hour which makes me nervous - but I either knew the answer or I didn't. I didn't sit and deliberate because the answers I chose made sense to me. We'll see how good that sense is in a few hours.

I continue to wait for my ATT to show up - it's my approval from the NLCEX board to take my boards. Time marches on.

I bought my ticket to go to Haiti. One way on a red eye from LAX to Miami. Sounds romantic right? I think it's just the way to start out a year overseas - flying a red eye. It seems right to fly while everyone sleeps.

Goodbyes are my norm these days. And Kevin was so timely to remind me of Psalm 90:14,17 yesterday:

Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love,
that we may rejoice and be glad all our days...
Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us,
and establish the work of our hands.

He has established each of our steps, and the days in Haiti are no different. So may He be my sustainer, and may we rejoice when we receive his steadfast love.

Apr 16, 2010

say goodbye, say hello

This week I walked closely with death again, and I saw another facet.

This week it was something else: painful, yet beautiful. I watched as a man was surrounded by many of his nearest and dearest, lying with the breeze coming through the window and hymns sung around him. And with his wife and daughter and son-in-law at his side just a bit later, he was gone.

But he was a man who proclaimed and lived out the Hope of the Gospel. There is a better end to his story. So in the midst of the sadness there is also a celebration.

We said goodbye to a giant in the face of cancer this week. He inspired and encouraged us all to live our lives in the best way possible.

We will miss him. Yet he was went out in joy and was led forth in peace.

Apr 8, 2010

April 7, 2010

Nothing about yesterday seemed to be real. It didn't seem to be right.

I had a patient, a very young patient, who made a choice. A choice to have a baby. She went against medical advice, got pregnant, had her baby, and nine months later I stood in her room.

The pictures of her three beautiful, perfect daughters hung on the wall. There was a slideshow running on the computer in the room, pictures of family vacations and dinners and birthday parties. She was an absolutely stunning woman. And yet, she looked nothing like those pictures now.

She laid paralyzed to decrease her body's need for oxygen. Her lungs had failed her, her heart was nearly failed, her kidneys had failed her, her liver was beginning to fail her. Her mother and husband sat in the room, grieving the loss they knew would come. I don't know if they knew it would come so soon. I didn't know if it would, but I had a feeling.

Her heart rate started to drop, her blood pressure bottomed out, and suddenly I was pushed against the wall...watching as if I wasn't really there, but more just dreaming it.

I watched 13 other people pour into the room. The nurses ran in and out, grabbing supplies, while the doctors watched silently. They would quietly say out another drug to push, another method to try, but then the resident on the case walked over to the mother and husband and simply hugged them as they began to sob.

The room was relatively quiet - just the sound of the Ambu-bag breathing for the patient in the hands of the respiratory therapist and the alarms dinging in the background alerting everyone that something wasn't right in that room.

For education purposes I should have paid attention to see what epinephrine and atropine did to the patient's heart rate, or how well her tissues were oxygenating. But I watched instead the slideshow - still running. Three little girls who were losing their mother. And I looked outside the door to see every medical and pharmacy student peering through to see what was happening. All I wanted to do was to walk out and cry. Perhaps one of those students should have been in the room in my place.

I watched a husband lose his wife and a mother lose her daughter. I saw grief overtake one and anger the other. I saw every nurse on the floor shed a tear for this family. And those pictures rotated on and on.

The world isn't supposed to be this way. It was never meant to be this way. I think that God's fury boiled over yesterday, indignant at the suffering of His children. I think His anger is stewing against sinfulness.

I sat outside the room with the nurse, listening to her talk through her grief. Then the husband came out, and she gave him a hug. Then he looked at me and said "Can I hug you too? You were with her today."

So I hugged him and could only whisper "I'm so sorry."

I could write about our Hope. But this family doesn't share in that Hope. So instead I just feel a heaviness.

The world was never meant to be this way.