Sunday, 8 July 2012

A doctor's work is never done

Pity Sheba.

At Jeevan Sahara Kendra she meets people who have been sick for years.  Who are often wasted away - physically and emotionally.  Who - like the man currently admitted at the JSK centre - are full of fear and negativity.

'How are you doing?'

"Doctor, I keep vomitting and have had multiple diarhoeas"   "Doctor, my son has just been coughing and coughing all night." "Doctor, the patient has vomitted after taking the medicines.  What shall we do?"

Patient.  Mother.  Nurse.  All with the same negative statements.

But then again, they are true.  This is the real condition that this man is going through.  Its not that he is hale and hearty and making up things so that he can be admitted to hospital and avoid his problems.  This man is a 40+ batchelor who has known about his HIV condition since 1998!  For 14 years he has lived with the disease - getting treatment from ayurvedic frauds (plenty of them - always ready to give a 'cure' for money - never around when the patient wastes away and dies).  So here he is at our centre in a very poor condition with a high spiking fever.

But Sheba does not just treat our patients as sick machines who need a little greasing here and a bit of a spark plug cleaning there (or even a gasket change for that matter).  What Sheba does besides diagnosis and prescription and monitoring is to deal with the inner person.  To listen and pray.  To help the person understand and see who they are and how our amazing caring God is working to change and shape them to be like Him.

We pray each time Sheba goes over to JSK.  So many times we see big and small answers to these prayers.

And then Sheba comes home.

For the last 3 days Enoch has had a fever.  It comes and goes.  Enoch is pretty cheerful - most of the time.  But to see your own child sick breaks any parent's heart.

Then last night I was queasy too.  Sitting at the dinner table my face was a fine shade of pale - mirroring what my stomache felt.  Another patient to sleep next to Enoch.

This morning I am better - but Enoch is not yet.

Here is how Asha sumarised it on our white board (she is the 'board monitor' at her school - allowing her to draw the whiteboard everyday - something she really likes):

I am obviously better in Asha's understanding.  Asha takes the role of the nurse - which she does well.  This morning she was comforting Enoch and made a small paper list of the patient's symptoms.

Being a Sunday morning we had to make a decision about who should / should not go to worship at our Sunday morning gathering at Bro Jolly and Sis Suma's home.  After Sheba came back from doing a morning visit to the patient at the JSK Centre, we decided that Sheba and Asha would go - and I would remain with Enoch here.  We are just about to have our own worship time together.

Here is a shot of our happy patient.  Or as Asha put in her picture - the patient patient.

But pity our dear doctor.

Even for herself things don't go easy.  Sheba has been living with a fairly large stone in her gall bladder for over a year now.  We recently did a raft of tests to see whether we should go in for surgery (jury still out on that).  Some medication was given to her.  She took it for some time, but then stopped - why take things that  she knows won't help.  The knowledge that a doctor has can be a double-edged sword.

So as we go into our worship time, we will be praying especially for our dear doctor - our hero and wonderful mother and wife - Sheba!

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