On being sick and community. . .
I have been fighting a virus for about a week. . . but yesterday I started feeling really bad and took my pulse and oxygen and found out my pulse was strangely low. . . (45 for all the medical people reading). I normally have a pulse of 80-90 in Kijabe, so I was surprised and pretty worried.
However, the beautiful thing about where we live, is the availability and generosity of our friends. David is in the States right now to shoot a wedding, and it was almost time to pick the girls up from school. I called Rachel and made sure i wasn’t over reacting and she told me to come to Casualty (as we call the ER here in Kenya). She called Jon, who met me there and went to pick up my kids from school.
I called Karen to see if she could come to stay with me since David was gone. I was brave through my IV (you know how much I hate needles . . .) and blood work while they put me on a monitor and tried to figure out what was going on.
By the time Karen got there, I had texts with offers for dinner for the night, the next day, and plans for my girls. Karen went and brought them to see me when they got home from school and then they settled into a movie and pumpkin pancakes while I waited.
Sitting on the bed in casualty, I was overwhelmed with gratitude for what we are doing here in Kijabe. For the nurses who started my IV and got my EKG and watched my heart rate like hawks as it wandered up and down. For the lab that could process results faster here than almost anywhere in Kenya. For my doctor friends who puzzled through things with me and made sure I didn’t feel alone. For the two other patients who went to ICU while I was waiting and the skill with which our team of clinical officers, nurses, and physicians cared for them. For the COs and interns and colleagues who checked on me and prayed with me and showed surprise and then beautiful concern when they realized I was a patient. For Karen who kept me distracted and company for unexpected hours. For the bill that was less than $20 for the amazing care that I had been given. For friends who adopted my kids as their own and made sure they were okay and then welcomed me into their guest room so everyone (including myself and David) would worry less in the middle of the night. For the legacy of intention and generosity that has made all these things possible.
I’m home now, sitting on the couch with a fire going and waiting for the medicines to work. Tired and so, so grateful.