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A family doc in the O.R.

I’m having some writer’s block, so let’s do a photo tour and see if that sparks some creative juices…

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This young lady obviously broke her leg…  This is easy to do when you’re driving your motorcycle at night in the dark;  On a pot-hole-riddled dirt road;  While passing a truck on it’s left side;  And another motorcycle is coming at you head on;  Oh yeah, and you’re blind in one eye.

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Yes, that is a power drill.  With the guidance of Dr. Isaac, I used the drill to put a pin in her Tibia, so that we could pull it to traction in preparation for eventual surgery.  It’s very exciting for a family doc like me to find himself in the OR!

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We are in the thick of Semana Santa right now, which is Holy week.  It’s the week leading up to Easter Sunday.  You would think this would be a week of peace, joy, and love.  However, here where we live, this week is known as Semana Sangre, or Bloody Week.  Why?  because it can be a week of debauchery and violence.  I guess that’s more like the week leading up to the first Easter, in Jesus’ days, right?  Anyway, we are mentally prepared for a busy week at the hospital with lots of trauma victims, gunshot wounds, and injuries that occur when you consume too many fermented beverages.

As if on cue, the traumatic injuries started coming in early this week:

The above X-ray shows a gunshot wound that is passing through this young man’s knee, his femur.  On the left, you can see the cylindrical outline of the bullet’s trajectory.  He told us that there was just ‘a lost bullet’ that found it’s way into his knee.  It’s really weird how it’s angled down, from the inside of his knee slightly outward.  Kind of like he had it tucked in the front of his pants and accidentally shot himself…  Whoopsies!

2 days later I saw a young man in the ER who was drunk, and had been attacked by someone with a machete.  I had to sew up and cast one of his hands, and suture his forehead as well.  He was lucky it wasn’t worse.

There have been a few other incidents in our area that are good reminders that we are still in a wild place, and need to keep our wits about us.  Although we feel safe, we definitely appreciate prayers of protection for our family, our hospital, and our community, especially during this season of potential danger.

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Speaking of danger, yes, that is me.  And no, I am not a Mixed Martial Arts specialist.  So how did I break my nose this past month?  Was it the motorcycle?  Or a crazed patient, high on shrooms and paint thinner?  Was I protecting my family from imminent danger?  Fist-fight under the jungle canopy, winner takes control of the region’s drug cartel?  Did I head butt a Jaguar?  Or maybe it was a stupid accident in a pool, involving an aging adrenaline junky dad showing off in front of his kids?  I’ll let you be the judge…

Thanks to Nurse Peggy on Roatan for fixing me up!

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This is the dirt road patients take to walk up to the hospital each morning.  For those of our patients that are coming to us with heart problems, it serves as our poor-man’s stress test…

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We have an infestation of Possums around our homes.  Luckily, we have these nice folks from Texas living nearby.  Apparently, in Beaumont Texas, eating possum is like eating chicken.  It’s pretty much a staple of your diet.  And so, slowly but surely, the Alexander’s are ridding us of our possum problem, while simultaneously supplementing their protein intake.   It’s a win-win.

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This young man fell and broke his wrist.  He and his dad finally made it to our hospital 7 days later.  They had gone to a hospital near their home that had the technology to do an X-ray, but not the wisdom or training to do anything other than put him in an ace wrap.  So his wrist flopped around broken and displaced for a week.  His dad said that he was told to go to the city in La Ceiba to have surgery on it, but then the Lord put it in his heart to bring him out to our hospital in the jungle to have it cared for.   And we did!

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Above and below, what do these jungle plant flowers remind you of?

Yes, Pickles!!  I love it, the Lord has a great sense of humor…

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The beauty of Creation…

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Even the rocks cry out…

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The boys and I went to a soccer field in the village of Lucinda, to play some baseball.  It’s the only field around big enough for us to smack a hardball.  A few folks came out to watch us, since our bat, balls and gloves were a bit of a spectacle.  A few young men came out and joined us.  One of them was a natural, drilling some lasers out to ‘center field.’  The little girl in the pic above quickly became our ‘ball-boy.’

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After playing some ball we were thirsty and wandered over to a little Pulperia (kind of like a convenience store run out of one’s home) and we grabbed a soda.  It was there that I saw this little dog, quite possibly the ugliest dog I have ever seen.  The photo doesn’t adequately capture the sorry condition of this decrepit canine.  He was missing an eye, and a good amount of hair.  I’m pretty sure he had several strains of parasites.  I think he was about 27 years old…

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Heidi’s folks (Floyd and Kathy) came and visited us for 2 weeks in March.  It was amazing to share this beautiful place with them, the work that we are doing, and for the kids to spend so much time with them.  And Pappy fixed just about everything in our home that needed fixin’.  Thanks, Dad!

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2 weeks later Dr. Chris Trammell and college buddy and ministry supporter Jason Herman, and some of their children came to visit and work.  Teamed with the Williamson family, they were able to serve many people’s dentistry needs.  They also encouraged us in our work and lives, as we struggle between the joy of serving here and the sacrifice of missing our family and friends back in the States.

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The Dental team eating in the cafeteria

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Reagan, Claire, Jordan, and Izzy.  And a pretty decent sunset.

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cousin Ben, and a little friend.

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swimming hole at a nearby river.

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Our Washington team brought down 20 Spanish/English Bibles for Heidi’s Kindergarten class.  Thanks Melissa Gray and Grace of Christ Preschool!!

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Big ol’ beetle

Walking stick bug

Cool Caterpillar

Prayer requests:

  • This Sunday is Easter.  The Honduran church we are attending will be without it’s 2 pastors.  So they have asked one of the older fellows in the congregation (unfortunately, one of the only Honduran men that attends church) to give the sermon.  There is apparently some slight concern that he just might not show up, so they want to have a back up plan.  For some unknown reason certainly beyond me, they asked me to be that backup person.  So the prayer request is that he shows up to church!  Because if he doesn’t, it’s going to be one sorry Easter Sunday message they’re getting.
  • I saw two separate 50 y/o women in clinic 2 days ago with moderately advanced cervical cancer.  They were beyond the help of surgery, so I had to refer them to an oncology clinic in San Pedro Sula, and hope that they have the will and means to proceed with the treatment.  Prayers for them.
  • As mentioned above, prayers for safety.
  • Finally, we are back to contemplating our future service here, how long will we remain, has the Lord’s call changed?  Prayers for guidance.

Thanks!  Merry Easter…

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