Consider this. There are not too many “Dermatology Emergencies.” When you’re at the hospital, you never hear an urgent page overhead screaming, “We need a dermatologist in the ER, STAT, darn it!” Or when flying, it’s not common for the stewardess to ask if there’s a dermatologist onboard that might see to the needs of the passenger in seat F of row 17. While many a 15 year old girl’s acne eruption may seem to be an emergency, usually they can wait a couple days for an appointment with the dermatologist.
All kidding aside, and no disrespect to my dermatology friends (Jason!), there are a couple of skin conditions that can certainly be very urgent. Unfortunately we have a little boy that we are caring for now that has one of them. Epidermolysis Bullosa, EB. It’s a genetic disorder that results in extremely fragile skin. Kids who have it are sometimes nicknamed “butterfly children,” as their skin is as fragile as a butterfly wing. In its more severe forms (such as the kind our little guy has), it can be devastating, disfiguring, and in a third world country it will likely lead to an early demise. Just picking the child up and holding them can lead to his skin blistering and peeling off where he has been touched. Diapers wreak havoc as they rub and abrade. Crying can even lead to irritation of the skin in his throat, with subsequent peeling. There is no cure or treatment for this disease, so I would ask you to pray for this family, and for us, as we care for him.
We have a fellow at the hospital who got shot up. Apparently it was a dispute over his ‘banana orchard,’ according to his friend. I think these were some really special bananas. He was left with 4 gunshot wounds, two of which were fairly serious. I don’t think I ever really get the full story behind most of these incidents, so I’m left speculating. In this instance, if by ‘bananas’ he means ‘drugs,’ then this story makes a lot more sense.
In regards to the nastier wounds, one of them went through his knee, shattering the end of his femur and kneecap. The other, more serious one, went through his back and lung, and lodged just behind his sternum (chest bone). This one could have killed him, and would have, if he hadn’t come to the hospital. Several units of blood and a drainage-tube-in-his-chest-later, he is doing very well. Moreover, he has been ministered to daily. Yesterday he had his leg fixed, and he will make a nice recovery. Time and again, I see people who will get a new shot at life. He could have (and probably should have) died, but he didn’t.
What will he do with his new life? It’s our hope and prayer that he walks down a different road, chooses a new life, and follows a new leader.