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Top 6 Excuses


1. We were hit by an earthquake-  7.6 magnitude on richter scale.  Our house shook.  Remember the earthquake in Haiti?  That was 7.0 for reference.

2.  We were under a Tsunami warning-  As you know, earthquakes can trigger tsunamis.
If you saw the movie “The Impossible,” you would probably have a bit more urgency in your evacuation.
Sirens went off in the nearby towns, and people evacuated to higher ground.  We were left to evacuate the children at the Children’s Center to safety.

3.  Our firstborn son was bitten by a large snake-  Not much can terrify two doctor parents more than witnessing a large snake strike their son’s hand while living in the tropics, leaving him with a  bloody hand.  Yes, he was trying to pet it.  Lesson learned, thankfully on the non-venomous variety.

4.  We gave birth to our second son in a rural third-world hospital, avoiding the plague of the zika virus- 

5. Political turmoil- Roads have been blocked by cut-down trees that were laid over the road and guarded by mobs of protestors.  Our access to the city for most of December was cut off, with the only access becoming fishing boats headed out to sea. That includes access to the main grocery stores.  Local grocery stores went dry on many items.  Even the grocery stores in the nearby major city were out of eggs, milk, most cheese, and most vegetables and fruits during Christmas week.  (presumably secondary to transport issues and higher demand in holiday season).  Gas stations were all out of gas (so when power goes out, no gas to run a generator).

6.  Intussusception- I couldn’t end this list without at least sharing one quick medical story.  What better an excuse than some long medical word like ‘intussusception’?  The reality is that within the past couple weeks, nothing got my fears aroused more than this little 3 month old infant…..More than earthquakes, tsunamis and political uprisings, all of which really have not been that bad.  So putting the joking aside…

A few nights ago, a 3 month old infant came in with acute abdominal distention, thankfully when Dr Dave, one of our general surgeons, was on call.  We thought it might be parasites (ascariasis) which we see often enough around here as a cause of severe distention and even obstruction in small children.  The odd thing is that usually an infant this size isn’t drinking the water, and so they don’t usually get parasites.  We put down a nasogastric tube and started treatment for parasites none-the-less, hoping he would show signs of improvement.

Unfortunately, he got worse, with his heart rate racing and him looking more ill by the minute.  This of course really started to declare itself going into the late hours of the night. We finally decided that there was too much risk to wait any longer; we had to operate and find out what was going on inside his abdomen.  He was getting worse and we didn’t want to wait to the point that taking him for an operation would be too dangerous.

Yet taking a 3 month infant to the OR in a rural hospital in the middle of the night does not occur without producing a certain amount of anxiety.

Praise the Lord, he survived!  He had intussusception, which is when the bowel telescopes on top of adjacent bowel and cuts off the circulation to the bowel in the area involved.  If one waits too long to operate (like till the next day) the bowel can die off and create a hole which then spills intestinal bacteria into the abdomen, leading to sepsis and many times, death.

We were so thankful for his uncomplicated operative and post-operative stay at our hospital!

Everything that has happened over the past few months at some level, although quite the story, hasn’t been that bad.  Not as horrendous as the news makes it out to be.  But we are thankful to God this has been the case.

I was reading about Daniel when he was thrown by the king in the Lions’ den tonight.  It says that the king who threw him in the den could not sleep afterwards.  Did Daniel sleep?  He certainly was rejoicing when the king came to him urgently at morning’s rise.  What faith to “sleep” in the presence of lions!  Can you even imagine?  It’s one thing to ignorantly sleep through danger…..and yet another to be unable to sleep because you are gripped by fear, yet make it in “faith”.  But Daniel had true faith in God.  Heb 11:1 says that “faith….is the evidence of things not seen.”  How then can we give evidence of something that cannot be seen?   By demonstrating faith.  He that has made the heavens and formed the earth, and knew you and I before we could speak, in Him we must have faith.  For surely He is worthy of our praise!



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