Beth and I were talking last week that we need to go and visit the Czechoslovakian Clinic up the street and work on developing a relationship with them. Apparently God had his own plan…. On Saturday I started getting sick. The only nurse in Haiti that’s ever been able to give me an IV is Magdala and she’s 5 hours away. She has always told me she’ll come on a “moto” any time of day to give me an IV. I LOVE HER for that! But it’s a long way to come.
So Momma Gigi went to the Czech clinic and found a nurse there on Tuesday. Mary Lourde studied in Port-au-Prince – has worked at the La Pointe and Port-de-Paix Hospital – – has 20 years of experience – AND is a great Christian lady. She came immediately to my house where I already had all the IV supplies. Three sticks later – I was hooked up.
However, the next morning my hand looked like a balloon – the IV had infiltrated during the night. We sent for Mary Lourde again. Four sticks later – nothing. Thursday she came and spent about 2vhours here looking for a vein. I was so blessed to have Miss Beth here praying for success and trying to distract me as I got poked! Five more pokes – no luck!
So tonight Mary Lourde came for a 4th time. She spent another 2 hours looking up and down my arms. Four pokes – nothing. On the 5th poke – she got an IV!! NOT 10 minutes later – it infiltrated. UGH!!
I have cried off and on about this for the last several days. We talked to some Haitian nurses/doctors who suggested I start Typhoid treatment today. They really would like me to take IV antibiotics but for the life of me I can’t get an IV! So frustrating……
As I take a break from my pity party – God showed me several things……
1) The nurse told me if I were Haitian and had cholera – I would have already died. She said there are Haitians who come all the time who are too dehydrated to start an IV. No matter how hard she tries, it is impossible to get an IV started. While Typhoid isn’t a picnic – I am blessed to know that I do have options should I become much worse. The Haitians have none.
2) Through this entire process – I have learned A LOT about the Czech clinic. There are 5 nurses and 2 doctors who work there. They see about 70 patients a day from as far as 3 hours away. They can do most lab tests and they even have a sonography machine!! How random is that? The Haitians pay 10 dollars to be seen and it includes the consultation and any lab work. This is much cheaper than the Jean Rebel Hospital which is why they get many patients from there. I see a lot of sick children from the church. How great to know I can send them there for lab testing to confirm a possible diagnosis!
3) God gave me a personal relationship with Mary Lourde. I asked her about her family. She miscarried a baby when she was 5 months pregnant. She has never been able to conceive since. She shared how hard it was for her to trust God when she wanted a family so badly. Having miscarried myself – we were really able to share each other’s hearts.
4) Tonight she shared with me that an elderly lady who lives by herself – fell into a charcoal stove. She has no family. She had 3rd degree burns covering her. The nurse is telling me how this isn’t the first time this has happened. I explained to her about the elderly program we have in St. Louis and that we’re duplicating it here in the Mole. She told me she had never heard of Old Folk Orphanages! She was so excited she could barely stand it. She said there are so many elderly folks that she sees in the clinic from falls, burns, & sickness who have no one to care for them. In that moment I was reminded a big reason why we are here – – for the displaced orphans of all ages!
As tears streamed down my cheeks tonight – I realized that the world is bigger than Jody Castillo. I’m crying because I’m being poked like a pin cushion – where another lady tonight is crying because of 3rd degree burns! Talk about a reality-check! I know by default missionaries aren’t supposed to be selfish – but the truth is –we struggle with it just like anyone else. I haven’t been able to see past my own suffering this week – when there are others that suffer far more than I’ll ever know.
Maybe you’re suffering right now – and can’t see past it. But if you ever take a break from it – you’ll see how small it is – compared to the suffering in the world.
14-19My response is to get down on my knees before the Father, this magnificent Father who parcels out all heaven and earth. I ask him to strengthen you by his Spirit—not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength—that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in. And I ask him that with both feet planted firmly on love, you’ll be able to take in with all followers of Jesus the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love. Reach out and experience the breadth! Test its length! Plumb the depths! Rise to the heights! Live full lives, full in the fullness of God.Eph 3:14-19 The Message