Monday, November 26, 2012

Pearls in the sand.


There is a young lady downstairs who keeps an eye on me.It so turned out that she happens to be one of the few believers in the block.She is the first one to notify me about any mails I get,very eager to be helpful.
The other day while in the wards I happened to meet her and she passed on the message that I had a mail in the doctor's common room.
Not what I would have expected.
I ran down to the common room and surely right on the top was a mail addressed to me in a neat familiar hand-writing .It was a birthday card from Dr C and W.
Dr C and W are colleagues who have worked with me in the hospital I spent the earlier ten years of my life as a doctor.
He was the best student in the batch he belonged to at St Thomas' at London.He did his specialisation in surgery and chose to come to India to work as a missionary.I remember one of his batchmates putting it as -'the utmost for His highest!'
He dedicated better part of forty years for the region.
When we joined afresh as post-graduates he served as the cushion in the harsh realities of the tough life which surprised us to no end.
One could write books on the testimony of the person.
I remember one patient narrating how he had had  a herniae operation done by Dr C and when he was in the blurr of anaesthesia he had actually seen a vision of Lord Jesus tending to him.That man was a hindu and he shared this when I met him in the streets of Daltonganj.
One picture ,I think I will carry forever in my heart was an easter sunday.We made it a point to meet every sunday at his place for a time of fellowship.On easter we planned to have the Lord's supper as well.
There we were worshipping the Lord and suddenly the air became so beautiful ,I remember all of us had tears in our eyes even as we continued in worship.I remember Dr C saying' it will be like this in heaven'.He ended the session with a simple ,heart to heart talk with the Father which was the trademark of his person.
Since then all of us have moved on in life-but I carry that picture in my heart and I am sure the others do too.
Coming back to the context,I would not have bothered to send me a birthday card if I did not have the decency to update me my latest address.But that is me and this is Dr C.
In the steady simplicity of his remembering the mundane I see the reflection of his Master.Thank you Lord for your servants.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Heart before brain.


She was thirty five,a mother of two,an afro-european lady,would have passed off for a teenager.She was brought into the A&E with a consolidation unresponsive to antibiotics.The radiological interpretation was,could be atypical pneumonia or any other sinister diagnosis.
So there was an infection control red alert.
I have worked with tuberculosis patients for the better part of ten years in India and I have seen some real bad cases.Not that we have the facility for great infection control standards in India,but by God's grace I have not contracted that infection till date.
However it is a new country that I am in and was not really sure of the rules.
However I decided to just approach her and talk to her as I would a regular patient.
She looked a little distracted and and then one of the nursing staffs entered looking like a person in the outer space with masks,aprons and with profuse apology saying that she had had instructions from her superior to be careful.She gave me a wierd look .
I caught a glimpse of the expression on my patient's face and I saw a sad shadow fall across it.
I felt a twinge in my heart and thanked the Lord that I had decided to follow my heart instead of my head.
I have carried that sad expression in my heart ever since.

Looking up to the patients.


I cannot tell you what the most important lessons I have learnt in life is but I can definately tell you about an important lesson I learnt this week.
Every day we have different consultants coming in to see the patients .I have this habit of pulling a chair and comfortably sitting down while I go about talking to my patients.It was not a consious act on my part but my cousin who has a wider experience of the west was telling me how important it was to do that so that the patients do not feel talked down to.
I have had many patients expressing their gratitude for making them feel at home because at the end of the day they are frightened of coming to the hospital.
This week I had the opportunity to go for a consult with two local consultants at two different times .
What really struck me was the stance they took even as they talked to the patients.
They went down on their haunches and talked up to the patient even as the patients looked down at them with utter trust and comfort.
I was deeply touched.
I have no idea what is recommended,I have not seen the others do that,but to me it sent a non-verbal signal of deep concern, empathy and an expression of the preciousness of the person before them.
It was something enlightening for me ,almost like the picture of Lord Jesus washing the disciple's feet....Lord,give me that level of sensitivity.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Startle of a breeze on a birthday afternoon.

Every time I have celebrated my birthday in a place which is new I have always trusted in the Lord to provide .This year I celebrated my birthday in Basildon.It has been a little over a month since I joined here.My cousin Famsie called up from New Zealand the first thing in the morning to wish me a happy birthday and to let me know that she had dreamt that I wanted to eat a pink coloured cake so she insisted that I have one.
I had a good quiet time early in the morning and wondered to myself how the Lord would arrange for my birthday to be celebrated.I walked into my workplace and got down to work as I usually do.
Midway during work ,one of the FY1s walked into our ward with two huge cartoons full of beautifully decorated cup-cakes she had baked herself.Even as the senior in the ward called out to all of us to help ourselves to it ,I smiled to myself ,chose a pink one and thanked the Lord .Did they know it was my birthday? No.
For birthday present I got a nine days of leave during christmas.
Our rotas are arranged by an administrator .By God's grace my week off seems to fall from 24th of December till the 30th of December and I also have the weekend prior to it.The lady who checked it for me smiled and declared ,'You seem to be one of the lucky few!'
With joy bubbling in my heart I thanked the Lord for it.
I am praying for some guidance as to how and where I should spend it.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Pro-choice??

No,I do not think anyone should have the right to abortion.Life is a miracle concieved by God,a precious gift from the creator .
Just this morning I was reading from the book of Leviticus and reading through the list of abomination and the punishment God expects for them and was fascinated to note that the first thing on the list reads-"20:1-3 Do not give your children to
Molech to be put to death (sacrificed)-
Amazing God, I thought.Our God knew what was best for his creation and put the laws forward to protect us.Every child who is conceived has a 'right to life'.That miracle of life is amazing in it's ability to adapt and come up with surprises in the most unlikely way.That is why it is a miracle.Every child conceived comes with a plan from the creator and when we take the decision to snuff that life out we not only defy the creator but also deny the child the opportunity to live life.
I ,in my practise as a doctor in a developing country,  have seen women come to the clinic with multiple somatic complaints and gynaecological problems which somehow always seems to trace back to an abortion they have had somewhere in the past.I asked a psychiatrist back home why it was so,he said it might perhaps be a sense of guilt buried deep within which surfaces as somatisation.
I find it absolutely distressing when I come across ladies who visit our hospitals and express a desire to go through abortion.I stop my work and spend time with them.Almost all the ladies who have come to us come in a state of crisis ,unable to think clearly ,pressed by situation where they see no road ahead.There was just one lady I remember who walked into my clinic and wanted an abortion because the gap between her children were too short.She changed her decision after counselling and I am sure she will not regret her step because she has honoured what God desires.
I personally find the term "Pro-choice"a little strange.One decides to terminate a life and thats it and that is labelled as such.How can deciding something which is an end of the road decision in itself , be a "pro-choice"decision?
There is no end to that track once one gets going....'The vulnerable' need to be protected and restored to the wholeness of what the creator meant it to be,whether it be a baby conceived in a womb of a mother or that teenager who's become pregnant due to no fault of hers.Restoration requires one to be in tandem with the original creator or we will be left with a poor imitation in hand.The gap will show sooner than later.The choice is ours for the taking.