Obstetrics Call

Another night in the hospital last week has passed, and I again think about how weird and different practicing medicine is in Kenya, even in our great Kijabe Mission Hospital. The nigh of obstetric call started with handover. This is where the doctors who are leaving, but have covered the day, “hand over” the care of the patients in the hospital to the doctors covering the night. As I listened I felt my stomach drop a little as I realized the night would begin poorly. There was a young mother in the hospital whose baby had fetal hydrops which is a problem in which an en-utero infant for a multitude of reasons has swelling all over the body. These babies do not do well. She needed emergency delivery at 27 weeks of pregnancy, and we knew the baby would likely not be able to survive after delivery. Even more problematic was that she had a scar from a previous cesarean section which meant that we were going to do a preterm surgery. These usually go well, but they have their own increased risks. We took her back to the OR, and as I delivered the baby’s head through the uterine incision it looked so perfect, and I thought nervously that maybe we had the diagnosis wrong. But as the rest of the baby delivered the terrible swelling over the rest of the body was very obvious. He lived just 10 minutes before dying.

I came out of surgery to hear that a twin pregnancy that had arrived just a bit earlier had been evaluated and only one heart beat could be found. I placed the ultrasound on her abdomen and confirmed that one of the twins had passed. The mother cried as I told her, and her husband looked angry wondering what had changed in the last 10 days when her last appointment had shown two healthy babies. What could we say? She went quickly for an emergency surgery, and on delivery the first twin showed signs of having died several days prior. Its hard for a pregnant woman with twins to sort out the movements of her babies. She could not have known that all she was feeling were the movements of one of them.

Obstetrics can be a great joy when it goes well. But when it is bad, it is so sad. God help us all to show compassion!

Allison is the Name

Devotional Thoughts

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Devotional thought before midterm break

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I am thankful for a school that tries to instill the deep truths into their students. I am glad Allison teaches there. This year was English, next year back to her first love, Spanish.

AIC Kijabe Mission Hospital

I took these from the AIC Kijabe Hospital Facebook page. I think they are good demonstrations of the work going on in the hospital ranging from showing compassion and Christian friendship, caring for the weakest, medical education, and research. Please pray for our hospital as we continue to strive for excellence.

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Visit the Sick

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I was sitting outside the hospital when to my glad surprise some of Annie’s class passed by after they had been doing visitations in the pediatric ward of the hospital.

“Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?”

The King will reply, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”

Good Quote

Increasingly, I am of the view that republican government, in the classical sense of that term, is possible only in a polis where the citizens are committed to trying to understand one another affectionately and believe in showing mercy to their ideological opponents. Short of that, it is hard to see a way out of the current mess. And that problem is of concern to far more people than just conservative journalists. – Jake Meador on Mere Orthodoxy

Mashujaa Day

Yesterday was Mashujaa Day (Heroes’ Day in Swahili) in Kenya. It is the day when the country celebrates all the men and women who have contributed to the independence of Kenya. It is a big national holiday, and Rift Valley Academy celebrates the day by celebrating Kenya and also by acknowledging all the cultures that are represented in the school. There are 37 countries represented at RVA. I thought initially that could not be possible unless they were counting kids whose parents were serving as missionaries in different countries. But in fact, to be included as a representative of a country, you had to have a passport from that country. That means there are 37 passport represented countries at RVA. That is pretty cool for our humble Kenyan school! The day was spent with the kids playing games, dressing in the traditional clothing or the patriotic clothing of their countries, eating big meals at the cafeteria, while ending the evening with caramel apples and hot chocolate . . . in the rain. Rainy season is in full swing! It was a great Friday, and it was a fun time to celebrate all the cultures coming together in peace united in Christ. (Click on the pictures below to view the slide show with some short descriptions.)