Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Quietly Busy

I'm still here.  Doing ok, actually.  I'm sitting here giggling at the thought of writing a post titled "God is not a man", but am trying to talk myself out of that.  Don't want to inadvertently offend men - there are some good ones out there, you know!

But you know how sometimes you just want to say how you feel?  Just to say it.  And what does any man in earshot want to do?  Yup, fix it.  I do not want to be fixed, tinkered with, repaired, set straight, adjusted, or in any other way shape or form mucked with!  I just want to be heard.

God obviously is not a man.  He hasn't attempted to fix me yet.

And I am learning the simple truth: God can be trusted with my complete, unabridged, unbeautified honesty.  He's big enough to handle it and not go into a snivel fit or attempt to defend Himself.

If He can be trusted with that, then perhaps He can be trusted.  He is not moved or shaken by what shakes me.  I still don't understand everything, but I am returning to trust with a quieter heart.

Then, I am also quiet because I am busy.  In the middle of setting up for a team retreat of sorts, I got a call.  Where I work with old people - well, they had a crisis.  Within hours several people caught something and it went from normal to awful in the space of six hours.  I worked double shifts and then went back for more.  Here the medical system is not the same as back home, and we are missing some of the basic equipment I would have wanted for such an event.  We had no suction machines, no beds that can turn to proper positioning, few O2 machines...  I sat there watching one lady who I have grown to love go bad so fast I could hardly believe it.  Finally we worried that she would go.  She could not cough and she had aspirated.  Her chest gurgled with every breath and her pulse soared and fever increased.

I decided to fight for her, and positioned her so I could do chest therapy.  When she gathered her feeble strength to cough, I wrapped myself around her and helped her by squeezing with each cough.  I don't even know if I was doing what was right or normal, but I did what I could in the absence of much else.  I stayed with her, looking her in her eyes when they were open, assuring her that I was there and I was going to be with her.  After working for several hours, her O2 sats began to slowly climb.  By the next morning, she was resting, still sick, but no longer mottling that odd color that tells me death waits outside the door.

We worked for several days in a row, and I think now that the worst is over.  My ears hurt from wearing a mask so long, and my body aches from being on my feet so many hours.  But it was a good weekend, if tough.  Comforting the confused is as important as caring for the sick, and it can be challenging when they do not remember that they are to stay in their rooms or to keep those O2 prongs in.  Endless bed changes when they cough so hard that they gag. 

I'm ok.  I'm just tired.  If only I had not just decided to push myself and run a mile right before I got that first urgent call!


Angela said...

Ellie, I admire you! :)

OliveTree said...

A Women of the Harvest friend just recommended your blog, and I'm glad I visited you. I can relate to your opening thoughts about not needing to be fixed, just needing to lift yourself up to the Lord and be understood!

Blessings to you!