Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where There Is No Doctor

One of the biggests concerns, doubts, topics of conversation that we come across in this work is, "what happens if you get sick?"

Like when your kid get a 104 degree temp and you have no idea why...

Or you get a crazy rash that spreads all over your arm, stomach into your bellybutton and eye and you can't stop it...

Or when your kid wakes up with a huge swollen eye for no apparent reason...
**please notice that all the other read marks on her face are either kool-aid or markers, thank you**

Or when your husband falls off the top of a ladder and lands on top of said ladder right in the ribs and back. (sorry, no picture of that one, people- it just happened yesterday) Well, you just wait it out, mostly. You have to calm the beast inside you called "mom" who violently urges you to get a plane, train, bus, car, canoe, camel, whatever to the nearest doctor and have them "fix" everything. 

We are blessed here in Papua New Guinea to have a team of medical professionals who have given up the practice in America and to come here to treat missionaries and local people who wouldn't otherwise have access to good medical care. The only problem is they are about $1,000 flight away (unless you can go with someone else, or catch someone else's back flight, but it is all to complicated to explain flight costs here, so I will skip that if you don't mind). And if you have something really major then you are flying to Australia and that is what emergency evacuation insurance is for.

Anyway, sometimes people judge us for this. "Who cares about the cost! It is your kid/husband/life we are talking about here!" We sort of have this idea in America that we have the right to have our problem fixed instantaneously. When most of these things were solved by either time or medicine or some combination of the two. And we can always call or email the doctor anytime. We also have a little more freedom with medicines here and each missionary usually has a small pharmacy in his or her home. 

This has actually been a huge life lesson for me, as I tend to freak out pretty quickly about medical stuff (I come from a long line of hypochondriacs). But through all these minor medical maladies I found that it is amazing to be able to wait on the Lord. Trust Him to guide us in what is emergent and what will heal without major assistance. And know that no matter what happens, He is good. 

Yesterday when my husband fell off that ladder, I immediately thought we are about to have to book a flight out of here. But then that Still Small Voice simply said, "wait", so we did. 3N1 is pretty sore but is up moving around, so we know it is not an emergency. And that trip we were supposed to take into the tribe last week got canceled because of a problem with the plane (see, I knew I had a reason to write that letter! Luckily they discovered the problem before we took off, so my kids won't actually have to read it). But the trip was rescheduled for this Monday, so we are really hoping to still be able to go. And as it turns out one of the other guys on the trip will be going to Goroka (the place where the dr. is) from the tribe, so if we still feel like 3N1 needs and x-ray or a note from the doctor or a lolly pop then he can catch a ride there after our visit. 

So, there it is. We get sick, we have no doctor close by, but somehow we survive. It is a miracle, I know, but it is true. The Lord looks after us, hypochondriacs and all. 

P.S. No, there are not actually camels in Papua New Guinea, so you don't have to google that one. I just wrote that to make a point.

1 comment:

  1. I bet you never put together that if those of your readers who also read Facebook see the post you made telling me not to "freak out" put two and two together, they will figure out where you believe the hypochondriacs are in your "long line."
    LOL Just remember you are the one who said you would be concerned about me living there because of my medical problems; I never said I was too sick to live there. I sure hope John Michael aka 3N1is going to be alright in the long run, and won't need medical attention at all. Glad he is moving around and ready to ride in a small plane. Definitely a good sign. Very grateful you are over the scare with our Mattie Mae too. She looks so pitiful in her picture with her little droopy eyes. (My mom used to tell me when my eyes were droopy she knew I was sick. Yes, I am once again making a plug for the fact that Mattie has my eyes.) I love you,
    Your Mom