24.3.10

One Broken Fifth Metatarsal


The event was completely ungraceful and unheroic. I would like to say that I broke my foot as I was leaping to rescue a Kenyan child in danger. But actually I (Heather) just stepped onto uneven grass and fell. With Abi tied to me in the baby carrier, so we are especially thankful that she was not hurt. My right 5th metatarsal was not so fortunate.

It turns out that if anyone has to break a foot, Tenwek Hospital is actually a really good place to have that experience. Here are some of the benefits of living here as an injured person:

Accessible Doctors -
Within a few hours of the injury, I received housecalls from several neighbors: an orthopedic surgeon, a physical therapist, a visiting radiologist, and several other medical specialists just for good measure. Dan the Orthopedic Surgeon also happened to have an orthopedic boot right at his house (across the sidewalk).

Affordable Healthcare -
The multiple doctor consultations were free, and the cost for x-rays was $4.75.

Convenient Locations -
Living at Tenwek, I do not have to drive (which would be impossible with the boot and crutches). I can hobble to the hospital, to church, to friends’ houses, and to the mailbox. Those are all the necessary errands around here.

Kind Kenyans -
I have found that Kenyans here express sympathy frequently and sincerely. Everywhere I go, I hear “Pole, pole” (Sorry, sorry) from Kenyan friends, acquaintances, and strangers. Their kindness makes me wonder whether their sympathy reflects the physical suffering that seems more pervasive here in Kenya.

Helpful Neighbors -
Our friends and neighbors are extremely helpful and kind. I can tolerate six weeks on crutches with such great neighbors.
This is Jessica taking care of her baby and mine.
This is Edna and Anna helping with the dishes.
This is our friend Amy cleaning up my living room.
This is Maggie keeping Abi entertained while a physical therapist was teaching me how to navigate on crutches.
This is the gorgeous weather and scenery (not to mention the fun children) in our front yard that help to keep us all smiling.

For the next 6 weeks, though, I should be spending most of my time right here on this couch, hopefully remembering to feel thankful that we live in such a great place.

3 comments:

Rev Steve said...

Heather - we'll be praying for patience while your foot mends. Patience for all in the family! God bless,
Pastor Steve

Anonymous said...

Yeah, radiology! Boo, broken metatarsal! Well, praying for a quick recovery...time to see how many chores Anna is capable of! :P
j

Angie said...

I know you guys don't know me, but I actually work with Matt Cropsey in SC and I am the niece of Dr. Bob Wesche (a long-time surgeon at Tenwek Hospital). I am writing to you asking for your prayers for my uncle who was recently diagnosed with kidney cancer. I am including a portion of an email sent out by my cousin concerning his status. Uncle Bob and Aunt Dora were recently in Kenya filling in for a few months...I would greatly appreciate if you would pass this on to his "Tenwek Family" and keep them in your prayers.

On February 23 2010 two days before his 75th birthday Bob noted abdominal pain, fever, and later (the next day) an elevated white blood cell count was found. He suspected it was an acute
diverticulitis of his left colon.

The following day his internist concurred, but thought a CT scan
would clinch the diagnosis (which it did). God was very kind to Bob as the CT scan also showed a 3 centimeter mass in the lower half of his right kidney and a 2 centimeter tumor on the surface of the left kidney.. These tumors could have gone unnoticed for a VERY long time had not the scan been done.

Bob is praising God that the scan was done diagnosing the cancers earlier.

After recovering from his mild bout of acute diverticulitis, an
ultrasound was done which also showed the tumors. A needle biopsy of the right kidney later proved that the right kidney mass was a renal cell carcinoma (kidney cancer).

Prayer request is for wisdom for Bob and his doctors as to the timing and surgery approach to treat the cancers. Also for the operations themselves. The present plan is to do a wedge resection of the right kidney cancer (partial removal of the kidney) on April 5, the Monday after Easter. (hand assisted laparoscopy at the local Del Webb Hospital). The left kidney operation will be 3 months (?) after complete recovery from the first operation.

Many, many thanks for your prayers.

Ps 103:2-3 NIV (2) “Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits (3) who forgives all your sins and HEALS ALL YOUR DISEASES,”

On a different note, I have been blessed reading your blog and thank you so much for your updates. You all are in my prayers. May God bless you each...RICHLY!