Eric's Book: Promises in the Dark

(from Eric)

Several years ago, I drafted a series of stories and reflections from my life as a missionary doctor.  The stories center around the theme of "Walking with Those in Need Without Losing Heart".

Jesus calls his followers to enter into the broken places of the world.  That much is clear.  This may be on a personal level, like a family member dealing with a divorce or a chronic illness.  This may be on a vocational level, as a social worker or an inner city teacher or a missionary doctor.

We are called to walk with those in need.  And it takes its toll on us.  How do we avoid burn-out on the one hand and cynicism on the other?  How do we remain faithful in the midst of the tension that is our broken world, where the promises of God are not yet fully realized, and where even their smallest glimpse can be hard to find?

My hope is that this book has something valuable to add to these questions.  I'm excited to say that, after several years of refining, Promises in the Dark: Walking with Those in Need Without Losing Heart will be available October 14, 2019 (less than 8 weeks away!) from New Growth Press.

It's already available for pre-order on Amazon at this link.

Here are a couple endorsements that I've been glad to see:

“Eric McLaughlin brought me to tears with this honest look at the difficulties of the life of a compassionate caregiver. When dealing with this broken world, there are no simple answers. But there can be hope. Promises in the Dark is essential reading for anyone who walks with others through suffering and questions how to keep on going.”
- Dr. Kent Brantly, Ebola survivor; coauthor of Called for Life

“Why do we love lawyer and doctor shows? We know both worlds bear extremity, suffering, and passion, and that is at the core of what intrigues and terrifies us. Eric McLaughlin, a missionary physician, engages the raw and compelling questions of what it means to be human and trust God in the face of a world that is stark and at times cruel. Eric offers no simple answers or trite truisms. Instead, he invites us to engage the questions with the confidence that there is nothing we face that Jesus has not first entered. The song sung in this brilliant book is that death is real and horrible, far more so than our antiseptic Western world can bear, but death never gets the final word. There is something about life and love that lingers far longer than heartache, and it is this story that enables us to enter all other losses with hope. This book will intensify your passion and encourage you to live the best story ever told.”
- Dan B. Allender, Professor of Counseling Psychology and Founding President, The Seattle School of Theology and Psychology

“What does a lived-out faith look like in the throes of an African field hospital? In a world of disease, death, and brokenness—of broken promises—how does one live as a light to the world? The answers to these questions are to be found in the pages of this honest book.”
- Michael Card, Songwriter, Bible teacher


COTW: Hip Dislocation

By Jason
We have not posted any "Cases of the Week" (COTW) lately, despite the fact that every week we are all presented with something that expands our minds and keeps our noses in the books.  So much of what we see are common diseases/injuries that present long after they started, for one reason or another, which makes them more difficult to treat.
This case is no exception. It was a young man in a car accident who had a posterior hip dislocation.

We see these once every month or two.  But this one had occurred several weeks before he came to the hospital.  I remember years ago when I treated my first patient with a hip fracture, I looked in a great book called Primary Surgery, which gives incredibly poignant advice on most anything a surgeon would encounter in a developing world hospital and how to treat it with limited resources.  The picture that accompanies hip dislocations is below:
This seems to imply that putting the hip back in the socket takes about as much force as patting a dog on the head.   I have found that this picture grossly under estimates the amount of force necessary, especially for a hip that has been dislocated for a few weeks.  For our patient we gave a spinal for complete relaxation (sometimes we can do it with just sedation).  Then we tried pulling up on the patient's leg while he was on his back (this often works, but requires a pretty strong back on the part of the healthcare provider it requires moving the patient to the floor, so that no one would fall off the bed.  See poor example below.). 

When that didn't work we flopped the patient back up on the OR table and progressed to the maneuver in the first picture, but we couldn't generate enough force.  So finally we had a medical student sit on the patient's calf while another held the ankle and then did some gentle rotations, swinging the patient's leg back and forth and then we heard it - the wonderful clunk of a reducing joint.  Maybe this can be named the "Kibuye Method for Reducing Hips" in the next edition of Primary Surgery!  The patient did well and was eventually able to walk again without any difficulties.