So it is necessary to review the status of osteo every few weeks, checking xrays to see how the bone changes are progressing, and blood tests that help to assess the severity of the infection. We change antibiotics every 2 to 3 weeks to try to avoid the development of resistance to the ones we have. Patients often don't understand why they have to come back so often. They often do not see much change during this time, and sometimes just give up, and stop coming. Then many times the infection spreads, and things get much worse. It is helpful when we can explain some of the whys and hows of this disease.
But honestly, we often don't explain, for many reasons. Sometimes there are things that I just can't explain well in Pidgin. Often we are pressed for time. Since patients often see different doctors each time they come, and it's easy to assume that one of the previous doctors explained.
So this boy (I'll call him "Michael") has been coming faithfully every two weeks for xrays, blood tests and adjustments in his medications. Today was the first time I've seen him, although I've know about him from conversations with the other docs. For some reason I felt the need today to stop and explain in some detail about osteo. I launched into my "didactic mode", drew diagrams and sketches. Somehow the Pidgin that I needed flowed easily. The mom is a bright lady. I have no idea how educated she is. I could tell, from the expressions on her face, and from her comments and questions that she was understanding what I was explaining.
But here is why I'm even telling you this story at all. At the end of my lecture, Michael's mom said, "Yesterday I was praying. I prayed like this: 'God, tomorrow I'm taking Michael back to the hospital. I don't understand what's going on with him, why we have to go back so often but see so little progress. Please, let the doctor explain this disease to me tomorrow.'"
Wow. How humbling, but how exciting that I got to participate in an answer to this dear lady's prayer. I realized that the Holy Spirit had prompted me to give the explanation. It was at the end of the day, and I was tired, and anxious to get home. It would have been easy to prescribe the new meds, and tell them to come back in 2 weeks.
Before Michael and his mom left, I prayed with them. I prayed for wisdom, understanding and patience for them. I prayed for healing for Michael's osteo. I prayed for Michael's education and future. I thanked God for all his blessings.
One of the big blessings for me is the privilege of participating in what God is doing in His world, of being a character in His play, a worker on His crew, a tool in His toolbox. Today it was a blessing to get to be part of the answer to a dear saint's prayer.
The photo is of some happy kids playing in a beautiful river. They don't have osteo, at least not yet.