05 March 2004

Don't worry...


I've got some letters from people who are worried about me...don't worry. I'm trying simply to be real and honest. To say that things are always rosy, exciting and rewarding here would be a lie. But just because I share them doesn't mean that there is any less joy, happiness or fulfillment in being here. I could have shared the same feelings probably from any point in my life. We live in a world that is full of doubts, fears, rejection, disappointment and disillusionment. That is what living in this world is...no matter where we are. But that doesn't mean that God doesn't also fill up each day with visions and reminders of how things are supposed to be. It doesn't mean that I am not satisfied to the core. It doesn't mean that I'm not at peace. Au contraire, I can say that not a day goes by that I don't humbly thank God for bringing me here. I also have not lost my respect for the highest levels of medical care just because I jokingly describe what we have to do sometimes here in order to save lives. We would love to have all the equipment, all the clean and sterile conditions, all the availability of specialized services and specialists, etc to practice medicine at the high standard that I have been well trained to do. But I have had to sacrifice a little professionally as well. While I try to inspire and little by little improve the standard of care here, most of the time I find myself doing things that I know is below the standard I am used to and would love to incorporate here. We slowly work towards that objective but in the meantime we do our best and God does intervene...that doesn't mean I practice below the standards available to me here just thinking "Oh God will help." I work hard and with joy to bring the highest standard of care possible here knowing that it will still be lower than the standard I am used to but that I always hold that higher standard up in my mind as guiding light.

If you would prefer I not share my struggles as well as my successes I can limit my stories to the miracles and write only when I am on top of the world so that everyone can be at ease. However, I would prefer to paint a realistic picture without making anyone too anxious...never for a moment has the thought of leaving or not wanting to be here entered my head. As far as fatigue is concerned, this is nothing compared to what I have endured the last 5 years of my life in the clinical years of medical school and residency. Yet even during those five years I can look back with nothing but joy and satisfaction and thanks for what I experienced. Here I have never gone a night without sleep and most nights I get at least 6 hours. And when I am up I feel it is for a good reason, not like residency or medical school when sometimes I was up just because that was part of the process or initiation or "we had to do it so, so do you" attitude that is found in medical education. When one is up knowing he's saving a life not just writing in some chart or standing by observing on feels satisfied and one is less fatigued. Also I've never slept more at peace in my entire life. When I lie down I go directly to sleep whereas for most of my life up till now I've always brewed on things before falling asleep.

The bottom line is, please, keep praying for us but know that I am not only surviving fine but have really never been more satisfied in my life...I'm just sharing bits and pieces and sometimes the bits will be the doubts and fears that can come and sometimes the pieces will be the tremendous successes, surprises and satisfaction that also come each and every day.

I have learned the secret, when in plenty or in want...I can do all things through Him who gives me strength (Phil. 4)

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