It seems that most of what we do is rather ordinary. I remove the abcessed teeth of my patients over and over day after day. Our Khmer MD prescribes the same meds over and over each day for the same conditions day after day and occasionally we refer someone to Phnom Penh for a serious condition. Last week, however, we had a different situation arise.
She was standing in line with her mother for an extraction. She did not speak and it seemed like something about her was wrong. Her Mom did all of the talking. She was 20 years old. When they came on board, I saw her around 10 o’clock. Her Mom told me that she was an epileptic. She described how her daughter would have a grand mal like seizure every day which would last, from start to finish, for about 30 minutes. She had never seen a medical doctor for this condition. She had never taken any kind of medicine for it.
I called over Dr Tha for a consultation. He decided to place her on dialantin for the seizures and see how she did. We were to be in their village for another 3 days so we could see how she did at least at first. I asked them to come back on Friday for a follow up and possible extraction. ( I had at first imagined how it would be to get her bleeding stopped while having a severe seizure!)
She came back on Friday and had not had a seizure for 3 whole days! I removed her offending molar and sent her on her way. She had a relative with a cell phone and hopefully we can keep her supplied with medication if it continues to be effective.
Wow! Life changing? I think so. She probably had never been to school because of the problem. She was probably an outcast in her society. Others probably thought she had an evil spirit in her. Perhaps her life was like the young boy in Mark Chapter 9 who convulsed and foamed at the mouth. We did not heal her like the Great Physician did in Mark’s Gospel, but we did hopefully relieve her symptoms where she might now have the chance for a more normal life. AS Jesus said in Mark 9, we will add prayer to this also.
That day was not so ordinary. I imagined her being my daughter. That day felt “good”!