I decided to be a good little blogger and not leave you all hanging about my appointment with the doctor on Monday. He started out with, “Your case is very rare and very tricky.” That made my heart try to jump right out of my body, but it didn’t quite make it. Instead it got stuck in my throat. I quickly attempted to swallowed it back down, but it slid right past my chest and landed in my stomach. It swam around down there for a while making me have to concentrate really hard on listening to what the doctor said and not throwing up all over his little rolly desk.
Fortunately, he was saying some things that made my displaced heart calm itself, and by the end of the visit it was back where it belonged and even feeling pretty optimistic, because even though my case is rare and tricky, this doctor has a plan. And that plan starts with removing my gallbladder. We’re hoping that removing the gallbladder will solve most if not all of my issues and this will be end, Amen. I will have surgery on Tuesday and I never would have thought I could be so excited about having a body part removed!
There you go. Consider yourself updated- those of you who were on the edge of your seats waiting for news (basically just my mom).
With all these appointments, tests, and procedures, I’ve spent a lot of time talking to medical professionals about what we do as missionaries in PNG. I’ve had some very interesting conversations with varying degrees of response from shock and awe to I don’t care would you please shut up so I can go to lunch.
I always find it fascinating to see what really surprises people or what they really focus in on about our lives and work. A lot of people really can’t believe that we can/do live without the internet. You know that meme that keeps going around saying something like, “Go live in a cabin in the woods for a month with no phone, internet, or TV for $100,000. Would you do it?” Umm, yeah. One month? Try six months and where is my money?
Anyway, there are lots of different things that people just can’t wrap their minds around. I always think it is going to be the witch killing, but it almost never is. Today was one of the funniest though.
I was talking to a nurse, explaining everything, answering lots of questions, and somehow we got to talking about mothers and babies and how no baby in Hewa wears a diaper.
She was shocked. She was speechless. Her eyebrows shot up so high they hit a flock of birds and crash landed into the Hudson River.
“But what happens when they go?” “I mean where does it go?”
And when I explained that it just “goes” on the moms and they wipe it off with a rag and go on with life, it was like I said they mixed it up with dinner and ate it.
“Well, you must never hold their babies then, ” was her next response.
“Um, no, I am pretty much always holding a baby.”
“Do they go on you?”
“No, they instinctively know that I’m a spoiled Western lady and would die or at least get pancreatitis if I was ever pooped on.”
Is what I wanted to say, but instead I answered,
I refrained from showing her the picture my husband took one day after I was pooped on by one of the cutest babies* ever born into this world, but I won’t refrain from showing it to you.
|Yes, that is baby poop. He got me good.|
I tried to explain to her that I just wipe it off with a towel or rag like they do and keep talking/walking/doing whatever I’m doing at the time like it’s no big deal. I don’t freak out. I just act like they do. But the next time I go into my house I do shower and change my skirt. Fortunately, I’m rich enough to own more than one skirt and have the ability to that.
One of my favorite things to do in the village when a lady gives birth is to gift her with a meal and a new skirt. She has to bury the one she gave birth in (they don’t take their skirts off, ever, even to give birth or bathe) with the other bloody rags and towels to avoid contaminating anyone or anything which usually only leaves her with one skirt to wear. This means when her newborn poops and pees on her, she can’t change or wash it until someone graciously decides to give her another skirt or until she can afford a new one. Since babies don’t wait to start pooping, I don’t like the mothers to have to wait to be able to wash that poop off.
I also tried to explain this to the nurse today, but I don’t think her brain could handle anymore information regarding babies, poop, and no diapers because I had a hard time getting her to focus on anything else after that. Even as she walked out of the room she said, “It was nice to meet you and hear about your work,” and then mumbled, “no diapers…” as she walked out.
I say all that to say, I get pooped on. It happens. But it happens a lot less to me than it does to the actual mothers of the babies that are caring for them round the clock. And by now things like this in the tribe have become weirdly normal to us, so time in America is always a good wake-up call to what is and isn’t normal (nothing and everything). It reminds me that I should keep writing blogs and keep record of this weird life that God has given us because I don’t ever want to forget what He has allowed us to experience. I don’t ever want to forget that He uses us in this place with these people that are so different from us and everything that we know. I don’t want to forget what it is like to be so inadequate for a task, but for God to miraculously take everything that we are not, everything that we can’t and produce something eternal.
And as weird as it sounds, I don’t ever want to forget what it feels like to be pooped on, and just keep on going. Because that is daily life for my Hewa sisters. And I don’t ever want to forget what it is like to live life with them.
|*I wasn’t exaggerating|