While I Was Away...

It's been another whirlwind of a month, and April is on us full-force. I feel like God has been gracious to us in the past two years we've been here. The hot season was really only hot for a few weeks, then melted away to cool rains and cloudy skies. But this year, it is back with a vengeance. The kind of heat that has you sweating buckets at 8 a.m., already needing a shower, though you've only been up for a few hours and done nothing but sit around trying to fan yourself and drink a glass of water. I grew up in Kansas, where we have our share of hot & humid summers. Nothing compares to this.

This past weekend, I went off to Bangkok and left Andrew at home for Easter. I didn't want to, but I had a couple appointments, and Andrew had committed to speaking at the men's retreat this weekend with our Khmer church. I spent a few days shopping and meeting up with friends. Somehow, Bangkok seemed cooler than Poipet, probably because air conditioning is so much more prevalent there - like, everywhere, actually. Andrew traveled, played music at church, and managed to get stitches for the first time in his life.



I wanted him to tell the story, but as he's a bit busier than I am, it falls to me. We were talking on the phone late Sunday night (I at my hostel in Bangkok, he at home), when he said he needed a kleenex, then suddenly hung up. He called me back a few minutes later, saying with a shaken voice, I just cracked my head open, I think I need stitches! I freaked out a little bit inside, mostly because I wasn't there to take care of him. Apparently when he'd opened the bedroom door, a giant insect flew in his face, and in his frenzy to get the bug off him, he'd jerked open the metal door right on his left eyebrow, leaving a large gash that bled pretty well.

But he was able to call our Khmer friends who drive the ambulance - not that he really needed one, but he was a bit dizzy and didn't want to drive himself to the clinic, so they came and picked him up. They took him to a local doctor one of our friends had used before for a pretty nasty leg wound that needed sewing up. Andrew convinced him to use lidocaine (always a luxury here), and after a few minutes, the doctor had popped in two stitches and sent him on his way. Andrew was back home less than hour after it had happened, and was only $5 poorer for the experience.

When I got home the next day, I was pretty pleased with the doc's handiwork. Although it's covered with a bit of plaster tape in this photo, the tape fell off last night, with a nice clean wound and good stitches in (which, I think are absorbable? The doctor didn't tell Andrew anything about wound care, signs of infection, or coming back to get the stitches out, so I can only assume...)


Sometimes, I'll admit, being here scares me a bit. Because I was an ER nurse for a few years, I always assume the worst could happen, so I like to be prepared. But we're at least 2 hours from the nearest Western standard hospital. And if something like Andrew's cut happens, we just have to go the local doctors and pray that the right thing is done (it also helps that I know what to ask for - most Cambodians don't know about something luxurious like lidocaine to numb the wound before stitches!). But slowly, I'm learning to trust that God lets things happen for a reason and he can take care of us - even if it's something a lot bigger than a couple stitches.
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