Grandma Rachel and the Fish Hook Hand

One day, a little old Grandma came to our clinic. She was having a hard time walking because her knees hurt, her back hurt, and her wrist had a big, lime sized tumor on it. She told me that she had been to the hospital lots of times, but could not get any relief from her troubles. Nobody seemed to care. Then she heard about our clinic so she came to ask me if I could do anything to help her.

After an introduction like that, I was determined to do something…ANYTHING…to try to help her! I really do hate to see people in pain with no hope of help. So, after checking her out as best as I know how…which is not very good…I thought that maybe that tumor on her wrist might be fluid filled since it was kinda squishy. I got the brilliant idea of getting a needle and trying to draw out the fluid with a syringe. Right about that time, Kerry showed up, so I told her my plan… and let HER do it.

The trouble was that the tumor was not fluid filled. After trying several times, we decided that my plan was not working, and we would have to go to plan B. Cut it open and see what was inside. We have removed several small tumors now, and although this one was much larger, we were pretty confident that we could do it.

God is very good at taking us down a peg or two real fast! Kerry numbed her up, and then started cutting away at her wrist, being careful not to touch the blood vessels, while I stood by, mopping up blood, and watching our patient to see if she showed any sign of pain. (Because we did not have a translator that day) But after seeing our patient wince a little, and then glancing down at the open wrist with a terrible whitish stuff bulging out of it, I had to beat a hasty retreat to my chair and drink water real fast to keep from fainting! I love doing this kind of stuff, so my reaction was totally unexpected, especially to me!

Kerry demanded that I not faint, since I was needed for moral support at least. So, I did my upmost to get enough good oxygen inside so as to keep me upright. After at least 10 minutes, I was able to get up and go back to assist Kerry, who was really struggling to get that tumor out of that wrist. It was not nearly as easy as the little ones had been.

But about the time I came back to help, Kerry stood up straight and started doing some deep breathing of her own! I then had to command HER not to faint, because I certainly did not want to remove that tumor without her! And, somehow, having us sprawled out on the floor would not exactly inspire confidence in anyone. So, I started helping Kerry more, by carving away on that crazy thing. It was tough, but we finally managed to get it out, while our patient happily dozed in her chair, totally unmindful of our personal struggles. At least she trusted us more than we trusted ourselves.

Kerry allowed me to stitch Grandma up afterwards, which I find to be loads of fun. Then we took her out to the hydrotherapy room and treated her back and knees for her. She was one happy camper, and Kerry and I were both happy that we survived the ordeal! She ended up staying in our village for a week so that we could make sure she healed properly, and also so we could treat her back and knees everyday.

This week, she had to go back to her village, so a couple of days ago, Kerry drove over there to see how her wrist was healing. Grandma and her family were anxious to learn more about what they could do to keep from getting tumors in the future, and how to improve their health, so Kerry was happy to share some more ideas with them.

Then other people started coming to her for help with their medical needs. One lady had gotten a fish hook stuck in her hand about a month ago. She had it removed at the hospital, but since then, she was not able to move her first finger, and there was a lot of nerve pain.

Kerry only had her backpack with her, so all she had that might be useful was some little charcoal capsules. She really had no idea of what to do for the lady, but the only thing she could think of was to do a charcoal hand bath in hot water. We have learned that when we pray for help, we usually can’t go wrong to do what comes to our minds. So she heated the water and opened a few capsules and put it in the water, all the while feeling completely silly for doing something so ridiculous.

The lady put her hand into the water, and after only a minute or two, she took her hand out, and looking amazed, told Kerry that her hand did not hurt anymore! Then she wiggled her finger, and bent it, and said, “it doesn’t hurt anymore!” Kerry was shocked, but she didn’t want to appear to be, because after all, God can do anything, and we are not supposed to be surprised when he does!

But wow, can you believe what God did? That was a miracle! Hot water and a little charcoal cannot heal a hand like that in so short a time! Only God can do that! During my worship this morning, I read this quote that explained it for me. “When in faith the human agent does all he can to combat disease, using the simple methods of treatment that God has provided, his efforts will be blessed of God.” CC238

Blessed of God is a great way to explain how we feel. Every day we are confronted by things that we cannot do, but God in His great mercy, helps us every step of the way.

1 Comment

  1. Our God is an awesome God!
    Loved the stories! It’s like dipping 7 times in a river. Go God!!!

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