Hospitals and Escalators

Last week was pretty crazy. We had decided that after six months of pain, and not being able to use his arm normally, Roy should actually go to a doctor to see what was wrong with his shoulder. You might not remember, but he had crashed his motorbike going about 60 kpm. His legs were in such bad shape that we barely paid any attention to his shoulder. But now that all the other things are well again, only his shoulder problem remains to remind us of his accident.

So Roy, Destiny and I headed to Mae Sot to try to get an MRI of his shoulder. We drove for 5 hours to get there. It was a nice drive, and we enjoyed being together, just the three of us. (Hannah does not have a birth certificate, so she is not allowed to travel in Thailand, so she stayed home with Kerry to help with the patients, and to take care of my monkey) We got to Mae Sot just to find ourselves incredibly hungry. So, we headed straight for our favorite restaurant. We walked in to find Gayle, Blet Jaw, and their friends there! I had not seen Gayle in two years, so we had a great 5 minute reunion! Getting to see a friend is a very special treat for us here.

The next morning, we headed straight for the hospital, only to be told that they do not have any MRI machines in Mae Sot! We would have to go to Chiang Mai for that. Mae Sot is a huge city now, so I thought for sure that they would have one. But….we got back in the truck and went on another 7 hour drive up to Chiang Mai.

The next morning, we went to my favorite hospital in Chiang Mai. You can get right in to see a specialist, usually get an MRI the same day, and get physical therapy and anything else you need the same day, or possibly the next if they are extra busy. So, the orthopedic surgeon looked at Roy’s shoulder, and immediately told us that he thought that Roy’s rotator cuff was ruptured. He went ahead and ordered an x-ray first. When the x-ray came back, he confirmed that his rotator cuff was indeed reptured. He then told Roy, “Don’t worry about making your shoulder worse, it is already worse!” But after discussing the financial part of things, we decided that a $10,000 surgery was out of the question. The doctor recommended that we go to yet another hospital, since it would be much cheaper there.

So we went straight to the next hospital. Unfortunately, you cannot get right in, and get everything taken care of in one day at that hospital. We got a number, and waited in line all day long. He finally got in to see a doctor late that afternoon, and the doctor looked at the x-ray that we had brought, and scheduled an MRI for late in April. That doctor thought that it might take more than one surgery to repair that shoulder, but at least it should cost half as much as the first hospital. Poor Destiny did not enjoy her time in the hospitals, with nothing to do. So after getting out, we tried to find something that she could enjoy doing. We took her out to eat at a big mall and then entertained her by letting her ride up and down the escalators and glass elevator. She was more excited than if it had been a ride at the fair! Next, we found that they were having a pet fair there at the mall, so she got to see all different kinds of pets, including a pink and grey parrot, and a huge yellow snake.

The next day, we were very eager to get our shopping done and head back home. I don’t know if you have ever noticed, but cities are awful places! There is nowhere to go for peace and quiet. Not that the jungle is quiet…we have lots of bugs and birds making a terrific racket, but it is different somehow. The jungle noises are very relaxing, where as city noise is very stressful. Anyway…we still had a full morning of shopping to do, since we can buy things for less money in the city, and we can get all kinds of things there that they never heard of where we live. (Like brown rice for instance)

We had just about finished our shopping when we got an email from the printers, telling us that Roy’s evangelism tent panels would be finished the very next morning! Oh how we wanted to go home. We looked at each other, and Roy laid it out. Either we go home now and make yet another trip to this same awful place to get that tent, or we stay another night. Well, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure that one out…we had to stay.

But at the least, we figured we could rent a hotel to stay in that night so that we could get out of the heat for a little while. The heat is pretty hard on us mountain people. We are just not used to it, and I was unable to sleep at the place we stayed at before due to a lack of air conditioning. So, we began a search for a place to stay where Destiny could see airplanes taking off and landing. She was quite excited about the airplanes flying over, and thought that little bombers in the park were HUGE! We found the perfect spot, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the airport, where Destiny could watch airplanes to her hearts content, while we luxuriated in the cool air of the air conditioner.

Day five we were finally able to head home…after waiting for hours to get the tent. We were so ready to be back in the mountains with the rest of the family! Destiny was so very anxious to tell Hannah all about the elevators, escalators, and airplanes, that she was practically bursting. Who ever would have dreamed that such fascinating things even existed? And how can people ride on them without big grins plastered on their faces? Now if they would just put those things out here in the mountains so that we could get to where we can use the cell phone easier, that would be really nice!

Going to the city is very exciting. But it leaves you feeling exhausted and empty. I think of our very busy lives here in the jungle, and about all the running around, meeting people’s needs, and trying to keep up with all our duties. You would think that THAT would be exhausting, and it is true sometimes we get tired. But it is a good tired. It is a satisfied tired. You could even call it pure joy. Riding an escalator can be fun, but what good does it do for anyone? That kind of fun leaves you feeling empty, whereas working for God leaves you full to overflowing.