Be Still

           The following is a partial blog by Dr. Mark Williams who recently visited NVM on a vision trip…to see feel and touch all that NVM is doing. Dr. Williams not only brought his medical talents and skills; seeing patients, teaching a course on asthma, visiting our remote sites…he brought some insight into remembering to BE STILL.

Several months ago I had an idea to bring a piece of technology we sometimes use in our ICU to Haiti given some of the challenges around blood draws which can be expensive and also fearful for some patients.  The device is made my Masimo and is a fiberoptic probe which not only measures oxygen saturation from your finger but also Hemoglobin!  I was able to get a device donated to NVM and brought it down to keep at the medical clinic and train the doctors on how to properly use it.  One of the first patients we utilized it was a young girl who presented with shortness of breath and fatigue.  2 months ago she lost her pregnancy due to uterine bleeding.  Blood transfusions are uncommon in most of Haiti due to the culture and also the great expense.  This young woman had not received a blood transfusion nor iron.  We were able to document that she was indeed very anemic and we started her on aggressive iron supplementation.

In order for the device to work the patient’s hand must remain very still.  I learned the Creole work for “be still” which is Bapuchee.  I must have said this word 100 times this week in order to get accurate hemoglobin readings.

In a moment of prayer and meditation I focused on these words…Be Still.  I remembered the amazing song by Steven Curtis Chapman, Be Still and Know I am God, based on Psalm 46:10.  God gave me insight into why I was called to come here this week.  I was called to come her to help me die to self and to truly Be Still!  To be still from a life of stress, striving, wandering, searching and wound healing.  I have found stillness here that I can build on so I can be more present.

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