May 2014

May 9th, 2014

Not In our Plans

Dear Friends,

April 13th did NOT go according to plan. Diane was on her way in to a volleyball complex to watch Abbey play in a tournament. She had to park in a lot that was adjacent to the facility because there were no open parking spots at the facility. She was walking down a grassy slope that connected the two parking lots as she had done innumerous times before. The grass was wet and her foot was exactly in the wrong position when she slipped. She heard two cracks at the next thing she knew she was on the ground. I was home asleep after working the previous night in the ER. A couple of other volleyball parents helped get her into a car and one of them drove her to the hospital. I met them at the ER. She had suffered a “tri-malleolar fracture” of her left ankle. It required surgery that very day that included a plate and 10 screws. Because it is such a severe break that included splintering of both the fibula and tibia bones she is not allowed to bear any weight at all for 8 to 12 weeks. Since our house has the bedrooms on the second floor I had to move a bed down to the living room for her. She has a walker that she can use to hop on her good leg and can move from her chair, to the bathroom and to her bed. No stairs, no standing, and the leg elevated while sitting. So, no cooking, cleaning, laundry, driving, shopping – all the things that Diane normally does each day as a wife and mother.

Needless to say, it has been a trying time and there have been a few tears as our family has had to adjust to this temporary frustration. But, as always, it is easy to see God’s protection, provision and providence in all that we experience. For instance, this happened just as my 30 month PA program is winding down, the homework load is starting to lighten, and I am able to be at home each evening. My rotation schedule is such that I am able to take Abbey to school each morning, something that wasn’t true a month ago. If this had happened while I was in the classroom phase and in Lexington I probably would have had to take a leave of absence from my program.

Our church family has come through in a huge way. We have had meals dropped off at our house three or four times a week. The portions are always large enough to turn into at least one more meal. Four members of Diane’s Bible study group have come to the house on several different days to bring her lunch and sit with her while the rest of us are away. They have helped us with cleaning and laundry as well. Others have given us monetary gifts and restaurant gift cards. It is such a blessing to see the body of Christ in action.

I told Diane that I didn’t think we were taking her for granted before her accident, but if we were, we certainly are not now!

We’ve been back to see the orthopedic surgeon two times so far. Both times he was very happy with the way the bones are healing. We will go back on May 29th. So, next month I’ll be able to give you an update.

Hospitalist Rotation

This month I am working at two different hospitals with a group of Internal Medicine Hospitalists. These are the doctors who manage the care of patients who have been admitted to the hospital.

I am finding this rotation to be an extremely valuable learning experience for a couple of reasons. On the one hand, many of these patients are truly ill and sometimes a key lab value, or a key physical exam finding, for instance, is the difference between improvement or a worsening of their condition. As a student that is valuable experience that will enable me to help others in the future.

Another reason this rotation is so helpful is that almost every day I get to care for a patient who has a disease that I have studied but have never seen before. It is one thing to memorize the clinical and laboratory manifestations of, let’s say, Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome. It’s another thing to care for a patient with the disease. Now I have a face to remember, and I have a memory of how Osler-Weber-Rendu syndrome was affecting the life of Mr. G. That is priceless experience as I finish up my clinical year of training.

Prayer Pointers for May, 2014

♦ Please pray for Diane’s continued healing, for protection from further injury while she is healing, and for perseverance.

♦ Please pray that I am able to finish strong with my studies and for upcoming exams – both end-of-rotation exams and graduate school summative exams required for graduation. Just one more rotation after this one. I will do a month of cardiology for my last rotation that will end on June 20th.

♦ The bills for Diane’s heart ablations are coming due and is the reason for the large expenditure on line 111 in the attached April Financial Report. In spite of the large deficit in our Outgoing Balance all bills have been paid and our account is still in the black thanks to a loan from our Team Expansion retirement account.

Thank you for your encouragement and friendship as we continue on this journey of faith and obedience.

In Christian love,

Chris & family

A Note from The President

Dear Fellow-helper,

Did you ever receive a special gift for your birthday — one that you remembered forever? I did. It was a huge orange jet that fired little missiles and, for hours, I flew it all through the house. We remember gifts because they make us feel appreciated. But they also say something about the giver. Obviously, the greatest gift of all came in the form of Jesus Christ. His death on the cross and subsequent rising from the dead is the most amazing gift ever. But when you gift gifts of prayer, resources, and encouragement to your favorite Team Expansion missionary, it says something about you, too. Not only does it empower service that can change the population of Hell, it also says tells your favorite missionary that he or she is not alone. Thank you for your “withness,” your encouragement, and your partnership.

Doug Lucas

President, Team Expansion