Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Tender Mercies: Hippocratic Oath Edition


MD with The Chief last April

Over the holiday break we went to Idaho to visit Chup's family. Idaho and I . . . well . . . we have a rocky relationship. It is almost like as soon as I cross the stateline I have an identity crisis. Who am I and what am I doing here?

Really weird, I know.

But it should be said, it is not the Idahoans. It's just Idaho.

This year I decided to write a list of things I wanted to do on our short visit to Twin Falls to make things more pleasant for myself. I like to second-hand shop (because the pickings are so fresh), visit the new Twin Falls Temple and eat slabby, greasy food. There you have it. La list!

After a day of scouting out some pretty cool housewife dresses from circa 1962 at the local DI, I was ready for some grub. My mother-in-law Grumma swears by this joint on the other side of town called Norm's. Fresh cut fries, soaked steak fingers, free refills--the whole bottles of tums please.

We met up as a family on location. Me, Chup and the little guy. Grumma and Popeye. Chup's brother MD (as I call him), his wife Kentucky and their progidy six year old Phun.

Walking into Norm's is akin to entering in an old western tavern where everyone knows each other and are comfortably conversing in jovial tones. The mood abruptly stops when you--the stranger--come through the doors. Silence and staring up and down. Staring up and down. Made worse by the fact I was wearing my Miz Mooz boots over my leggings.

Staring up and down and heavy chewing.

I ordered fish and chips hoping for the crispiest plate in the whole Gem State. Rather Chup ordered them for me, but that's a long story and not exactly imperative to this story.

As we were finishing up our crumbs, we heard a loud thud at the bar.

Then the waitress,

"Someone call 911!"

From what we could tell, a patron had fallen off his barstool and was having some sort of seizure. The layout of the cafe obstructed our view, but we could hear gasps for air, choking and the terrible sounds of death.

This all was happening fast, like it always does.

In this moment, without hesitation, Chup pulled the table out of his little brother's way. MD dashed out of his seat and was at the patron's side reassuring him--and the other diners--that he was there to help.

"I am a physician." We heard him announce--with a calm, quiet demeanor.

And for the ten minutes that followed (ten minutes which equaled an eternity)(ten minutes seems like a long time to wait for a response of a smaller town, no?) we could hear MD helping the man while he experienced a grand mal seizure.

Right there in Norm's.

And I thought to myself, how often do doctors eat at Norm's? It is the kind of establishment that Health Care professionals would generally recommend keeping a healthy distance. But on this day, at this moment, this man went to have a hamburger and had a seizure. And there just happened to be a doctor a couple booths over who knew how to prevent choking and stay calm.

You know where I am going with this, don't you?

These are the tender mercies of a good God in heaven.

I am always amazed.


By the way
of a post script, while we were in Idaho, The Chief began to battle some awful flu. One miserable night, MD saved us time and money by diagnosing our son with an ear infection, called in a round of antibiotics and went with Chup to pick it up at Walgreens. Then, when we mistakenly left the bottle in the fridge in Idaho, MD called in a second round for us in Utah. The Chief has never been better.

He loves his uncle dearly.


P.P.S. We'd love to have you join with us in prayers for my sister Stephanie who is having more surgery tomorrow in Arizona. The next few months are going to be grueling as she works her way back to better health.

Thanks. Again.