Monday, April 20, 2015

"This Shouldn't Have Happened!"

Mom's last doctor's appointment regarding her broken arm was scheduled today (20 April 2015) with Dr. Rajah, immediately following new X-rays. The X-rays were scheduled to be taken at 1:30, with the doctor's appointment following at 2:00. We finally went from X-ray back to the doctor's office at 2:45 . . . and waited some more!

When we were finally called back into his office, he had been reviewing the X-rays. No sooner than we got seated, he began to mumble, "This shouldn't have happened!" He repeated it several more times, and we began to worry about what he must mean! Was there a problem with the healing of Mom's arm? Was more surgery going to be required? What shouldn't have happened!?!

He then turned to both of us, and said, "This shouldn't have happened!!!! Nothing I did in the surgery worked . . . and even the pins I put in place didn't work. The arm shouldn't have healed. . .but it HAS! It is stronger now than it  was before it was broken!" And he just kept mumbling. Then he said, "I never thought it would heal because everything I tried didn't work. The bones were too soft for the pins to hold, and they even FELL OUT!" He was even afraid that I would loose mobility in the shoulder and arm and be left with pain and osteoporosis. He then asked me to raise my arm, and I raised both arms, nearly to the same height...straight up! He said, "You shouldn't be able to do that! And I have no explanation for that or how much bone has formed around the break."

He then showed us the series of X-rays, which began with those following the surgery, where 4 pins were placed to try to hold together an arm where the two sections of bone were far from matching up . . . with only a small portion overlapping. He commented that after my last appointment three months ago, there was no more than a thread holding the arm together. Yet he had no explanation as to why so much new bone growth had formed around the small overlap. He commented that the arm was even STRONGER than it was before the accident. He made the comment several times, that it could only be due to prayer. He said, "I can't take the credit for this success." Then he topped it off my saying, "If you break your other arm, please don't come to me; go to my competition! I can't take credit for this success!"

I reminded him that he was going to give me a series of exercises at this visit to strengthen my arm. He turned to me and said, "With that much mobility in your arm, you don't need exercises to improve what you have!"

The Lord has certainly been with us both during this trying time, which has definitely made us both stronger. Trials truly do bless us and He has blessed us ALL THE WAY!

Nomonde's Baptism

Nomonde (pronounced sorta like "no Monday" was baptized on Sunday, 19 April by Elder Berkey at the Kwadabeka Chapel.

Now, Nomonde is an extremely shy, quiet young girl about 10 years of age in mom's primary group. Regular attendance at Primary varies from 2 to 16 kids, ages 2 to 12. Well, Nomonde is there nearly every week, and throws her arms around Mom the minute she gets out of the car at the school where church is help. Mom and Nomonde have really bonded and have quite a special relationship.Nomonde started attending quite regularly about 3 months ago. Her young mom was already a member, but Nomonde spoke very little English, using mostly Zulu in all conversations with others. BUT...the baptismal interview has to be done in English by the Bishop and she has to be able to understand and answer the questions in English.

Note: this may seem somewhat unfair...but South Africa's official language is English. However, most of the children in the Primary were raised with Zulu being their first language. During Mom's lessons, often her assistant (Sharing Time Leader) translates most of her sentences into Zulu to make sure the children understand all the concepts.

Well . . . It took Nomonde many weeks of real effort with her Mom and the Missionaries to have the necessary English skills to answer all the interview questions. WOW was she excited to be baptized! We had to leave Primary about half way thru, to drive to the Kwadabeka Ward meetinghouse (our parent ward, since we are only big enough to be a "group"). The Baptism was to take place there about 12:30. She was "just beaming!" Hers was the only baptism to take place, and afterward, during the brief testimony meeting, she was asked to bear her testimony. As Sister Nielsen puts it, "I have never heard her say SO MUCH! Seldom does she say more than about 2 words." She bore a beautiful, well thought out (and practiced!) testimony, completely in English. It was quite a stirring moment for both Elder and Sister Nielsen.

Afterwards, there was lots of hugging and celebrating together. Then she quietly came and whispered in Mom's ear, "Did you bring any biscuits (cookies) today?"  "Yup!" and the biscuits were passed around to the Elders and others who shared in her very special day.

T - I - A or in Other Words: "This is Africa"

We jokingly refer to all things unique to Africa as T-I-A or "This is Africa!"
We would like to share the T-I-A for this past week ----
     South Africa is unable to provide enough electricity for everyone's needs. Therefore, they have come up with their solution, called "load shedding" which means turning off the electricity by rotation to each area of the entire country for two to three hours at a time. Right in the middle of whatever you are doing, the power goes off -- for two hours at a time in our area. It has taken place more often this past week. Before that, it typically was once a week.
BUT...let us share with you the T-I-A's for last week.
     Monday, 13 April -- power off during Family Home Evening at the Stevenson's beginning at 8 pm and finishing by flashlight.
     Tuesday, 14 April -- Transfer Day -- always hectic -- had load shedding from 11 am to 1 pm at the office.
     Wednesday, 15 April -- office had load shedding from 12 to 2 pm. Home had load shedding from 6 to 8 pm. Had a romantic dinner by "candlelight" (HA HA)
     Thursday, 16 April -- Had a new type of T-I-A. Mom took a shower when lst up. When Dad went to take a shower, NOT A DROP OF WATER LEFT! (Ooops!) Did Dad forget to pay our waterbill? (Oh, oh, in trouble now!) Headed to the office and discovered no water there either, and 2 other Senior Couples called with the same dilemma. (Dad off the hook!) One couple phoned the municipality and discovered a BIG watermain break. No water for the rest of the day. Office load shedding from 12 to 2 pm and home load shedding from 6 to 8 pm
     Friday, 17 April -- Just twelve hours from the last load shedding, 6 am to 8 am, home had outage again! Went to office and the load shedding there took place from 2 to 4 pm. Mom had hair appointment at 4:00 about a 10 minute drive away, and when we got there, the power was out there AS WELL. But luckily they had a small generator for the blow drier and a large window to let  in sunlight.
     Saturday, 18 April -- Went to the large Pavillion Mall during the afternoon and at 2 pm, just as we were purchasing our Cinnabons, MORE LOAD SHEDDING! You should have seen the crowds in the hallways, with half of the stores and the theatre closed, but some of the larger stores had generators for minimal lighting. We finished our errands at the Checker Hyper store in very dim aisles, attempting to find what we needed. Finally gave up and went home! 
     Sunday, 19 April -- Load shedding from 8 to 9 pm, during game night downstairs at Elder and Sister Poelman's.  But Sunday was a Very Special Day. Read about it in our next blog entry.
                               WOW -- WHAT A WEEK!