Twice a week, I help out in the Dialysis Unit here in the hospital. There are about 20 stations and it takes three and a half to four hours (to filter the body's blood 12 times!) and there are 3 sets of patients per day. Some of them come for treatment three to four times each week. (What a life--bless their hearts!) Several of the patients have a catheter directly into their heart that the nurses use to hook them up to the machine. (This made me think about God's "catheter" into my heart.....am I keeping the tubes open? aiming in the right direction?)
Azmi is the male RN in the 1st photo. My mnemonic to remember his name is "ask me." So I did, and he explained all about dialysis to me. The last photo is Dr. Mounir, Amer (a PhD research student) and Maha. She is the head of the dept. and is married to a man that teaches sports at the Anglican school. She is the mother of three children and is a grad student at the univ. in Haifa.
The people I know here work very hard. I take notes to remember their names as a small way to encourage them. My duties are to help clean and prepare the stations between patients, to replenish supplies, and serve meals. I also talk with the English-speaking patients and lightly massage their very dry hands and feet with lotion.
At first I only worked with the women patients in the unit, but some of the men were jealous and asked why, so I guess I'll be spending some time with them as well. The Tuesday group of patients includes a group of guys that talk loud and hold court in the ward. I discovered that most of them speak English, so we'll be talking about God, I hope, soon.
I heard a great story the other day: The first time they met, our volunteer asked if they could pray for their patient as they massaged her. The patient said no. The volunteer kept massaging every week and at their last visit together, the patient asked if they would pray for her. God's love in action.
I'm off to Jerusalem for the weekend. Love to all, Laurie