Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Recorded Joy

"What is joy if it goes unrecorded and what is love if it is not shared?"

Call the Midwife, the show that sends me to bed so many night wrecked.

A moment of joy.  F, the beautiful elder from Congo who signs proudly her full name: "Fatuma" on the sign-in sheet at my job, with so much joy that she shouts and dances with pride that she accomplished her signature.

We sat at my desk with an interpreter to fill out housing wait-list requests.  It took an hour, and she got up to talk to a Congolese coworkorker as I called her doctor for her.  She was requesting an appointment.

A nurse answered right away, before Fatuma had returned.  When asked what the reason was for the visit, she would not say.  "I just need to see my doctor" the interpreter reported to me from the doorway.  The nurse explained that she needed to write down a reason for the visit, so finally Fatuma came back to my desk.

In her bright purple and pink hand-sewn dress with thick lace at the trim, she danced to her seat explaining her need to the interpreter who then erupted in laughter.

"She said that her doctor loves her and needs to visit with her once a month or she is missed...And she loves her doctor too."

My own laughter came as I explained to the nurse, and the joy spread over the phone to the nurse who laughed and agreed to the visit.  This, at a county clinic.  Health care done right.  They know her.  They meet with her because they love her.  They love her!  A patient! An elder from another country who birthed all seven of her children alone, not another living soul with her.

 I was able to tell her today the good news that her mammogram and first-ever pap were clear.  This didn't make her dance in joy.  Writing her name on the sign-in sheet did.

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