Taking One for the Team

Ladies basketball gets a little crazy…

As I bent low to catch a pass, I felt searing pain in my left pinky. Fearing a sprain, I lifted my hand and cried out when I saw my finger sticking out at a sickening 90-degree angle. Thankfully my friend and fellow MAF’er Karen, who’s a nurse, was also playing. She grabbed my arm and said, “We’re going to do this – now!”

I started blubbering like a baby while Karen organized the other ladies. Some held me while one steadied my arm and Karen yanked. I felt like I was in a Civil War movie where the soldier is held down for an amputation, and I half-expected Karen to give me a bullet to bite. After two pulls, it looked like a proper pinky again.

Karen Juneau on the left, me on the right.

Karen Juneau on the left, me on the right.

I went for an x-ray at a local hospital ($5, and I got to keep the x-ray). It looked good, nothing obviously wrong, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Medical care in our far-flung part of the world can be sketchy at times. Our MAF pilots frequently do medical emergency flights, but the sad truth is that sometimes the local medical options aren’t very helpful.

I have joked that I feel like I should have earned some sort of nursing degree by now, with all the self-doctoring I’ve done over the years, with Where There Is No Doctor as my main reference.

I am thankful for real nurses, like Karen, who faithfully serve the mission community and are always willing to come over and give malaria tests, look at a funky rash, and set broken fingers when basketball gets a little crazy.

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