When one's potassium gets extremely high, the heart begins beating in an arrythmia, and eventually stops all together. This man had the highest potassium I had ever seen (8.0), and if he were in the States, he would be sent immediately to an intensive care unit for serious monitoring and intervention. Here, there is no ICU. We don't have the resources for all the interventions he would need to get his potassium down fast enough.
I felt completely helpless. There was little I could do to help this sweet, elderly man that I had gotten to know over the past few months. I knew that it was likely that something serious would happen to him any minute. I asked him how he was feeling about everything. He just said that he was worried about what was going on with his health and that he knew that he needed to have patience, and trust in God. Tears filled my eyes as I knelt by his bed and prayed with him, knowing that was all I could do.
It has been said by several of the missionaries here, that so many times when they have done all they can do for these patients, God steps in and takes care of the rest. I am beginning to see that here.
God protected this patient throughout the night as medications were started and his potassium was brought down. By the morning it was at a normal level again, and he was discharged from the hospital a few days later.
It's humbling, but oh so comforting to be reminded that we really don't have control. God is greater than anything that presents itself in this world.