Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day with a rainbow

It’s just past six in the morning. Not a long sleep but solid. Still dark as midnight outside, but the trains and buses have begun running and there are a few cars on the nearby streets. From this height -- the fifth level above the ground floor -- the south of Amsterdam looks like a very tidy model train layout.

In the mid-morning yesterday, shortly after dark grey clouds produced a brief shower, I watched a rainbow rise from the right side of the window and then slowly complete its arc. The nurse who was doing the first of a series of seven hourly blood tests to see how the medication I’m taking was being accepted, suggested we ought to forget about all that and instead make our way to the nearby pot of gold. Surely it wouldn’t be hard to find. But instead we kept at the blood tests.

Rainbows are not rare in Holland, especially in the rainy season that Fall is, but somehow I was more vulnerable to its astonishing beauty and experienced it as signal from heaven, a reminder of God’s love for us and our hard-pressed world.

I had the news yesterday that my creatinine level -- 900 before the transplant -- is now 110. But the examination of my bladder that I had hoped might happen yesterday is delayed until Thursday, at which point, assuming no unpleasant discovery is made, I will be free to return home. Instead a sonar scan -- an echo -- was made to take a very close look at the veins and arteries in my neck. The purpose is to create a base line to see how the anti-rejection medication I am taking daily for the rest of my life affects my circulatory system. (I’ve agreed to be part of a kidney transplant study that the AMC is conducting.)

There was distressing news from Nancy yesterday. The night following her return to Alkmaar a thief had broken into the house. Sometime after midnight, the back gate had been forced open as well as the back door. Not much was taken: Cait’s laptop, camera and wallet and Nancy’s watch, all of which were on the coffee table in the living room. (Cait was staying at the house taking care of Nancy and Lorraine.) The police quickly came to the house followed by two detectives. By the early evening the back gate and door had been repaired. The worst loss was not the things taken but the theft of time involved in coping with the theft, and the sense of violated space.


Anonymous said...

My camera! You forgot my camera!

(And you had the comments turned off, so I turned them back on and added word verifications.)

Love, Cait

Barbara Allaire said...

I'm very grateful to be able to follow your progress day by day and hear about your visitors and thoughts--how do you keep up your energy for all that visiting? The health and recovery of you both is just inspiring--you were so ready for this! We keep praying for your healing, now not only for bodily healing but healing from being burgled. That was not good timing. Much love, Barbara

Ann said...

Dear Jim and Nancy,
I have been away training in Hawaii and thinking about you both as your day of surgury approached. I am happy to hear that all has gone well. The timing of the burglary is hard to understand, but I do pray nothing is able to disturb your peace as you and Nancy heal body and soul post-surgery.
With much love,
Ann Gelsheimer