Tonight I attended a big rally put on by the city to inform people about the dangers of crystal meth. I knew the basics about this highly addictive drug so I didn’t go so much for information as to show support for any action to try and deal with this huge problem. And support of all efforts to break the trap of addiction in our city. I did learn a couple of interesting facts from a dental point of view. I didn’t know that rampant dental decay was such a problem peculiar to this addiction.
So now when you come in with lots of cavities you know what I am going to think. 🙂
Actually I do recognize this as a problem now in retrospect, for a few of my patients. Not just a few cavities – rather the tooth pretty much disintegrating over a relatively short time. I wonder if it is the drug or the neglect of hygiene?
The other striking part of the event, and perhaps it was because the first nations organizations helped put on the consultations over the past few days, was the prayer to start off the evening. The elder was very traditional in his beliefs. There was no syncretism with Christianity in his prayer as he called on the “grandfathers” for help with this problem. It was pretty pure aboriginal spirituality.
It made me wonder – have we as Christians lost our credibility as caring people when it comes to caring for and about the drug addicted? We seemed to have no identity here tonight. And yet many people I know working in the area of addictions are followers of Christ – really. Weird, since the God we know and worship; the God that has power to bring about change at the very foundations of a person’s life as no ancestor can, was not invoked. I suspect political correctness had much to do with this, but it seemed to me a sad revelation – of how Christ is an offense to many. And maybe of how we “Christians” have caused part of this offence by no wanting to sully our reputation by hanging around addicts.
So, now what? A youth detox centre is desperately needed and I suspect will eventually be created.
For myself? Well, the whole huge problem of addictions in Prince Albert has been sitting heavily on my mind the last few months. I don’t know what my role in this whole big problem is or should be. Maybe I am called to just show love to some of the high needs kids I see in the school dental program. Maybe there is more. I’ve been trying to listen to God on this but have no real clue so far. Prayer is not a futile act either and maybe that is all I can do for now.
We live on the banks of the North Saskatchewan River. Two days ago we thought it was high.
In front of our home is a park that stretches along the river for blocks and so from the window as I write this, I can watch the river go by. I have never seen it so high. Now the island in front of me is completely under water except for the tops of the willows. That hasn’t happened in the ten years we have lived here.
Yesterday we were out watching the water and all the garbage that it has picked up and is carrying by. Huge tree stumps. Makes one wonder where it will end up. I guess up in Tobin Lake; our artificial lake this side of the dam up by Nipawin.
There are also a family group of pelicans that nest on the island. I wonder if their chicks made it. I think the geese would have already hatched but I’m not sure about the pelicans. We were watching those big white birds yesterday for awhile.
Leo has been extra busy these days. Cumberland house has been evacuated. It lies in the delta of the Saskatchewan River and on Cumberland Lake. Apparently they anticipate that it will take weeks before the river recedes since the lake is expected to back up into the town as well as the river overflowing. The river has already overflowed cutting the town off by road. Anyway, Public Health is involved with the evacuation, so Leo usually makes his rounds by SIAST where all these people are billeted. Rows of cots in the gym. Must be a hard place to get some sleep!
Pictures will be posted soon of our lovely river.
There – finally found time to post some pictures. The river still seems to be rising slowly but nothing like the last 24 hours. I will also post a bunch of pictures at my Flikr site
It is profound. It is worth the few minutes it takes to read it through. Link
Thanks to Maggi Dawn.
Well, we did not just sit around and do nothing. Not really. Most of the day I played with my grandson and visited with the neighbors who were having a garage sale. Kierna was very interested in their toys and we bought a few cars. He also brought his big tricycle along and had fun riding it down the slope of the neighbors driveway with their three kids. And we got a bunch of wonderful baby stuff from socks to a big saucer thing like a walker without the wheels – not sure what it is called but it looks fun.
It was a nice day to be outdoors. And on the riverbank we could also watch the North Saskatchewan River rising. The banks are too high on our side for any danger of flooding. Tonight it was a good foot or two higher than this –
The other big event of this weekend is grad. We don’t have anyone graduating this year but Sara is the escort for her boyfriend Cody. They came over to the riverbank for photos this afternoon. A cute couple and good friends.
Why does God seem to throw these big challenges up in my face? Sometimes I wish he would put choices before me that are more palatable. But I know enough to know that some things are commands. Like “love one another.” “Do good to those that hate you.” Jesus didn’t just mouth these words. And I can’t and claim to follow him either.
So, has he done this – putting the mother of my daughter’s boyfriend in my care as a patient? I know that I can carry on providing good treatment. I don’t let whether I like my patients detrrmine how well I do their work. And we did not have to carry on a conversation since she hardly speaks any English. Thank God for that. At least that is how I felt. I was hoping she would not ask me anything about Grace – and she did not. I don’t know what I would have said. But she did say “thank-you” in a very warm and friendly way as she left.
Maybe I should claim a conflict of interest and ask my partner to care for her. But she is a Muslim woman and he is a man. I suspect this is the main reason I was chosen to provide care. So passing off her care would not be kind or respectful and she has done me no harm really – not her.
It is very difficult to respond in love. I know Jesus would not have shunned this woman. So I know what I am expected to do. But the feelings sure are not there. I don’t know what I feel. This woman who has come to Canada from the Sudan; to a land where the language and customs are foreign, where people must look at her strangely, covered from feet to head as she is. I pity her more than I care about her. I don’t want to learn to love her really. But there she is in my face – or rather I am in hers, and will be for several more visits.
What will become of us – bound together by a common grandchild and a strange doctor/patient relationship? God – help! I really don’t want to even think about it. I did not choose this struggle and right now I don’t want to face it. But…
It really is too hot to sit here in this hot office and write. Our overhead fan was killed by water running into it’s motor from a leak somewhere in our roof – we have been unsuccessful in finding it. We did install windows that open finally but there is no breeze.
So we have quit complaining about the incessant rain. Now we can complain about the unbearable heat! For today anyway. I guess if the bedroom were airconditioned I would be happier, oh yeah, and the office.
The day was actually beautiful. The second day of summer. Sky was clear and blue. Now there are some big old thunderheads in the distance with flashing lightning.
I just got a call to pick up my Sara. She is an escort for grad this weekend at St Mary’s. Her boyfriend is graduating. She is having fun – doing the whole bit; nails, (fingers tonight done by her sister-in-law), hair and even a pedicure sometime before Saturday. She likes this kind of stuff. Drives me crazy just the thought of having long nails!
One step better than blogfriends in cyberspace are blogfriends that become real live face to face friends. Becky is one of those real live face to face friends that I would never have met if it weren’t for blogging and meet ups and places like the Worship Freehouse.
So it was a real treat to be invited to Becky and Jerry’s party – a Wedding reception so those of us that were not at the event four months ago could celebrate with them. Just looking at them you can see they are in love!
Pictures are posted here.