Friday, October 14, 2011

Looking Back: One Year Ago Today–A Very Tough Day

Thursday Oct. 14, 2010

Today was a tough day.  Blake was acting really lethargic. We had some concerns about his health from the moment we first saw him, and had multiple conversations where we’d look at each other and say, “Do you think he’s okay?” But today, not only was he lethargic, but he spiked a fever, too. Pastor Peter called a doctor friend he knew whose office was just next door and he came to see Blake. He suggested we take him to a lab for a malaria test. Hubby and David (our escort, who is a pastor here in the States) went to the lab. Hubby was so surprised when they pulled up to a hole in the wall kind of a building, and even more surprised when they were taken to a room that more closely resembled a dark closet. Hubby was very nervous, and could see in David’s eyes that he was nervous, too.  I think he would have gotten up and just left except that thankfully, they pulled out a clean, new, sterile needle from a sealed wrapper. It hit Hubby pretty hard when they asked him if he wanted the malaria test and he said yes, without even asking how much it cost.  How many parents were standing just outside that building with sick children, but were unable to afford the test?  We take so much for granted! 

Blake’s test came back positive for malaria.  Actually, we were told he had a little bit of malaria, which sounded a lot like being a little bit pregnant to me.  Either you have it or you don’t.  Anyways, the medical system works completely different in Congo and you don’t need prescriptions to get medicine.  You simply go to the pharmacy and buy what you need.  The same doctor that visited us this morning suggested we get Blake started on an antibiotic, antimalarial, and vitamin. So we went to the pharmacy and got those.

We learned quickly that Blake HATES medicine. I’ve never seen a kid like this before. Screaming, kicking, gurgling, choking, etc. And unfortunately, he needed a lot of it.  We finally got it all in his little system and he vomited.  We had been pretty stressed all day, just worried about him, and I think that about put us over the edge.  We didn’t know what to do! 

Thankfully, there were some Canadian nurses on a mission trip staying at our guest house and they told us to redose and showed us some tips to help him take it. But as the night went on, Blake only got worse.  He threw up his 6:30 bottle too and refused any Pedialyte or formula. The nurses said he sounded like he had fluid on his lungs. Another little boy in our group just got home from the hospital with pneumonia. We were very scared and nervous, wondering if perhaps Blake had it, too.  After much discussion with the nurses, and lots of prayer, Hubby, David, and Diana took him to the hospital and because it was already very late, Hubby planned to spend the night there with Blake. I was feeling very anxious about the whole situation, but I was able to talk with my friend whose son just came home and I asked about what the hospital was like. She set my mind at ease and said that it’s relatively clean and she felt safe, just not to leave him alone…ever.

Lauren and I went to bed, and I just laid there praying for our sweet son.  Having a child in the hospital would be hard enough if we were in the States where we understood the healthcare system, and trusted that he was getting good care.  Knowing my husband and son were in a hospital where they couldn’t communicate with any doctors, and not knowing at all what was wrong with him and if he’d be okay was just. plain. hard.

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