Wednesday, August 19, 2009

When It Rains, It Pours

This has not been an easy week.

Sunday was my turn to make brunch and I made Uncle Robert's chicken, macaroni and cheese, and apple tart. The meal turned out okay but I didn't get to enjoy it because once again malaria struck. So I pushed the food around my plate and tried to ignore the awful body aches. When you have had malaria five times in less than a year, it is easy to recognize the symptoms.

I was planning on going to the Malava hospital first thing Monday morning but the Sisters decided to take me to Mukumu hospital, which is better. We arrived and were told that I couldn't get a malaria test because there was no electricity but I still saw the doctor. The doctor suggested that I take Quinine since the monthly recurrence of malaria suggested that it was drug resistant. I was less than enthusiastic because Quinine sometimes has some nasty side effects and it requires a hospital stay. However they convinced me to do it and I was admitted. The iv proved irksome. It took took a nurse and two doctors eight needle sticks before they finally succeeded in getting an iv in the inside of my wrist, which is not the most comfortable place. I got a drip for four hours, then four hours off, another four hours hooked up to a bottle, four hours to rest again, and a final iv for four more hours. This went on from Monday afternoon until Tuesday early afternoon. Then they need to observe me for another night to make sure I didn't have any complications.

The hospital did not have running water or electricity during the day time, however it came on around 7pm. The hospital doesn't have iv stands so I could not leave my bed. If I wanted to eat or use the bathroom I had to find a nurse to disconnect me (which is not easy when the call button requires electricity). Still, this was one of the nicer hospitals in the area. Everything was clean and the staff was very kind. Nevertheless, I was very happy to leave.

Two nights in the hospital is enough to sour any week. Unfortunately I had bigger concerns.

Monday morning I got a call from Becky, saying that my dad was in the hospital. To make a long story short, he needs major heart surgery. The doctors need to replace part of his aorta and fix two leaky heart valves. Unfortunately, he also has an infection that will postpone the surgery until next week. He is being closely monitored, in case his aneurysm ruptures. One minute we thought he was going to have emergency surgery, the next minute they are telling us he can wait a few days. It has been very stressful and being half way around the world doesn't help. I worry about Dad but I also worry about how Mom is holding up.

Then on top of that Amy is coming to visit Kenya next week. Not that her visiting is in any way a bad thing, I am so excited about seeing her. But I was debating about coming home and she was contemplating cancelling the trip. Dad, being his usual selfless self, told us to enjoy ourselves on vacation. So we are sticking with the status quo, at least for the time being.

I have to wonder at the timing of it all. Why does everything have to hit at the same time? Right now I am just taking life one moment at a time.

I wanted to add a big thank you to everyone who has helped my family in this difficult time: Uncle Brian, Bev, Carol, Meg, Erin, Keith and Patrica, the priests at St. Mary's, and many others. Please continue to keep our family in your prayers.
Love from Africa,

1 comment:

  1. Katie,

    You and your family are in our hearts with best wished for shaking the malaria for you and and a successful recovery for your father.

    Fritz Casey-Leininger
    Sue's Dad