Sunday, October 19, 2008

The night shift, the day shift, and the recovery

I got called away from Quisqueya on Wednesday afternoon because according to Tasha, we had 8 kids sick with vomiting and diarrhea. I got to house expecting to see 8 babies at death's door, but thankfully, most of them actually were not doing too badly. Only 4 of them really had vomiting; the rest just had diarrhea. Mary and I checked them out and made sure that Tasha and the nannies knew how to hydrate them properly. I worked with our littlest and sickest, Mackenson, for about an hour, but he was taking fluids by mouth without regurgitating them, so we judged the situation under control and we went back to the school.


The next day, I got home from my week of subbing to find Claudine and Jamson looking miserable and dehydrated. The rest of the babies were doing all right, but those two needed some serious care. Jamson would drink and then vomit. Claudine refused to drink at all - we had to hold her down, force her mouth open and push fluids with a syringe. Not fun, but still better than putting in a feeding tube. They both were running low grade fevers. So Tasha and I camped out in Dorothy's room with them for the night. I went to sleep around 10, got up at 11:30 to give them bottles and clean them up from diarrhea and vomit. Back to sleep at 12:30am. Awake again at 4:30am for more feeding and more clean up. I felt like a walking train wreck.

By 9am Friday morning, Jamson was holding fluids and Claudine was finally taking fluids willingly. Dorothy was coming home that afternoon, so me, Tasha, and Dannae took turns watching our 2 little patients and cleaning the house for Dorothy's arrival. I finally handed the kids over to Jesula, one of our most capable nannies, and took a nap. It was heavenly! Dorothy arrived that afternoon as scheduled, Jamson and Claudine were eating crackers and drinking juice, and things were looking up.

Jamson (pre-sickness. He looks a little skinnier now)
On Saturday morning, Jamson starting vomiting again and Johnny, our HIV baby was looking very weak and dehydrated from ongoing diarrhea. We started Jamson on rehydration fluids and he drank and held it down. Johnny, however, would not drink. He is too little for us to take risks with him, so I dropped a feeding tube through his nose straight into his stomach and we started feeding him that way.

Johnny J
Things were under control and Dorothy was home, so we three younger folks got the OK to accept an invitation by a church friend that afternoon. We drove with Dottie and Deedee, our neighbors and good friends, out to Titayen to the Global Outreach compound where another lady, Ann, lives with her family. Ann treated us to spinach dip and pita bread, fresh caesar salad, cake and ice cream. Even better, we got to spend several hours in her pool! After an exhausting and crazy few days, it was very refreshing.

I love swimming!
Today, Jamson is looking better. Johnny has been eating of his accord since mid-day yesterday and today, he even graced me with his first smiles in a week! Claudine is running around, feeling fine, and no one else has started vomiting. We do still have several cases of diarrhea, the worst of which is Mackenson, but we are trying to fight through that with him.

Thank you to everyone who has been praying for me and for all of the kids. I cannot tell you how encouraging it is when things get hairy like they did this week to know that I have prayer support from my friends and family in the US and France. Thank you!

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