Wednesday, November 19, 2008

So long as I don't get sick

I was sitting in the hospital lobby with Sam, walking through everything that we had to do in the next few days: taking care of the babies, grocery shopping, getting water, bringing Dorothy home, substitute teaching, doing Vanesse's burn dressings, and coordinating the team of 18 Americans that are coming to Dorothy's this week. "We can do this, Sam." I said, trying to hype myself up for it. "We can do it. So long as I don't get sick, we can do it."

We brought Dorothy home from the hospital on Friday afternoon. She was still suffering from what we guess is an ileus, so she was very weak and only able to drink clear fluids. Chris, a nurse who works at an orphanage near our house, came over and put an IV in for her while I settled down to take care of Levinsky who was still running a high fever. I got the fever down and took him downstairs to the nannies around 10pm, checked Dorothy's IV rate, and went to bed.

At 1:30am, I woke up to check Dorothy's IV again. Just as I was falling back asleep, Levinsky started howling from downstairs. Mama Kathy and I brought him upstairs and spent the rest of the night in the living room with him as he vomited, coughed, sweated and moaned. It was a long night. We finally got him calmly sleeping and downstairs at 8am. Kathy went to the airport to pick up Casey and I took care of meds and other business around the house. I got to sleep for an hour until the nannies woke me up again because Levinsky was sick again.

Saturday was supposed to be my one day of rest between the craziness of Dorothy's hospitalization and the craziness of the American team arriving on Sunday. Instead, it was another case of working the night shift and the day shift back to back. I was wiped out and sort of in a daze all day. That evening, my stomach felt very odd but I just figured it was from lack of sleep.

I woke up Sunday morning with diarrhea and feeling more dehydrated than I have ever felt in Haiti. Monday and Tuesday it was the same story: feverish, weak, shaky, stomach tied up in knots. I needed to eat and drink but the very thought of putting anything into my gut made me feel overwhelmingly ill. All I wanted to do was lie on my bed and feel junky, but there was always something that needed to be done: meds to be administered, a sick baby to care for, team members that needed to be shown around, groceries that had to be bought, a doctor who needed to examine our weaker kids...always some reason why I couldn't stay in my bed. It was a miserable 3 days. Thank God Casey was there to take over some of my duties! I love that girl.

I'm feeling great now, substitute teaching in the morning and running things at the house the rest of the day. Dorothy is doing better; she's finally progressing to solid foods, but she is still very weak. I lose my wonderful reinforcements, Casey and Sam, tomorrow morning, so things will be intense again for another week or so until Dorothy's strength returns. So long as I don't get sick, we'll be fine...

Uh, oh. I really shouldn't have said that again...

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