Sunday, November 9, 2008


I got to the hospital at 9am and by 9:45 they were sending me and one of their male staff to the Red Cross to pick up blood for surgery later that day. We drove to the Red Cross and waited for over an hour for a bag of blood. That was the worst part of my day - waiting, knowing that Dorothy's life depended on us getting that blood back quickly enough. Ugh! We finally got the bag and rushed back to the hospital at 11:10. They took Dorothy into surgery at 11:15. The surgeons told me that they were pretty sure it was appendicitis, and even if it wasn't, they did not feel safe leaving her any longer. If it was an adhesion or an obstruction, they hoped to find it when she was open on the operating table.

Turned out that it was appendicitis. At 1:30, they brought me in and showed me her little appendix in a jar. It was already gangrenous and the surgeon said there had been lots of pus in the abdominal cavity nearby. In other words, if we had not gotten her into surgery when we did, it would have ruptured very soon and we probably would have lost Dorothy. God is so good - most Haitian hospitals do not have doctors on staff on Sundays and most would not do surgery on Sunday. But this hospital had many qualified doctors available and got her into surgery nearly as fast as an American hospital would have.

They brought her back to her room at 2:45, sleeping but arousable and able to talk. She was comfortable but thirsty since she is not allowed to drink anything. At this point, we don't know how much longer she will be in the hospital. One doctor told me it could be 3 or 4 days, but that if there are complications it could be a week or more. Praying for no complications!!

It was quite a day. I was alone from 9:30 until 3:30pm, just pacing, reading Psalms, singing to myself, trying to watch a movie. And answering all the phone calls from our entire community here in Port-au-Prince who was praying for Dorothy and eager for updates. We deeply appreciate the concern and the prayers of all our friends and family. Unfortunately, it was mostly during those conversations that I came the closest to crying. Every time I person asked me if I was OK, I would tear up because frankly, I wasn't. I was about as tired and miserable and overwhelmed as I have ever been in my life. I didn't actually cry though until they told me that the surgery had been a success.

The worst crying came later with a call from Kathy, Kevs' adoptive mother, and Sam, his adoptive brother. Reinforcements are on the way. If God is willing, I won't be alone as of 10:05 tomorrow morning. Huge sigh of relief.

At the house, things are OK. About 1/3 of our kids has conjunctivitis, but apart from that, they are doing well. The older ones are bummed that Mama Dorothy and I are not around, but they are praying for her and sending many kisses to her every day. Kevs is still at Deedee's and I was not able to talk to him last night but I will hopefully be able to bring him home tomorrow afternoon. Oh, I have missed him so much but it's just as well that he isn't here because I might have bawled at the sight of him.

So rough day, but all in all, we are just grateful. Grateful that Dorothy is in a hospital where they have taken wonderful care of her. Grateful that we have staff who are willing to work overtime for us. Grateful to all our friends who have been faithfully praying for us. Grateful that it was just appendicitis and not something more complex. Grateful for Sunday surgeries. Grateful for national power in the middle of the night (well, for me at least. I went to bed at 7pm cuz I was dead tired and I just woke up to run the pump and update the outside world while EDH is on). Grateful that our God will never leave us or forsake us.

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