Monday, March 29, 2010
Time is going so fast - It's two weeks since Maralucia came to join our group. She has gained very well - gone from 3.5 kilos to 4.6 kg. That's about 2 1/2 pounds in 2 weeks. Her ribs aren't showing anymore, and her legs don't have loose skin hanging off. And she's only on normal formula. Amazing what enough of it can do.
Caleb is also doing excellent, gaining well, and tightening his fingers around my heart. Please, nobody think of adopting him because I don't think I'd be able to let him go.
Sat. we went to the resort and I introduced him to the ocean and pool. OK, a bit early (he needed a bath anyway) so I'll wait for the next time till he at least enjoys his baths.
Then today Caleb's aunt, who brought him here, came. I was glad to talk with her. Apparently his mom didn't die the day he was born but a week later. When I asked her why she had died, she said she died from hunger. I think I need a better history. She was happy to see Caleb so well, and also likes the name we gave him. She's a Christian, and knew the story of Caleb in the Bible. She has 20 people living in her house - refugees from Port, so we've been giving her food and stuff for them. She's not from the mountains like we thought, but outside of Montrouis.
Last Tuesday a couple came to the clinic with their twins - in July they'll be 3. I think the boy is one of the worst cases of Kwashiorkor that I've seen. He was swollen from top to bottom. Even the back of his head was cushiony, his eyes almost swollen shut, his genitals huge. His twin sister was swollen from feet to knees, and the rest of her as skinny as can be. I was worried about them, and being they're from 4 hours walking away, I arranged for them to stay at our convalescence dorm so we could keep an eye on them. The dad went home the next day and brought the other two children - a 4 and 6 year old.
This has born in me another vision. Since we're in the middle of getting a "tent village/field hospital" going, we're going to keep some tents for families that have severely malnourished kids or that are from really far away that need it desperately. Or other patients that just need to be kept in observation for a bit. We've quite often gotten kids that I really hate to send home, because who knows what will happen. Or kids that aren't doing well - we can keep them for awhile to see if they're sick, or if others eat it.
On Thursday we went up to Ivoire again. We have to get the malnourish kids there. So far we've mostly seen the sick ones. I think we easily saw 50-70 kids. We have a PA (Physician Assistent) here for almost 2 week, so there were two of us seeing patients. We're going to start going every other week.
This already feels like top of the mountain.
Today we got a visit from someone in Cross International (they're one of Canaan's biggest supporters). He told us about a pastor he knows that came to visit, went home and moved down here two years ago. He's in Gonaive - the city devastated by two hurricanes in the last 8 years or so. People that left after that and went to Port are now returning after the earthquake. (What's that - reversed refugee status?). Anyway, this guy is in the poorest of poor of Haiti. Even the Haitian with him when they went to visit was amazed that that existed in Haiti. So next week the 7th we plan to go visit - they were asking about starting the Mamba program there. It's 2 hours north of here. This pastor apparently is attending to all the needs of the village - medical, starting a school, etc, and he's doing this on his own, without a lot of support in any way. We'll be able to give a better report after having been there, but pray for them there and us to know how best to help. They said even 12 year old boys were running around naked because they don't have clothes.
This week Canaan is busy! It's the week of their 19th anniversary, and they make a 3 day celebration of it. They have a day/meal for the church people. Usually they invite a lot of people from churches. This year for one meal they're inviting the refugees in the area.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I tell you, the last two years of my life don't represent my life of the past at all. Who am I anyway? Sometimes I look at what is happening around me, and I just shake my head. As little as less than 3 years ago, this kind of life wasn't even in my imaginations. What God does to bring one to the place where he wants us! Why do we fight it so much? Reminds me of one of these "forwards" that get sent around. "A Piece of Cake". It was a story of a girl that was complaining of all the bad things happening to her. Her mother, making a cake, responded by saying "Do you like my cakes?" "Yes, of course." "Here, have some oil" the mother said. "Yuck!" Then have some flour". "Gross". Have some baking powder". "That's horrible". Her mom told her that's how God works with us. "Individual circumstances may not be pleasant but the whole becomes a delicious cake!
Today has been an eventful day again. (As always, didn't do what I planned, which was make walking space in my medicine storage!). It was a "baby" day today - good and bad. I went down to the clinic; since it was Mamba day, I did plan to stay longer because we often get other sick ones too, or babies that come for milk, etc. The good thing was, I saw two babies that I had been wondering what was happening to them. One started coming a year ago, weighing 2 kilos (4.4 pounds). I couldn't recall her coming back, so thought maybe she had died. But she was there today, over a year old, with excellent weight. I don't see the kids every time they come. Another baby started coming about 3 or 4 months ago, weighing 1.8 kilos (3.9 pounds). She was in today, beautiful weight, almost chubby. Thanks for all that have donated milk for babies!!! Right now I'm blessed! Don't know where all the milk comes from, but I've had a good supply the last while.
The case that was sad was Maralucia. (They say it more like Malusia). She's 5 months old, born October 11, 2009. They don't know who her dad is. A cousin, Ketia, brought her. She said her mom is "crazy" and can't take care of her. She hasn't been around since birth. Maralucia was VERY dehydrated, VERY malnourished, and VERY feverish (103 F). A sick baby! Almost right away Ketia asked if we could take her. That always kind of pulls on my heart. "Can you please take my kid?" Of course, this was the cousin, not the mother. So we started moving, and one of the guys here took them to the judge to explain the situation and he made up a paper giving Canaan the guardianship. The fever was even higher when they came back, but it finally came down in the afternoon, and is still down. THANKFULLY. I was getting a little concerned. She's a good eater - takes her milk well. In fact, in the beginning she was like a little bird - couldn't swallow fast enough and the tongue was out all the time.
So now we have another baby here at Canaan. She weighs less then Caleb right now - same as he did when he came, and is much taller, so obviously thinner. Caleb looks so nice and healthy compared to her, but I trust it won't be long and she'll be putting on some nice weight. I love watching the pounds come on. I'm going to watch her - maybe both, tonight because of her fever, but we'll now have to decide what to do. Guess we'll need to hire someone just to take care of the babies.
So please pray for Maralucia's health. I did a malaria and HIV test and both are negative.
God bless you!!
Thursday, March 11, 2010
A quick update, since this is a very busy week. We have 18 people on a medical team here, as well as friend Karen K., and Davey and Lazar (the Jewish soldier who was here last month too).
Yesterday we set up a canopy tent and had 6 doctors seeing patients, with Dr Tony rotating. He brought his Cardio machine, and used it quite a bit. It seemed this time we came across a lot of heart problem people. Good thing he's here.
Today I took a truckload of people up the mountains again - same place I went a few weeks ago. They're really an amazing people. I love their friendliness, and the leaders' hearts for the people. It is such a climb up the mountains. We were 15 people, plus our medicines. It was quite a load and quite a few times going up I had everybody get up and walk a bit because some sections of the road were so bad. It's pretty steep and I think some were a little afraid, but all enjoyed the adventure.
First person we saw was MigaRose' mother - the girl I took down to the hospital last time. She passed away the monday after. Now she there's the 2 month old baby. They want us to take him. I think as soon as we can contact the dad (who doesn't take care of him) we probably will. He is a beautiful baby.
We saw over 100 people today. There were a lot more that came. Some we ended up just quickly seeing and we gave all a worm pill. As we were ready to leave, the leaders begged us to come set up a regular clinic. I can imagine it happening but not for awhile I'm afraid. On the other hand, you never know.
We had some pretty sick people. So many people are coming down with malaria. The sickest patient was a 6 yr old boy Gibson (probably not spelled right). He was very swollen and has a strong heart murmer. We were so full we couldn't even take one more person (we're not Haitian I gues) so we told the dad we'd take the boy down since he could sit on a lap, and the dad could leave before we did, walking and meet us down. We did that. Dr Tony did an Echo on his heart right away and it doesn't look good. We took him to Pierre Payen but he needs more help than they can give him. Please pray for him. He's so cute and young.
This is the second heart patient we sent over this week. The other lady (28 yr old, mother of two) passed away on Tuesday - too late for her heart.
Those of us here last Sat took the day off and spent it at the beach, but I think I'm gonna need another day out after this week.
The good thing is we've had plenty babysitters for Caleb. The bad thing is, he's getting spoiled. But he is so adorable. Nobody can help but love him.
I was gonna post pictures again but it doesn't want to upload, so another time. It's bedtime and Caleb is hungry!
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
It's not been a week since I wrote, but my life took a little path out of the norm. What a life, living the kind where you never know what will happen. Now I'm a temporary mama ! I want to introduce you to Caleb.
Caleb was born Feb 13, 2010. He never met his dad - he died in the earthquake. His mom left Port au Prince and went up into the mountains, where she had some family. After she gave birth, she too died. His aunt took care of him for almost 2 weeks, but couldn't continue, so after talking to one of my nurses from Montrouis, she came to Canaan, asking them to take the baby.
At 2 weeks he weighs 3.5 kg (about 7.5 lbs.). There was some discussion on who would take care of Caleb (who at the time didn't have a name yet- me and the other missionaries named him. The name just somehow fit). Right now we're a bit short on steady staff for a baby, and I don't like the idea of a baby being taken care of so many people. So now, Naomi and I are taking care of him. Since she is leaving next month, I'm kind of the mama for him. Naomi is able to take care of him a little better during the day, and we share the nights (I'm glad she's here). He's still waking up frequently, although last night he slept for almost 4 hours. Yea!!! During the day, he sleeps. A lot! We try to keep him up sometime so he'll sleep at night. Basically the only time he cries is from 9-12 p.m.
I realize this is going to make me even more busy. I don't see my whole way through yet, but it'll work out. You may hear from me even less.
Chris Hlavecek was Caleb's fairy godmother (or rather godfather). Since he was coming Monday, I had a day to write him and ask him for some baby stuff. He spread some of it around and they brought a lot of stuff, including the above top of the line carrier. That's a better one than I'd probably ever have bought for myself. It was like having a baby shower! Clothes (needed because we had him in girl clothes), diapers and diaper bag, wipes, good baby monitors (that reach 2000 ft), playpen/crib, bottles, etc etc.
This week we have a team of 17 here. There are three nurses in the team. Besides them, there were two nurses that came at the same time that were actually scheduled to go to the hospital, but because of flight changes and all, ended up here (though they might still work out of PP), so the last two days I've had 5 nurses helping at the clinic. Cool! Today we saw 60 patients, plus about 30 Mamba kids. BUSY! But good.
One case that was bad today was a 12 yr with STD. Forced to sleep with another young girl by a neighbor man, and him watching. You can imagine the rest. What do I do with THAT? And his 9 yr old brother had similar symptoms.
Here's a prayer request: Chris Hlavacek was contacted today by a pastor, who apparently is or has people at another orphanage in Montrouis here. They have the rig to dig wells and wondered about doing one for us. We need that SOOOO badly. Pray that things will work out.
And continue praying for me, that in my schedule I won't leave behind things I need to do. Sometimes I feel like there's always something I should be doing that I didn't. And pray that I can learn to be an instant mom :) It's not hard right now - eat, sleep, cuddle, but the teaching later on is a little different.
Think he'll turn into a computer wiz, if he sleeps beside me while I work? He sleeps anywhere....
So while I was at work, Naomi settled him on the counter in the cafeteria, while she did baking class with the kids. I hope he'll be a flexible kid!
OK, time to settle in for the night. It's my night off from babysitting so I should sleep well. I can see my life already rotating around Caleb. I'm a little concerned about getting too attached to him.