A Quick prayer request as I'm beyond tired and I have an early and long day ahead of me tomorrow. I'll promise more details later so you'll be completely filled in and knowledgeable for prayer, but as this is very important, I wanted it out quickly. **Sorry (as always) if the medical information is overwhelming!! I try to give enough information for all my medical friends, but explain it enough so the other half understand what I'm talking about...sometimes I forget.**
I had to take Dionisio, a 8 month old, to the hospital this afternoon and he will be staying until they deem him ok enough to come home to us. He has been a very sick boy since birth and we suspect that he is HIV positive. He spent the first 3 months of life in and out of hospital on death's door constantly. It is a miracle he is here anyway. He's been sick on and off since I've been here the last 3 months and I've had him on antibiotics for the last week. He had a some difficulty breathing this weekend, so we changed his antibiotics to more powerful ones, and added albuterol to help with his bronchial spasms and prednisone as well. Monday he had a really high temperature for 24 hours despite alternating Tylenol and Ibuprofen around the clock. He's only been eating so so for the last 2 weeks and had developed a cough that had worsened which is why we had started him on antibiotics. He was just cleared on Wednesday by the heart institute as not having a problem. Last night at dinner he started absolutely refusing all food. All day long we tried to spoon feed him, tried soup, milk, and electrolyte mix, brkfst cereal…but he wouldn't take anything. I finally got 3 ounces in him by feeding him a ml at a time by a syringe into his mouth. He saw the clinic md this afternoon and he wasn't at all concerned that he couldn't keep his eyes open much, his fontanel (soft spot) was sinking in and overlapping on his forehead (means he's really dehydrated) or that he wasn't eating. He said no need to take him to hospital. We didn't agree, packed our bags and went on anyway, praying that we would get a good md and they would discover what was wrong….you have to be practically unconscious to get them to realize something is wrong around here. And as we suspected they weren't impressed at first despite my very accurate account of his entire history through my interpreter (the baby house director, Tracey). He ordered some tests including a chest xray as he wanted to rule out tuberculosis with his cough….he has had it off and on for periods since I've been here, but never persistently. As soon as we went to have the cxr done, we got it in hand and I held it up to the light to do my very poor assessment of it and I just stopped in the middle of the hallway…..My first reaction was: his heart is way too big and pushed to one side. Thankfully all in God's perfect and miraculous timing, the head nurse for the clinic was in the adult er for one of our older kids that had to be admitted and had called one of the mds that volunteers on base for us and works at the hospital fulltime to come help her "negotiate" things….basically so we can get stuff done quickly and slightly more accurately. They both waited for us and met us back at the door of the pediatric ER so they could help us navigate the system. This time I let them go in with Dionisio and the md to "negotiate." Within 10 minutes, Iara was back saying he was being admitted that his heart was too big, there was too much fluid on his lungs and it was pressing onto his heart and even compressing his stomach making him not want to eat. It took over 20 IV sticks to get an IV in the poor kid (I stopped counting cause I was praying too hard, trying to keep him semi-calm as well as keep myself from bursting into tears). Meanwhile he was deteriorating in front of my very eyes…his pulse was racing (before we started the iv sticks) and I could barely keep him awake.
So we need many prayers tonight that they sort out the cause of this all and help him and that there is not and will not be permanent damage to his heart. Although my suspicion is he has had the condition for a long time and this happened way back when he was so sick at birth and has just been building and getting worse this entire time! He has always been a frail kid but has an incredible smile and laugh. They put him on penicillin and prednisone and albuterol inhalation treatments and are going to do an HIV test as well. I will have more details hopefully tomorrow afternoon when we can visit again. As for now I left a syringe and his milk for the night with a tia (Caretaker) and showed her how to syringe feed him…that's right you have to bring all your own food, diapers, provide your own caretaker, do all the baths, give the meds, bring clothes, ect for the baby when they are in the hospital (I'm not sure what they actually DO up there since you have to do it all yourself). Anyway, we would all appreciate a lot of prayers that he would be rehydrated, the infection would clear, the mds will have wisdom and insight to find the source of his problems and give good treatments, and that he will recover quickly without any lasting effects!