Fumigation, fevers, and fervor.

Let’s just say that yesterday was CRAZY!  That’s not even a good enough word, but I don’t have a thesaurus at the moment and I’m tired. 


It’s summed up by 3 things:  2 hospital trips for 3 kids, fumigation, and fevers


The day started out with my alarm clock beeping at 5:30 am….yes, I said am for those that know me, you can prob. imagine the look on my face and the sound that came out of my mouth.  My favorite toddler Antonio, at 16 months, and I had an pre-op ENT consult at the hospital and were leaving at 6am with a driver and picking up a translator for me on the way  J  note here that I said “favorite”, cause he’s the best at pitching fits, being strong-willed, laughing, goofing off, being cute, and a terror all at the same time….as if I don’t cause  a big enough scene being the only white person in the room holding a paler skinned Mozambican baby….do the math….add in baby laying on the floor kicking and wailing unconsolably despite the cookies (which have now been thrown across the room, taken back out of his mouth, and/or smashed into me or the floor), juice, bottles, toys, ect…..let’s just say Antonio and waiting do not mix!  And with our fun socialized medical system….all you do is wait….and wait, and then wait a little more in a different spot, strain to hear if they are calling your name over screaming demon, wait a little more, ignore the stares and mean glares…..and then wait again.  Now, don’t read this wrong.  I love the tot….i just don’t love taking him to consults or any other small confined spaces.  So on to the consult……hooray for miracles….he was a complete angel and even toddled holding my hand for most of the time…he’s getting heavy and what with all the entertainment and bribes I had packed….i was thankful.  Finally it was our turn, and they wouldn’t let my interpreter in because they said the doctor spoke English and even verified….door shuts…no English….oh he can speak English…..I ask him politely to…..but no….he says we are in Mozambique (and by about 8:30 am I am really aware of that fact but annoyed all the same) and we will speak Portuguese…..we aren’t in a restaurant, the store, on a sidewalk…..it’s a pre-op surgery visit…..the kid is sick….speak to me in a language I fully understand!  The best part?  We screwed up….3 of us looked at the sheet prior to this blessed event:  we were supposed to have marked a consult and gone to see the anesthesiologist BEFORE marking and attending this one…..(insert annoyance here)…..so I took my xray (that I’m sure when I finally get to see the anesthesiologist will say that it is way too old…explanation soon….and to get another one, and come back later) and all my papers, kids, bags, and my English speaking self out of the room…..we made our way to mark the consult for the anesthesiologist, but since they love us at the ENT, they didn’t mark whether this is urgent, non-urgent, emergent, can do next century, ect….so we now have an appt in November….then we will mark another consult with ENT at which time I’m sure we’ll be told that he has another ear infection and he can’t have the surgery (by the way…..out of 10 days, he has an infection about 8 of them) and then we’ll have to wait some more…..at which time….he will be deaf and it will be a mute (yes, I spelled it that way on purpose) point!


I arrive back at the center a little after 10, annoyed and tired….and sit outside in the hot sand, hot air, and hot sun with the tots, as fumigation of the entire center has begun and we have nowhere to go and I can’t breathe.  Sand is now on my legs, feet, entire outfit, down my shirt and in my hair…toddlers love playing with sand…..then I check on Nemias (2 years) who has had a fever since yesterday and is HIV positive….there’s been a viral fever thing going around the BH for the last few weeks, so I check in on him.  Despite the negative malaria test, we’re being cautious and starting him on meds as his fever is awfully high.  I get there and the clinic nurse (cause Erin is at GATV with some of the HIV positive kids and I was gone with Antonio and Jannie is off getting married in Denmark-the country) has given him paracetamol (their version of Tylenol) and ibuprofen at the same time and his fever is still 39 degrees…to the cool bath we go…..10 min later, I convince him playing in bath water is fun and better than crying…..fever down…will check in another hour and keep alternating ibuprofen and paracetamol every 3 hours (which he has had since yesterday afternoon).  I return, fever back up but just over 38 degrees, this time we remove all clothes and put him in front of a fan (ps…he’s in the clinic which ISN’T being fumigated and lots cooler at this moment)….and hour later, down just a few tenths of a degree, more meds….next thing I know another infant has a fever (he got immunizations the day before and apparently doesn’t like them) and so to the clinic we go with the 2nd child.  Now I get to go back into the BH and clean EVERYTHING cause it’s all fumigation-poisionous.  In the midst of all the chaos and madness its somehow it’s 3pm and Nemias’s fever is 39.6 and he’s just received meds 2hrs earlier that aren’t working-he’s shivering and chattering teeth so back in the tub we go this time…no amount of convincing will work cause he’s too uncomfortable and burning up…..cold juice, screaming…15 min later, his fever is up higher than when we got in the tub, pull him out….our clinic md is there, we grab her, she gives us the ok to give him even more antipyrectic meds…this time by a faster acting suppository and now it’s close to time for ibuprofen.  I give it to him for extra measure, and go to call Tracey and the other nurse Erin and say we’re going to the hospital cause his temp is now 39.9 degrees and I’m afraid he’s septic despite that fact that he’s been playing and eating well and barely has a runny nose, but you can’t take a chance with the HIV kids and his temperature is just not responding to medications.  I run into Tracey on the other side of the clinic with our 4 year old who is cold, clammy, diaphoretic, pale, shaking, and refuses to talk or follow directions…the Tias have carried her here and think she’s eaten something….great…she looks shockey to me…let’s just take them both…..good now she’s vomiting too.  By 5p we are in the fake ambulance with way too many people, a cold towel wrapped around naked Nemias, too much stuff, and on our way.  Lots of angry cries and tests later….Martinha is back to herself…well almost and they say it just might have been a weird allergic reaction to the fumigation chemicals.  Nemias has been admitted for an infection (the md swears is his throat, which I find slightly odd, considering the amount of food and drink he’s been consuming all day, but don’t care, cause he’s getting IV antibiotics and now I don’t have to check in on him every hour)….It’s now 8p.


I have eaten only 2 power bars since 8am and we have to wait for another Tia to come from the base with Nemias’s HIV meds, cause the hospital doesn’t have and won’t give him any while he’s there…..So we go across the street and eat KFC (yes, like in the states, except they only have giant potato fries and no veggies).  By 8:45 we’re back at the hospital to meet the tia and bring food to Nemias and the tia staying with him (remember they don’t feed you there….)  We arrive at the center at 9:30pm.  My light in my room has gone on the fritz on Friday evening (maintenance doesn’t work except emergiencies for the wkends and yesterday was just as crazy) and so I borrow a lamp from another missionary….My room is poison to me….so I now have to mop, clean, bleach, ect everything so that I can live in my newly fumigated room….I can hardly breathe since I couldn’t air it out like I would have wanted…..I take some Benadryl cause I know my immune system is going to hate me in the morning for this and crash into bed at 11:30…..


Today is a new day and I had to give meds at 7:30 am so I woke up at 7a…..Dioniso is still not eating much….I promise update to come soon…..and other infants have fever and diarrhea….think I can sneak a nap or two today??  I’m thanking God for my blessings, for wisdom, patience, energy, and renewed mercy!  I would also love some rest….I’m working all this weekend and probably taking Dionisio for the night!

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