Saturday, April 4, 2009

Date Day

I’m going to give you a very quick update. It will be brief because our internet has been intermittent of late, and because I’m tired and don’t feel like writing. Was that too honest? Does it offend you that I don’t want to talk to you right now? Well, don’t take it personally. Who am I talking to? Oh brother, I’m tired.

I’ll begin by telling you what you may already know. Bethany has been sick this week. Very sick. She spiked a fever a few nights ago that was worthy of a prize. She peaked out at 104.9 (or 40.5 for the centigrade gang), which brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “My wife is hot”. A day or two after the fever made it’s debut, it was accompanied by a severe earache. I took her to the hospital last night while our friend Julie came to be with Promise.

I was pretty impressed with the emergency room staff—lightening fast compared to Canada. Bethany had a bed almost immediately, and it wasn’t long before the doctor was with her. They did some blood work to rule out dengue fever and told her it was likely a viral infection. They gave her some powerful meds for the pain in her ear and some paracetemol to reduce the fever. They also prescribed some drops to help with the earache. Just as we were getting ready to leave, a new symptom presented itself. Bethany was bleeding from the ear! They called in a different doc who cleaned up her ear with some swabs and told her that it had stopped bleeding and would be fine. The bleeding had started again by the time we got home.

Saturdays are our date day. Instead of our traditional “Tim gets spanked at Scrabble” date, we opted for the classic “drive back and forth between two hospitals just because you can” date. We first went to the hospital that we visited last night in order to get some more blood work done to further rule out dengue. Once they had drawn the blood, we hurried over to a different hospital where the Ear Nose and Throat doctor is. Bethany made an “appointment” while I drove around the block three times talking to my Mother in Nicaragua on the phone while looking for a parking spot. I gave up on finding a parking spot and picked Bethany up on my third time past the hospital.

We then drove back to the first hospital, where we collected the lab results, which certainly seemed to indicate that dengue was unlikely. I attempted to ask the emergency room staff if they could shed any light on Bethany’s condition. That was when we learned that their was no doctor on staff. They directed us to the clinic down the hall, which was also lacking a doctor. Awesome. I was falling out of love with this hospital.

So back to hospital number two, where I double parked while Bethany sat in a noisy hall with screaming kids, waiting her turn to see the ear doctor. I would have loved to stay and hang with her in that most peaceful environment, but after a few minutes we realized that we were almost out of money. All these doctor’s consultations, labs, and prescriptions had me losing money faster than Paso at a slot machine.

I went to the bank while Bethany waited an hour an half to see the doc. My bank trip was a big waste of time, because they couldn’t do my particular type of transaction on a Saturday. Fabulous. Back to the hospital in time to catch the last few minutes of Bethany’s consult. The doctor says that the bleeding is due to the high fever which caused the blood vessels in her ear to burst. Bethany shows him the drops that were prescribed at the other hospital. He attempts to hide his dismay and calmly suggests that those particular drops are more likely to cause increased bleeding and kindly provides a free sample of the correct medicine. Now my love for that other hospital has completely vanished—lightening fast suddenly seems less important that competent.

The ear doctor also prescribed an antibiotic and some different pain medication. I took Bethany home, and then headed out again to get cash from a bank machine. The bank machine told me I had insufficient funds. Liar. So I returned home in a huff, confirmed online that I had plenty of funds, got the Bird to sleep, and left Bethany to nap while I tried a different bank machine. Second bank machine was much more forgiving, providing me with the means to buy the last batch of medicine, which cost me about $40.

Within an hour or two of purchasing the antibiotics, Bethany had figured out that they were not to be taken if breast feeding. Fantastic. So $40 spent on meds she wasn’t allowed to take. Way to go doc. Bethany dug the tomato stained receipt from the trash in hopes that yours truly could return the medicine. I’m gonna feel very silly at the pharmacy tomorrow. Sigh...

Ok, so the bottom line is as follows. Bethany had a really high fever which has since subsided. She had an excruciating earache which has succumbed to the awesome powers of the almighty pain killer. She is feeling very worn down and exhausted, and concerned about her school work which sits unattended on the kitchen table. She has already missed work once and will miss it again on Tuesday.

Please be praying for a full recovery. But also, I would ask that you pray for encouragement. Bethany has faced several health challenges in the last year, and she’s pretty tired of it. She’s on the home stretch with school (only 2 more months to go!) and she doesn’t want to fall behind now.

Oh, and I’ve got to fly to Manila for two days next week. Before you get all cranky with me, telling me this is no time to leave my wife alone with the baby, let me explain. Promise needs a passport to leave the country. We’re going to get her a Canadian passport because the Americans are making it difficult to acquire one for now. But in order to get the kid a passport, one must first have a birth certificate. Apparently her birth certificate was lost on the 3rd floor of the National Statistics Office in Manila. I’m going to find it. Well, truth be told, they say they have found it and that it is ready for pick up. I’m calling their bluff. The Canadians will take two months to process the citizenship papers and the passport application. If they don’t get started in the next week, then our planned departure in June goes out the window (or down the toilet if your into the more graphic of metaphors). I will arrive in Manila, spend two days going back and forth between the Canadian embassy and the NSO on the metro, and hopefully leave feeling confident that we will have that passport by early June. (Those of you who are wondering why it will take me two days have never been to the Philippines.)

So, I’m leaving my sick wife here in Davao with the Bird in order to make her dream come true of a June departure from a country that at this moment in time has her feeling a little exasperated. Got a problem with that? Didn’t think so. I’ve asked several of the other students to keep an eye on her and help out while I’m gone, and I’m confident they will take good care of her.

So this week's date day was a bit of a bust. I think next week I will choose the "Tim is really good at backgammon and wants the world to know it" date.

Well, so much for being brief. I guess even when I’m grumpy I’m long winded. But you knew that already, didn’t you?

Thanks for your prayers.

Cheers,
Tim.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tim,
I like your attitude! We are praying for you as well as Bethany and the Bird. God has it all under control. I believe He has gone before you and you will be victorious!
Love ya bunches!
Mom & Dad Mc

Laura Hopper, Midwife said...

(((bethany)))
Most all antibiotics are safe for breastfeeding. Email me the name and I can double check.
Praying the passport issue is dealt with easily!

Heidi said...

you guys know that i am praying and rooting for you! I have said it once or twice this week. But just writing to reaffirm it! Having experienced the efficiency of the Philippines I think two days are only enough because God is on your side. I must say at this point I am glad you don't live in Zambia!

Can't wait for June, the money, the passport, the school - God's got it sorted, good thing He is in control.

Hugs

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