Monday, May 24, 2010

Could life get any crazier?

Not for us, but for Oscar and Arlen and their lovely new family of 6. They arrived home on Monday afternoon and all was going well. Sidney was doing great, feeding well. Arlen was in some pain, as to be expected, but was doing well.

tiptop Tuesday night, we stopped by after work to bring them some Tip-Top (a fried chicken restaurant here that is basically the McDonald’s of Nicaragua). Dan and Katie (One by One staffers) had also stopped by so Dan could meet Sidney. Dan, who usually prefers not to leave his motorcycle unguarded to prevent theft, was persuaded to come inside and hold the baby and take a picture with it, things he wasn’t too excited to do. Meanwhile, 4-year old Ronnie decides he wants to hop up on the moto while 2-year old Lindley is close by watching. The moto proceeds to fall over on top of Lindley, pinning her to the ground. Fast forward 5 minutes, we show up with fried chicken and french fries to a household of downcast faces, Arlen crying on the bed, Lindley being examined by Oscar, and a whole bucket load of tension everywhere. During the examination, a large bump developed on Lin’s right shin. Oscar whisks her up, sets her in our car, and off we go to the hospital for the 5th time in about a week.

image This time was different. More than each of the previous times, we got a picture of the negative sides of free public healthcare. We arrived and Lin was taken immediately to a “room” divided from the other “rooms” by the largest Betty Boop curtain I’ve ever seen in my life (also quite possibly the only Betty Boop curtain I’ve ever seen in my life). The doctor looked at her for a minute or two and said the next step was an x-ray. Oscar picks her up and we all walk over to the x-ray room. One is locked. The other is open, but no one is inside. There is one other boy waiting who is holding a piece of cardboard underneath his broken arm to keep it more or less “straight”.

We wait. And wait. And then wait some more. (I call nurse Sami in TX who always has words of wisdom in medical times of need.) The kids and their parents just keep coming. Crowding the “waiting room”/hallway. At some point, we discover that there are in fact 2 doctors in the unlocked x-ray room, but for whatever reason, neither one of them feels like working at the moment. The mass of angry Nicaraguans gets angrier. Some start yelling and I can’t quite figure out if they are yelling at each other or with each other. Eventually, another doctor comes along and man, she hears all about it. I couldn’t catch it all, because my Spanish is still lacking, but I did catch phrases like “We are people too! We are human, and we matter!” and “Just because our kids aren’t screaming and crying doesn’t mean they aren’t in pain. And the doctors are just sitting around doing nothing!”. This doctor understands what these people are feeling, so she decides to help. The two lazy doctors come out with empty bowls so we think they are done eating now, but they come back two minutes later with dinner in those bowls.  The empathetic doctor comes to the rescue and makes the doctors set aside their dinner for awhile to help the kids in pain. They start doing x-rays a.k.a. their job and it only takes about 1-2 minutes per kid! So Lin, second in line, gets her x-rays and we head back to the Betty Boop room to wait for the results. [To read an interesting blog on Nicaraguan healthcare, go here.]

The results come, and yes, it’s true, she has fractured her leg. So we wait some more and then she goes in to get her plaster cast. We wait some more and then we go to a different Betty Boop area with about 10 beds in a small hallway and we wait for the plaster to dry. The good thing about now is that Lin has her sense of humor back. She was clearly afraid of the IV, in a great deal of pain, and fearful of the unknown. We could see all of that in the short, quick breaths and heart-breaking lip quivering. But once she had the cast, she was all smiles and giggles again. She had a good game of tickling and laughter with Chase before she fell fast asleep. We stuck around because we kept thinking it would be “soon” when she would be able to leave, but we eventually found out that “soon” would mean 1:00AM and knowing we had to be at work in the morning, Dan, who stayed with us the whole time, gave them money for a taxi, and we decided to call it a night around 10PM.

IMG_2810 IMG_2811

That was Tuesday. Wednesday begins with daddy drawing flowers on Lindley’s new hip-to-toe plaster cast. He also writes to her “Lindley I love you” in English. Beautiful artwork by a father who loves his daughter so. Reminds me how thankful I am for my Father and how He also loves me so.

But then it happens. Wednesday, Sidney (newborn) had a fever and was not doing well. She went to the hospital (again) and turned out she had pneumonia. She was supposed to be in the hospital for 3-4 days (which ended up being 5 days – she was supposed to get out today, although we haven’t heard if that actually happened yet or not.) Arlen couldn’t stay in the room with Sid, but could only go in and feed her every 3 hours. The rest of the time she waited outside the hospital on a bench next to the street vendors.

A whirlwind of hospital visits. I know that I have asked you to pray for this family several times, but would you intercede for them once more? Would you ask for rest and peace in this household? Would you pray for Arlen as she cares for a couple of rowdy (but wonderful) boys, a sweetheart bound by a cast, and a precious but vulnerable newborn? As the last week has shown, she has her hands full. But our God is big enough to supply all that this family needs and more. He has already done so much. Also, I continue to be thankful for Oscar and how consistently and whole-heartedly he is caring for his family. What a great work God is doing in and through this family. He is mighty and worthy to be praised!

No comments:

Post a Comment

You don't need a Google account to comment! Just select "Name/URL" when you click the "Comment as" drop-down menu, and type your name to let us know who you are before you let us know what thought this post inspired in you. No one likes to receive anonymous comments!