Sunday, July 05, 2009

It's all in the past

Last week was the week of odd and sad situations ... highlighting just a few of them...

  • A first-time mother came to Beth and the OB Doc on Monday. She had been coming to class at Heartline for about 6 weeks. Up until Monday everything had been progressing normally with her pregnancy. But on Monday she was a clear case of pre-eclampsia. Heart tones on baby were good but Mom's bloodpressure was through the roof. In the USA you'd be admitted to a hospital and they would try to save your baby. Most times they would succeed. This Mom was given the best that could be done for her here (which is not a lot) and on Thursday her sister informed us that the baby had been born dead on Wednesday. She said it was a good sized baby girl. We asked where the baby was and the sister said they had thrown it in the ravine. We sent for the sick mom and had her carried in. She was despondant and obviously in emotional pain. The exam was necessary and some membranes were removed and she was put on heavy anti-biotics. We drove her back home and someone came to carry her back into her house. It was very, very sad.
  • On Friday a Mom came to the one-day clinic we did with the Texas team and had a 9 pound 9 month old. He was burning up with fever. She seemed unable to comprehend how much danger her son was in. The Docs were able to diagnose pnemonia and get the little boy, JeanPeter, started on injectible and oral antibiotics. He was listless and very sick, Mom and baby should return Monday for a follow-up. We are all hoping he is okay.
  • My favorite lady of the week was a 63 year old woman who insists that she is pregnant. Upon further questioning we came to understand that her husband died 18 years ago and that the baby has been there all this time. She mentioned that her last-born child was in his early 30s and that it has been 23 years since she reached menapause ... all that math did not work well with the baby in her womb for 18 years but she was so certain no one knew quite what to say. She says she has an ultrasound picture to bring us and that she will be back on Monday or Tuesday with it. She wants surgery to remove the baby. A hospital here told her that is what she needs. She was so adorable and you cannot help but feel total respect sitting with a woman who has lived 63 years in Haiti.
  • Paige had a riding lesson Wednesday. I got into it with the French instructor. He was being king of the world and got to the point where he was being so mean and condescending that I found it intolerable and I asked him why he had to be so rude, why can't he teach without bringing his student to tears. I cannot stand what a big deal he thinks he is. We've officially asked to work with only the other teacher, a very kind Haitian man who never brings tears or frustration. At the end of the lesson the French guy said "Your mother does not like me - but it does not matter - *I* am the instructor!!!" Uh. Wrong. It does matter dude. I don't give a crap about your title or heritage. You're fired.
  • I am over 85 miles in total training miles. July is bringing its own special love to the training game. And by "special love", I mean hell. Friday's run - Wow. It was 95 degrees less than 4 miles in, before 8am. I could feel the humidity smothering the life out of me. I managed to keep my feet moving for the full 10 miles, although there was a huge and ugly war in my head during miles 5 through 8.5. You can see from the graph that I slowly but surely died - and then got inspired to finish strong. Continuing to train - one run at a time.
  • The two birthmoms both had appointments at the Embassy. Phoebe and her Birthmom had DNA ordered. Phoebe's mom said she was born in 2007, when in fact she was born late in 2006. I find it highly annoying that birth parents are supposed to know things that very few people in this culture keep track of - ever! Why would a person struggling to survive who does not pay attention to the date of their *own* birth ever pay attention to the birth-dates of 8 children? I could ask 10 people when one of their children was born and 9 of them would shrug and give me their best guess. "I don't know, I remember it was hot." At least the questions they ask at the Embassy make no sense, and therefore we were assured it was indeed a government agent we were dealing with and not some evil imposter.
  • There are now 14 people living here, plus our friend Megan (photo below with Paige) is here overnight just for a night. Two were supposed to have left by now - but - no - they have not yet done that ... don't ask. A guy on the Texas team said "Wow this is a spacious house!" pause. "But I guess with 13 people living here it is not quite as impressive." Either way, I truly hope to bring the numbers down soon.
  • On the 4th of July I asked Troy to get a bunch of pics of the kids ... obnoxious quantities were posted to please the grandparents - the rest of you will need to find it in your heart to forgive us.