Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Under African Skies

am sorry my posts are not coming very often but you can imagine how hard it is to find a functioning internet cafe in Ghana. I write again today from Bawjiase which is wonderful. Where to even start?

Perpetua. She was doing so good on Friday and Maren the other volunteer went to see her. She was going to be discharged and right as they were packing up she started to convulse out of nowhere. She quickly went unconscious and continued seizing and foaming at the mouth. Maren went to the hospital about an hour away to see if they had any blood because she absolutlely needed at this point. I cant believe the doctor was going to discharge her. The doctor is a joke. An idiot actually. Anyway Maren found the last bag of b- blood in the town and Pepper finally started her transfusion at midnight. We went back early Saturday and things were much much worse. Nobody cared. It was time to get her out of there and to a different hospital but we didnt know how we would do that. She was having such bad attacks that we didnt know if she would survive the 2 and a half hour drive to Accra. Someone said something about there being an ambulance in the next town that we could use. Turns out that ambulances are only used to transport dead bodies and not dying babies. There are no words. So the four of us had to make a choice. Do we keep here in Swedru where the doctor doesnt know anything and she asks everyday what is wrong with her. You tell me youre the freaking doctor! Or we could try to make the bumpy windy long journey to Korle Bu which is the biggest hospital in ghana and is also a teaching hospital. We decided that if we kept her there she would die over night. Maren has just finished her nurses training in Germany and so we had her to help if we could make the transport ourselves. We were all scared to death that she would die on the way to Accra but we knew it was the only option at this point. The drive was long and Pep had many attacks but we finally made it with her alive. Within 1 minute they took her weight and temperature! Can you believe it! Someone cares!!! We have done lab after lab and test after test and it turns out the Malaria has gone to her brain. She has cerebral malaria and we are not sure yet if it will have lasting effects on her brain. It is all very possible but at the moment she is doing well and being taken care of so much better than the nasty first hospital. She is not out of the woods yet but we are keeping our fingers crossed.

Many of the children are sick right now. I dont know if its because its the rainy season or what but everyday it seems we have someone new with heavy lungs and snotty faces and fevers. Lucky has Malaria today. I found him laying on the front steps this morning and i knew right away something was wrong, that boy never sits still. His temp was 101.6 it slowed him down for about 3 seconds and now he is off being a pill again. Poor guy.

The baby we named Ruby turns out shes not an orphan at all. Her mother tried to abandon her shortly after birth but got caught so now she works at the orphanage with Ruby but everyone thinks shes an orphan. We seem to have her most everyday. Shes very sweet but us obrunis never get any time away from kids. We live eat sleep kids. Literally. I think we will go get a fresh cold (maybe cold) Star Beer tonight.

Melissa and I have been fairing well health wise. Melissa is currently sick with a cold but thats no surprise. All the kids are sick. That reminds me, Maren told us that we will be really lucky to leave here without getting some sort of bacterial infection or viral infection. We all have been all over hospitals here which are not clean at all. The kids share a bed at the hospital either 2 or 3 to a bed regardless of what they are sick with. Nasty. I know that Typhus, Hep B, TB, and Malaria are running rampant here right now so only time will tell. At least im vaccinated for Hep b and typhoid fever.

Its hot here. Really muggy. I have gotten heat rash all my life and I was expecting it sometime soon because I got it last time too. Its usually on my stomach and back but this time it decided to surprise me by showing up on my BUTT! Yes folks I have heat rash on my butt and its bad! It makes me laugh though because ive been putting diaper rash cream on it and I now have a new found appreciation for the product! hahah oh well im sure it will pass soon enough.

I have a list back in our room of things to blog about but I forgot it today. Ill write again soon!

Love to all from Ghana!


Anonymous said...

I am so glad to hear Pepper is getting the help she needs. I read your blog like a novel and I was so WORRIED about her. You guys made the right decision taking her to another place! I really wanted to smack that other doctor in the face!! What a jerk!! Please be careful and know that you are loved and misse here little bug!

-Jesse Martinez

Anonymous said...

Im soooo happy you got Pepper to a good hospital, I also was reading your post and was getting really upset about the dr. UGH, i cant believe, how can someone care so little? You poor thing, got a rash on your butt :o(.. Riley feels your pain..
With love from Newport,

Anonymous said...

You freaked me out when you called the other day!! It was 5 o'clock in the morning here and i knew you wouldnt be able to call anyone because it was so expensive. so when i saw it was you i started panicking.

anyway, im glad that you guys took her to a different hospital. I think that was a good choice for you guys and its giving you some time to recover from what you all went through. im sure that was the hardest thing you have ever been through and i hope it isnt effecting your trip too much.

That's weird that Ruby's mom works at the orphanage. what does she call ruby?

im cracking up about the rash being on your bum. haha. just your freaking luck huh? that has to be the worst place to have it.

paula and yasmin come tomorrow! im so excited. i will take a million pictures for you so you can see how cute she is.

i miss you.


Jenna said...

So glad you were able to get Pepper to someone who will take better care of her! Thank goodness you were there, who knows what the outcome would have been otherwise...

Stay Safe and I hope the rash gets better soon! Jenna