July 1, 2010
Choosy Mosquitoes and Kidney Punches
I'm getting caught up on computer work and blogging this week as a side effect of not feeling so well. Thank God for laptops. I have to admit that I've enjoyed the sermons and praise and worship videos I've been able to watch from bed(thanks for sending them, College Park Church!!), and needed this time of "being still." Caroline is still in bed beside me, and despite the positive benefits of lying in bed, we're both ready to "rise up and be healed."
Paraguay won the World Cup soccer game this week, which puts them into the quarter-finals. There's no way to explain how excited everyone is about that. Folks were screaming and running out into the street and jumping into their cars to make an impromptu parade. Horns honking, fireworks going off in all directions. This lasted all day Tuesday. Practically every person in the country is wearing a soccer jersey with the red and white stripes (affectionately called the Albirroja), and waving flags from their cars, motos, bicycles, and houses. It's really very exciting and I just love that we're here to experience it. There's nothing to compare it to, unless you've been in Clemson for their game against USC. The way the whole town revolves around game day, is the closest thing to describe how this entire country revolves around these soccer games.
After hearing all that hoopla going on outside the window over my bed, I thought I'd get up and shower, because, who doesn't feel better after a shower, right? Well, it was a little too much, too soon, and the fact that I couldn't stand up without help after that edged Ken into driving me to the ER.
A really lovely lady from the community came running over when we pulled up. She apparently works there in some capacity, because she followed me right on back to the room and stroked my hair for a half hour while I lay on the stretcher. She was an angel. I heard her telling the gal who filled out my admission form, where I live and what nationality I am and that we're missionaries. I heard her say that we were good to her son, but in my state, I couldn't remember who she OR her son were, even when she said his name. I have since figured that one out, though. ;) She stayed there with me until they sent me for testing, stroking my hair and whispering that God was in control. She said something like, "It's okay, you're in the hands of God now," and in my confused state, I thought maybe it was worse than I'd imagined and I was dying! Ha, ha. The mind is funny. There aren't a high number of Christians in this town, so I really appreciated the Lord lining her up for me.
I left there and went to have blood drawn, because the doctor said I had all the classic dengue fever symptoms. I've been to this particular office several times before, and had lengthy conversations with the staff. However, today, the nurse decided I wasn't going to understand her and began to speak very slowly and LOUDLY to me. Okay, she was YELLING! I've seen this on movies and even a time or two in real life, when folks who speak one language talk louder and louder to the foreigner. But this was the first time it had happened to me, and I couldn't hold back giggling. I answered as politely as I could and then just broke into huge laughter. Ken tried to stifle his giggles, but he was laughing, too, and the poor gal was just staring at me like I was delirious. She got me back when she drew my blood. Ha, ha.
After the test results were read (well, half of them... the other half should be back this afternoon), I was sent back to the hospital, where the doctor punched me in the back a few times and asked if it hurt. I'd already told him I was sore and achy all over, so how does one respond to that? "Yes, sir, it does." He was in a bit of a rush, so he was pleased to hear it hurt. He smiled and said, "I knew it. It must be a bad kidney infection." He told me to take antibiotics and ushered me to the door. He said not to worry about coming back for my dengue results because I looked like a lucky person and probably wouldn't be the type to get dengue fever. So the mosquitoes judge who they'll bite by how lucky we look? Wish I'd known that a long time ago. He also told me I should stay in bed for nine days. Nine seems like such a random number to me. I noticed the poster as I was walking out, that said all possible dengue cases must be reported to the district office, and the protocol for doing that. I'm guessing he didn't have time for those reports. The whole ordeal made me want to laugh, and to thank God that I have a mother who is a nurse and has an email box. Sometimes the treatment here is stellar, and sometimes I shake my head and wonder.
Yesterday, we rallied and took Hollie to the airport. Her six months had come to an end and she was very ready to see her family again, and to meet the nephew that was born since she'd come here. Unfortunately, her flight was delayed and we learned later than the airline had put her and her traveling companion, Heather, in a hotel for the night. So the gals are currently braving it in Argentina until they can catch the NEXT flight to the U.S., set to arrive 24 hours later than the original plan. I suspect they are chomping at the bit to get home! Thankfully, they are safe and sound and the airline is looking after them, including meals and transportation. I am thankful they didn't have to spend the night in the airport, like my Mom and Grandpa Tommy did last month.
By the time we'd gotten back from the airport, Caroline (who has been battling sore throat and fever) and I were just plain worn out. We're resting a lot today and I'm gathering the strength to teach English class tonight. Camille is cleaning out Hollie's house, Saul is handling some ministry stuff, and Ken's keeping us fed and watered.
Tomorrow, we are invited to the Embassy, as are all American citizens living here, to participate in an Independence Day celebration. Kinda like 4th of July on the 2nd, with a flag raising ceremony and such. It's a long drive, but we don't want the girls to miss the opportunity to be part of that, since normal holidays don't really seem like holidays here. Please pray that we gain much strength today and Caroline's fever breaks.