Saturday, February 28, 2009

Just a quick note...

I am sorry that I haven't updated recently, I have 4 different blog posts that I have started, but between working, doctor appointments, and naps, well there hasn't been much time to finish the blog posts. I will have at least one up later this week though - and it is about life in Honduras (as I have been asked to post more on). But this blog is harder to write because it focuses on the not so good part of moving there.

Oh and by the way... I have a new ticker

MySpace Countdown
Yup. Thats right, the kids are getting a SISTER. I had a sonogram this morning, and we are 100% sure that its a girl. I was hoping for a boy, just so that it would be even, 5 and 5. But I am happy for my little girl too. We do have a name picked out for her, but that wont be revealed until she is here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

In need of help...

Not me. But Trisha, over on Sowers for Pastors needs some. Ok, to be honest she is looking for help but not for her. It is for a little boy named Elder. I am asking my readers to please at least go and check out her blog post (here) and see if you are able to help - anything, even prayers can help.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Absence, Petite and Isa - what do they all have in common?

They both describe a type of seizure. Absence Seizures, also known as Petite Mal Seizures. They aren't seizures in the way that one thinks when they hear the word seizure - where the person is on the ground, and you have to put something on the tongue so that they dont choke on it.

Absence seizures are episodes of staring. When the person is in the middle of the seizure, they dont respond, and they arent aware of what is going on around them. They don't know that they just had an episode either. I am assuming that it is a form of epilepsy, because in most of my internet research, it is listed in the epilepsy websites.

We thought maybe Isa had this problem before, and we mentioned it to the pediatrician, and for some reason that I can't remember, nothing was done. But because it keeps happening, I am now doing research online trying to get information (and get it translated into spanish) so that I can get her seen in Honduras and get an EEG done on her.

From what I have read it doesn't look to be something that is super serious, and in most cases it disappears by the age of 18. However it can interfere with learning and other day to day things. (which makes sense - I mean if I was basically blanking out 20 times a day, I am sure that I would have a hard time learning what was being taught to me as well). So hopefully I can find a doctor I trust in Honduras who can do the EEG on her, and we can set up a plan to help her out - and I am taking a list of medications that are given for this, so that I know what is the right medicines.

Here are two pictures of Isa, and you can sort of see her in the second one where she is having an episode. I didn't notice it when I took the picture, but looking at the picture later, I could see it in her eyes.

This is my normal Isa. She is making eye contact, and is right there with you.

This is Isa during one of her episodes, where she is sort of unfocused and not there.
each link takes you to a different site that gives different information about Absence Seizures.
Other links about Absence Seizures:

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

It's a game called Operation...

Sorry it took me so long to get back on here. Between working a couple of days a week, making lists trying to get what is going on in my mind in order, and taking naps as much as possible, I have been neglecting my blog. It has been on my list of things to do, but my lists have lists, and its rare that I get anything done. (Other than napping and going to work, LOL)

Ok, so where did we leave off? Oh yeah, surgery day.

Well when we left the hospital on Monday afternoon, they told me to go ahead and come in Thursday morning for the surgery. No time, just come in, in the morning. I asked a time and was told in the morning. So I decided to be a bit more specific and ask when the doctor comes in. The answer – in the morning. Doh. Ok, what time in the morning. Around 8:00. Ok finally an answer that I can do something with.

I told Lale to pick me up so that we could be at the hospital by 7:45AM, as I wanted to be the first one there to be operated on. (I was staying in Tocoa at my in-laws house until Thursday morning, since getting in and out of the truck, and in and out of our house would be next to impossible, and he had to go home because of the animals. So him and Andre stayed in Novillo, and Jordan and the little kids stayed in Tocoa with me.) And believe it or not, my husband was on time, and we got to the hospital by 7:45AM. We went in and sat down in the waiting area, and when they called my name, I went back with the lady. She tells me to hop up on this bed, and get naked, take out my earrings, and put on this gown, and she leaves me.

I have said this before, but I am not a small girl – in height, nor in weight. I tower over most of the people that I meet.* So you can imagine when I went to put on my “gown”. Actually it wasn’t that bad, but when you are already feeling vunerable, and in the hospital and they want you to put on a gown, well that’s bad enough. Then you have to ask for another gown to snap together because the gowns they gave you would just fit your 11 yr old. Well that just makes it 10 times worse.

So here I am, sitting on the bed (with hospital linens that have Hosptial Del Aguan stamped on them, and the name of a hospital from NY stamped on them as well), trying to get comfortable, I have to pee, but am worried that because the toilet is so low to the ground in that bathroom, I might not be able to get back up off of the toilet. I take a chance, and of course while I am in the bathroom, here comes the nurse to get me. She was a bit irritated that I wasn’t waiting for her. But oh well. I am sure she wouldn’t want me to pee on her during the operation, so she can just suck it up.

Anyways, I get into the operating room and find out what kind of anesticia they are going to give me. An epidural. AN EPIDURAL. I am having pins put in my ankle, not having a baby. Plus, I really don’t want to be awake when they are operating on me, but whatever, that I can deal with. The lady shoots me up with the epidural, and I am laying there. I don’t feel them when they cut into me, and when they are doing whatever they are doing, but when he starts moving my ankle around, I felt that. It hurt like crap.

I am laying there and the nurse is asking me whats wrong. I told her that I can feel him moving the bones and that it hurts, and she is telling me that it is just my nerves, that I can’t feel anything because my legs are heavy and numb. Um, ok, whatever. She asks me if I want something to calm my nerves, and I told her I didn’t care, that it wasn’t my nerves, that it hurt when he was moving my bones around. So she gave me an injection of something for my nerves, and after a few minutes I stopped crying. She told me see, I told you it was just your nerves. I told her, nope not at all. It still hurts like crap, but now I don’t care. And that was the truth. One thing I liked about being awake for the surgery, I liked listening to the doctors and nurses talking about all sorts of stuff. One thing the doctor said was he was going to invent a zipper for women to place in there lower stomach area so that when the time came to have a baby, the doctor would just open there zipper, and take the baby out. The C-Zip he called it, LOL.

After my surgery, they took me to my room (I was placed in the mens observation room for the night) and Lale came to see me. Because I had had an epidural, they kept telling me that I had to be flat on my back for 24 hours. I couldn’t even use a pillow. What the hell ever. I have had 7 epidurals before now, and I was up and around with each of them. But when in Rome… I liked the part though when the doctor came in around 11AM and he told me that I would have to stay flat until the AM, I said but I can get up to go to the bathroom right? He said well what part of flat on your back do you not understand. And I said what part of I have to pee and can’t hold it for 24 hours do you not understand. So he asked if I wanted a catheter. Um, let me think. You want me to stay on my back for 24 hours without getting up, you are giving me IV fluid, and plan on giving it to me all night long, do you really have to ask if I want one??? It isn’t so much a matter of want, as a matter of need. Oh but the good news, if I am feeling ok come 6:00ish that night, I can get some soup if someone wants to bring it to me. (like cup of noodles). Um, if I am supposed to be flat on my back, to where I can’t even lift my head off of the pillow, how in the world am I supposed to eat some noodles. Open wide and say ahhh, while someone pours it down my throat? Really, common sense people. Lets use it.

I was confused at one point. The doctor was telling me what he did during the surgery, and he kept saying No te voy a curar hasta Lunes. He isn't going to cure me until Monday?? What?? What in the world is he talking about? I asked Lale later - (and he told me exactly what it meant, and I forgot what he told me now) basically the doctor was telling me that he wanted me to come in Monday morning, and he was going to clean my stitches and check on them to make sure that they weren't infected. (and I had to curarme en la casa - I had to cure myself in my home ;)

And no, I didn’t listen to the doctors 100%. If no one was in the room with me, I sat up, I rolled over, I did what I could so that I was not laying flat on my back. Man, that hurts after a bit. The nurses were really nice, some helpful, some not so much. I think I got some extra care because most of them knew my father in law. One was so nice, but was an idiot. I asked for some help to move my foot, and instead of lifting my foot up by the bottom of the ankle on the cast area, they grabbed my big toe, lifted my foot up about 18” off the bed, moved it over a bit and just dropped it. OUCH. Then asked if it was ok. Um, yeah, perfect thanks. Oh no no no, you don’t have to touch it again. Amazingly enough, you dropped it in the perfect spot. Ugh. I just prayed that 8:00AM would get here quick so that I could go home. The night dragged on forever, but finally Lale came back to get me. I was so glad to go home. I was scared to move my leg, but once I got going I was fine – in pain – but it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Oh, and not one headache from lifting my head up.

The next 10 weeks of ‘bedrest’ sucked. I had never been so freaking bored in my life. I mean seriously, I read The Joy Of Cooking three times. Not fun. When I went back to get the cast thing taken off, they did another x-ray to see how my ankle was healing, and this time one of the x-ray was taken a few inches above where it was taken last time. Well we found out during that visit that I had broken my shin bone, as well as the bones where my toes meet my foot. Plus my ankle on the one side wasn’t totally 100% either. So it was back at home for another 4-6 weeks of bedrest. No weight whatsoever on that foot. I had to promise the doctor that I would stay off my feet. Oh yeah. Fun times. Ok, I felt better already, I have children at home that need me up and walking around, and I was not doing that much bedrest. I did some, but I also did walking. I just don’t have time for bedrest when I am fine. When the final 6 weeks were up, I went back to the doctor, and he told me that I was doing well, and that everything was healing up nicely. (well I have an appointment with a doctor here in the US to verify that everything was done right, just to make sure)

Even though it was an adventure (as anything and everything is an adventure in a place like Honduras) I actually am not unhappy with the way that I was treated, and with the quality of care that I got. I went in there knowing that the care would be different, and I went in there with my mind open, but I also went in there paying attention so that if something didn’t seem right, I could ask questions. (I am one of those that don’t believe doctors are the end all and be all as some people do. I take what they say, and compare it with what I know, and with common sense and then make my own diagnosis, LOL). Would I recommend Hospital Del Aguan? Yes I would. In a heartbeat.

* A funny story about feminine products here in Honduras. I didn’t think to bring any down with me, and because my period wasn’t due for another week or so, I hadn’t bought any yet. (I was planning to make a store run that weekend, and it was on my list). Well I got my period early, and had to send Lale to the pulperia to get me a pack of pads. He brings them home, and I go in the bathroom, open the pack and just start to laugh. The pads here are so freaking SMALL. Seriously, they are like half the size of the pads here in the US. Maybe in the newish grocery store in Tocoa they have what I am used to, but in my search at the other stores I have only been able to find these small pads. I mean small as in – they are comparable to panty liners. I came out the bathroom, still laughing and told Lale that Honduras really isn’t the place for me. Honduras is for tiny people, Even the pads reinforce that. LOL.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Break a Leg

Or an ankle, or a foot. Maybe tear a tendon? All of the above?

Or maybe I should title this The Fun of Surgery in a 3rd World Country. Or maybe I need a cast, not a massage. Oh so many ways I could put it, its just so hard to pick one.

If you checked in a couple of times while I was in Honduras, then you know that I broke my foot while down there. While saying I broke my foot is the truth, it doesn't even halfway explain it.

It started on a Monday, and Andre went to seperate the baby cows from the momma cows so that we could head out to Tocoa. Well as he went through the different gates he forgot to close them behind him. Any guesses to what happened when the cows came to the last pasture? (the 1st gate that Andre had to go through) Yup, they kept on coming and were heading for the road. Jordan, seeing what was happening, ran to shut the big gate at the front of our driveway so that the cows wouldn't go out in the road. I ran out to 'herd' the cows back into the pasture so that she would be able to get the main gate shut without the cows right there. Well while I was going to the side of the house, I slipped on a tiny itty bitty hill. Seriously, the difference between the highest part and the lowest part of this area was no more than 3 inches, if that. And it wasn't a sudden three inch drop either. But somehow I slipped on it (my flip flops no longer had any tread on the bottom - so they were slick) and even though I was falling backwards on my butt, somehow my right foot got caught up under my leg, and I felt a snap.

Let me tell you how I screamed. And screamed. Oh yeah, did I mention, I screamed. Now that I think back to it, I have to laugh, because it really didn't hurt as bad as I thought it did in that moment. It was more I had never broken any bone like that, and I was shocked and scared and trying to figure out how I was going to get up, LOL. When I calmed down after a few minutes, I looked at my foot and KNEW that my ankle was broken. I mean I lifted up my leg, and the ankle just flopped.

Lale, who at the time I fell was cleaning out the pig area, had come running and wanted to to stand up. I hadn't broken anything. I just dislocated something - my ankle, my foot, who knows. I had some not so nice words to say to him because it was obvious that my ankle was broken. I mean looked how it flopped. I showed him that, and he, you know Dr. Lale, started to touch my leg amid my screaming DONT TOUCH ME ITS BROKEN, and told me that my ankle wasn't broken, it was my shin bone. Um, whatever. Just take me to the doctor dag nabbit.

So he yelled to Jordan to get the little ones ready to go, (I had already packed up a bag with everything in it - she just had to get clean clothes on the little ones) and Andre tried to help me. Poor Andre, he asked me if he could help me, and I told him to just leave me alone. I wasn't mad at him or anything, I just didn't want anyone to touch me, I was scared it would hurt. I sent Andre to bring me the crutches* we had so that I could somehow get out to the front of the house to get in the truck.

That was a fun time - getting from the back yard to the front of the house, then getting in the truck. Lets just say it took me almost an hour, and I had to crawl, not just on hands and knees, but also belly crawl, LOL. There was also lots of not so nice words, because really, when you are used to two legs, and then all of a sudden you can't use one, and it hurts like you can't believe (because by then it had begun to really hurt) and you have to stand up. Well its hard to figure out how to stand up with just one leg. And even harder when you have a worried husband behind you trying to help, which only makes it that much worse. Fun times.

When I finally got into the truck, we headed to Tocoa to an x-ray place. Can we say that Honduras is NOT handicapped accesible. Thank God I have no shame, and I have no problem crawling in public, LOL. The X-ray place was set back from the road about 20ish feet, but there was a "step" to get onto there property. Only it wasn't really a step. It was more of a 2.5 foot/3 foot high hill of dirt/grass. It sort of dropped off where it met the road. No slope, no real steps, nothing. Lale was telling me to jump. Um yeah ok. I crawled. Then I went across the grass to the front door where there was another 2.5 foot step up onto the porch. I made Lale get some of the rocks from around there and make a ghetto step. (The entire time the kids are right there with us, offering there suggestions on how I can get up the steps and what not too.)

After all of that, I finally get up on the x-ray table, get my x-rays done, (420L/$23) and am told that my ankle isn't broken. Its just dislocated, and I just need it to be massaged. I know enough to know that they are on crack. I told Lale that no one was going to touch my foot and that I was going to get a cast on it somehow. They gave him the name of a orthopedic (I think he was an orthopedic) and told us to go there. So we went to drop off the kids at my inlaws, and told my father in law where we were going. My father in law said no, that doctor is an idiot, and to not go there. It would be better to take me to Hospital Del Aguan. They have a great doctor there for problems like mine.

So off to the hospital we go. The hospital is only 5 minutes, at most, from my in-laws house. Yet it took us almost an hour to get there. Everyone we asked knew how to get there, and told us how to get there, yet the directions never were correct, LOL. The best part was when we got to the intersection right next to the hospital, there was a sign on one side of the road that said Hospital Del Aguan this way (pointing to the right) and another sign that said Hospital Del Aguan this way (pointing to the left). Oh how I wish I had my camera.

We finally find the hospital (it was on the left) and go in. As soon as we are seen by the doctor, he said yup its broken, but we will get an x-ray to see how bad off. Lale jumped in and said we already got an x-ray and it showed that it wasnt broken. So the doctor said lets do this - go and get an x-ray here and I will show you something. We got the x-ray, (120L$7) and he puts the new ones, as well as the old ones up on the light machine and says see the difference in quality here. Don't ever go to those places for an x-ray, LOL. The new x-rays showed that my ankle was broken on both sides, and my tendon was torn in half. The good news was that it was fixable, the bad news was that I needed an operation. I had to have pins put in my ankle. And the operation would cost approxamently 30,000L/$1588. Which isnt to to much when you think about it (I mean here in MD the same operation would cost WELL above $1500), but when you are living on $1000 or less a month, its a stretch. But we went ahead and made an appointment for Friday morning for the surgery, and we figured we would somehow come up with the money for the surgery.

... to be continued (next post - its surgery day)

*Funny story about those crutches. When Lale was packing stuff up into the car, we came across these crutches and I said to him, why dont you take them with you, maybe someone there may need them. LMAO - and look who it was that needed them. Me.




Thursday, February 5, 2009

Happy Birthday Mickey Moo

Yes today my little girl is 6. And I am not there to give her a hug and a kiss and tell her Happy Birthday. I am not there to make her a cake. I miss her. But only 12 weeks 5 days until I see her (and Johan, Isa and Lana) again. Not to long.