Sunday, July 7, 2013

The Big, Bad M

In my last post, I talked about Godson's high fever, but how we had gotten it under control with various OTC meds. A couple hours after writing that, his fever started climbing again, and his chest sounded really congested, so we decided to take him to a clinic recommended to us by a friend who works for the UN here. When we got there, my heart sank when I saw a paper sign with the word vacances on it--vacation in French. The Belgian doctor we had gone to see was on vacation. We went in anyway, though, and there was, very luckily, another doctor in his place. This Congolese man was so good with both kids, was very thorough, and, best of all, he saw us right away. He diagnosed Godson with bronchitis and an earache, and then he sent us to a different room for a malaria test, just in case. A male nurse pricked Godson's finger while he was asleep, and poor Godson didn't even wake up. An hour later, as we relaxed with a beer (Fanta, a treat, for the kids) in the bar/gathering area of a Catholic guesthouse downtown, we got the results: Godson did indeed have malaria (the big, bad M).
They said it was stage one, which is just the beginning. No wonder Godson had been acting so upset all the time, screaming and crying with incredibly bad separation anxiety. He had malaria, bronchitis, an earache, and scabies! Quite a sick boy! 

We went to the pharmacy for all the drugs he needed, headed to the City Market, a more western style grocery, for some provisions, and then took him home to rest. Within an hour after we gave the medicines in the evening as instructed, Godson was feeling better. As Shekina romped around the room with a red balloon the folks at St. Anne's gave her, he sat up, watched, and even laughed once--the first laugh we had witnessed! The next morning, he started crawling around, pulling up, walking a little, and even climbing a little. He seems to feel a little better after each dose. The separation anxiety has decreased dramatically, but today (Sunday, July 7th), it has been replaced by a total distaste for me. :-/ We've had a few good moments, but we've had more moments in which he was pushing me away, literally. He even had a bad meltdown (bc I tried to take the lid off a fruit pouch he was clutching) during which he repeatedly scratched my face, slapped me, and pulled my hair HARD. 

He is not the only one, either. Shekina has been testing us today, purposefully pushing boundaries in order to test how unconditional this adoption actually is. Of course, we know these two kids are ours forever as long as we are allowed to leave the country with them...but deep down, she doesn't understand that. She also had trouble with my taking items away from her (in response to misbehavior). I did it as gently as I could, but it upset her a lot. We are clearly dealing with a lot of trauma, and will be for some time...but that's ok. We knew this would be the case, and I have dealt with similar situations at home. We will continue to try to show love and warmth while not allowing the kids to walk all over us. Who can blame the kids for testing us and pushing us away at times? Not me! 

We have had lots of good moments today too. For instance, we took Shekina swimming for the second time. She loved jumping from the steps and into my arms, and learning how to splash with her hands. She's going to be a water baby, for sure! We also strung beads, colored, and cooked an improvisational homemade meal with the random contents of our fridge and pantry--Rotel pasta. It wasn't bad either! 

Tomorrow we visit the doctor again for a few more tests. We hope this message finds everyone well, happy, and healthy. 

Anna, who could never have done this without her parents, and who still has her eyeballs, despite the clawing of angry baby nails 

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