September 29, 2011

Amoebas and E. coli

We had our first experience with a Guatemalan hospital this week.

It turns out that the food we ate at the Independence Fair about two weeks ago had more effects than we realized. On Monday night one of us (cough, cough, Collin), had a full night of throwing up and other icky things going on. He decided to stay home from school on Tuesday, but he was still experiencing these icky things in the afternoon, so our director took him to the doctor.

A few tests later – blood and stool – the doctor determined he had amoebas, E. coli, and a stomach infection – a hat trick of sickness. The doctor gave him a shot to make him stop throwing up, but a half hour later that was back up too. The doctor said he had to go to the hospital due to dehydration.

The director took him to the hospital where they gave him some medicine and put him on an IV. The vomiting finally stopped, but the doctor said he had to stay overnight at the hospital so that they could rehydrate him. They ended up pumping 3 liters of fluids and 4 other medicines into him.

Our friend Kandy drove me to the hospital after school, and I ended up staying overnight with Collin. His room had a nice long bench with cushions to sleep on. Nurses came in almost every half hour to check on him, but other than that we both were able to get a little sleep.

The hospital was bare – white walls, no TV’s or clocks in the rooms, and no cliché health posters saying “NEVER, NEVER, NEVER shake a baby.” However, it was very clean and sanitary. They did dress Collin in an adorable pastel green, button up, hospital gown. I promised I would not post pictures.

The nurses were also very nice. Every time they walked into the room they would say “excuse me” and “pardon me” and “how are you?” They couldn’t quite remember that we do not speak much Spanish. One time when I walked into the room, and the nurse was fiddling with Collin’s IV. She kept asking “Te duele? Te duele?” (Does it hurt? Does it hurt?). “No comprendo” was not the answer she was looking for. And the doctor really liked to look at Collin’s tongue, so he told him to “saca la lengua” a lot. (Stick out your tongue.) Apparently if your tongue is really white, that means you are dehydrated. Collin’s tongue looked like a snow cone.

Collin was done with IV’s and medicine early Wednesday morning, and our friend Kandy brought us to the pharmacy to buy three kinds of medicine, and then finally to our home. He is feeling a lot better now, and his appetite is slowly coming back. He said his mouth tastes like metal, but supposedly that is from the medicine he is on now.

Amoebas and E. coli. What a trip.

A huge thanks to our friends for driving us all over town, for bring us quiche and cookies, and for simply being wonderful people.

Collin came back to school today. Students were overjoyed to see him. Literally. He walked past a parade of kindergarteners today, and they shouted “Hurray! Mr. Broekhuis is feeling better! Hurray! Mr. Broekhuis is back at school! Hurray! Hurray!”

Also at school…

1. One of my students was drinking a V8 for his snack. He came up to me and said, “Mrs. Broekhuis, you should drink some of this so that you can be skinny like me!” And then he sucked in his stomach until his little ribs shown through his shirt.

2. I was asking questions to the class, and one student gave an answer right on the money, the exact answer I was thinking. I said to him, “Did you just read my mind, because that’s exactly what I was thinking!” He said, “Yes, I read your mind, Mrs. Broekhuis. I can see into your ears!”

3. One of my students is obsessed with handcuffs. He talks about them almost every day. But randomly he asked me, Mrs. Broekhuis, in the United States, in the country where you live, in the state of where your home is…do you have F.B.I.?” I answered, “Why yes we do. Do you know what the F.B.I. does?” He said, “Yes, they catch the robbers.”

4. I publicly praised a student for his good work in class. I said, "He finished his work, he did a great job, and he followed all of the directions!" Another student piped up and said, "Congratulations!"

We have so much to be thankful for. Praise God.

Grace and Peace,