We have been busy readjusting as a family to the changes the last few weeks have brought. The Donkey had been off the IV antibiotics he had been on for 12 weeks for 10 days. After 5 days, he began having spiking temps and rigors, a really nasty situation he has had for the last several years intermittently as his bloodstream repeatedly is contaminated, likely now from the ostomy situation in his lower abdomen, where there are skin cracks that bleed and undoubtedly act as 2 way streets, letting bacteria into the bloodstream via the same holes that let the blood out. Seems like a no win situation. I got blood cultures after the first spike, but the medication was $1000 daily and it took a bit to get the prior authorization from the insurance, who promises to pay for 6 days/week and I pay for the 7th. I had started the antibiotic but it hadn’t kicked in yet and I was gasping for breath, so ended up going to the ER at Holland and being admitted on the 21st. I was quite anemic so was given some blood and ended up spending 5 days in ICU in a Covid room (negative pressure with a 12 inch vacuum hose blowing air to the outside continuously), though my Covid test was negative and was moved the last day to another ICU room. They changed my central line to one in my right arm (a PICC line) that does slow me down somewhat, but hoping the infection will be controlled, at least for a while. For some reason, they had trouble getting my blood pressure up out of the 70s and so had a norepinephrine drip running in the line the whole time to keep it up, requiring me to stay in ICU for close monitoring. Fortunately, Rachel was able to convince them to let her stay with me, a real blessing as they wouldn’t let me out of bed and just getting things, like the urinal, etc is a chore when you cannot get out of bed to reach the items. You are supposed to call the nursing staff, but can have an accident while waiting as they are quite busy and have to gown and glove and wear masks to enter each room, slowing down things considerably.
So, I am back home in my apartment with Jenn and Rachel helping in my care (Rachel actually did the ostomy changes in the hospital, they are tricky as I don’t have a traditional ileostomy or colostomy, normally the bowel protrudes from the belly wall and allows for the inside wastes to free fall away from the body into the bag, but mine are below the surface and more tricky to seal). I have lost a bit of strength and am hoping to get up and outside as the weather allows some to build up some strength in my left leg especially. Otherwise, we are stable, but looking into Hospice alternatives to help with the medical needs, etc.
As many of you know, on Karen’s one year anniversary of her going to glory, a beautiful baby girl was born to a mother in Flint that didn’t want to see or even know the gender of her little one. So, the next day, we got the call asking if we were interested. James and Jenn went to Flint on Monday, the 18th, to get Willa Maren, the little one we were hoping to adopt. The mom always has 28 days to change her mind and, much to our dismay, on the 22nd, the social worker picked up little Willa and took her back to her mother. Admittedly, she got tons of attention from all the members of the family, but she was such a perfect baby and worked her way into our hearts and lives in just those 4 days and we all miss her terribly. These emotional roller coasters have been hard on all of us, especially Jenn, and we appreciate your prayers as we adjust to life without her and consider what the Lord would have us do in the future, as this is the third time we have worked on an adoption, only to have it fall through.
Covid seems to have given Dr. William some grief, I have heard that one of his fellow surgical residents has Covid so that has crippled their work at the government hospital a bit. We have had some cases out in Cayes now, all is done through the government system, they have the testing kits, so hard to know what exactly is the incidence, but the country is also limited in supplies and ability to comply with the regulations. It appears that there have been 2000 confirmed cases of Covid and 40 deaths, though likely there are considerably more cases due to the limited capacity to test individuals. Haiti, with a population of 11 million, has only about 156 ICU beds and like 40 respirators, though the unreliability of electricity and shortage of oxygen tanks, etc, makes that option very limited. Social distancing is rather impractical as the overcrowding that already exists makes it difficult to reduce population density. The hospital has remained quite functional, though our volume of patients has reduced considerably due to Covid. We are struggling a bit to find supplies, as sources in country are drying up and the borders are closed to outside sources at this point. So, appreciate your prayers for wisdom for the hospital and staff/support personnel as we try to keep things functional for His glory at Centre de Sante Lumiere in Les Cayes, Haiti.
As always, thanks so much for your prayers, support and encouragement for our family and ministry in Haiti.
In His Service, Bill for James, Jenn and Rachel