A manic week

What a week…

Monday found the kids in funny moods and Mr S in the sick ward. Managing to see them all was a challenge, with Mr S in a different ward and me not sure how sick he was. Jessica was in helping me, even though she had her own sick youngster at home.

Tuesday was Mr S’s private hospital appointment. He was still in the sick ward with a temperature and chesty, but as we were going to a hospital and not a park or outing, I thought we should keep the appointment. He had suction and medications for fever before we left. He perked up and enjoyed the journey there and was not doing too badly.


We met with a different doctor to the one we had planned to see and she felt, due to his being unwell, assessments were not going to be possible. He had a chest x-ray, nebulizer and suction again, with finally an injection for the pneumonia. The doctor wanted to have him admitted, but we felt being closer to home was a better idea. We spoke to the orphanage nurse by phone and she agreed for us to head straight back to our local hospital for treatment.

While at the private hospital, Mr S had made many friends among the nursing staff. It was good in these difficult circumstances to see him engage and direct his own treatment. For example, vocalizing and eye pointing for more suction when the nurse asked if that was enough. All understood him for themselves and I didn’t need to translate his communication.

As we waited to pay our bill, I noticed a few sudden body jerks, so once we paid, I got into the view of a nurse and we waited a short while. A seizure came on and we were rushed to a treatment room for oxygen. Within fifteen minutes, his colour was back and he was OK, with only the odd ‘after shock’ movement. We headed to the car, belonging to my friend, that the driver was bringing to the door. As we waited there, Mr S went into a second full seizure and drained in colour. I rushed back to the second floor to the nurse asking for oxygen again and they were on it. More suction was provided again and some more time for him to come round.

It was clear Mr S needed to be admitted and we needed to go to the other hospital. With no means of taking oxygen with us, it was a situation fraught with fear. We headed off and the driver understood the plan: go and get there quickly and safely. He even spoke with the travel traffic people to see which roads were clearest when we were sat in traffic in Bangkok.

It was the scariest journey ever, but Mr S didn’t have any seizures. Every ‘after shock’ move had me anxious, so prayer requests were sent out on Facebook. The colour on his lips was not good and I was shaking with a heart rate as fast as his.

We arrived and nebulizer, medications for temperature and oxygen were given again. Suction was also provided again, which he directed vocally and complied with so well too. He was admitted after another x-ray. The downside was that he was placed in a cot bed for a baby, so he took up the full length of it. Cramped, but treated, he started to perk up and engage well.

On Wednesday, I worked with the others and then headed to see Mr S. He is getting the levels of nutrition he needs, which is good, and is accepting treatments well. The nurses are interacting with him and he is vocalizing his thoughts with them.

Seeing people understand and engage with him warms my heart no end and confounds some comments from others about not seeing him as a child able to communicate. It’s funny how it’s the Thais who are engaging, which is pleasing me.

Thursday was a Bank Holiday and so I rested, but I still checked on Mr S. He was still in the small bed, but was well.

Friday was the hardest day of the week. Motivation in the morning was seriously lacking. I knew the kids needed the input, but my body wanted it to be Sunday. I managed to get the energy to work with Miss K, Mr B and Mr G. Then in the afternoon, I helped feeding in the ward and went to the monthly meeting. Then I went back to work with Mr C and Miss N in the ward a little bit, before cycling to the hospital to see Mr S again. Today he was attached to less lines and so when the nebulizer was finished, we got out of the bed and had a sit on the chair for a while. Then we went out into the corridor for a change of scene. We played with the kindle games and he had his milk. Then I went to get food and go home.

I think the anxiety of Tuesday and the extra journeys and time at the hospital made me really tired. I thank God it did not continue to be a traumatic week and that the ill health of Mr S didn’t lead to serious sadness.

Nicola Anderson


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