First week back – joys and challenges
Well I arrived back in Thailand on Sunday afternoon a week ago and set about unpacking, sorting what to go where and preparing for work in the morning. I slept like a baby that first night and woke ready to work. The kids were all on my ward on my return: none were in sick ward or hospital, so I was able to get right to work with them. They were mostly pleased to see me and desperate to get out of the ward. Mr S had just got back the day before from a short hospital stay due to a seizure and had a wound on his ankle, but was ok. Mr B was highly compliant and following directions: a treat which was lovely. Everyone was tight in their leg muscles and not at all keen to do stretching, so over the week we had to slowly work towards a greater stretch and most bar Miss N are looser than they were and complaining less. Miss N has always had a reactive nature, so anything she does not like makes her grumpy, but we are gently working out the knots slowly but surely.
Sadly on the Tuesday (only one day in) I got a rash on my face which was itchy and tight round my eyes, so I had to stay home from work. Sleeping through the itchiness, it was gone by Wednesday and I was able to work. The sleep in the morning was well needed, but not so great for the jetlag, but it’s almost sorted now.
Having the children back in the walkers, stander, strollers and electric wheelchair does my heart good to see them busy and happy to succeed for themselves again.
We need to build up their tolerance for focused concentration activities again minute by minute, but they are loving being held and getting positive interaction at the same time. Their giggles and smiles really are intoxicating.
The joy we had when the well-travelled wheelchair arrived was wonderful. Many children have been in it already. Miss N sat in it with Mr B walking pushing her about and Mr B was in it to keep him occupied for a while when I had other tasks. Mr C and another ward child have both sat well to watch TV in it. It holds them so well. The only thing I need to do is find my allen key that is the correct size to move the headrest forward.
Among the other highs and lows at the orphanage, the sick ward has a bad outbreak of the big flu and has been in quarantine mode. With 20 plus vunerable children having it, the staff are working really hard to get on top of it. It’s not spread to other wards and they have not had any children pass away due to it. This is a miracle to thank God for. Please pray for the staff and children as they continue to deal with this challenge and try to improve health for all.
A wonderful piece of news I have heard (which to most will seem a very mild deal) is that the orphanage no longer buys the milk powder they used to buy for the tube fed children and now are using Nutrini as the standard milk due to its calorie content. Other milk may be used if the child has a specialist need, but the Pan milk which was so very low in calories is no longer used.
Also the children on my ward who are tube fed are now receiving in the daytime a suppliment added to the Nutrini milk. This is an egg, veg and oil add-in to help increase their nutrition. This has been given to the sick ward children for a while, but now our kids are getting it too. I can actually see the difference in many of the children. Sadly, Mr S is still the thin one, which is likely to be because of his high heart rate using the calories and because of his ineffective coughing skills and sensitive stomach. Please pray he will gain weight too.
The house I stay in has had some minor issues on returning. The aircon was playing up, but maybe ok now. The fridge was not staying cool, which has ruined the cheese I brought back with me for friends as well as myself. Sad times but manageable. I’m considering finding a replacement fridge on the expats’ group on Facebook, even though my one seems to be working again now. It’s had a long life.
Then there are light bulbs on very high ceilings that are flickering as they are now at the end of their lives. I will get to all these tasks once I’m back to normal life here. When you live alone, you can not feel bad for leaving these things till later.
Although we have had some long days this week, with VIP’s popping by at 5.30pm or so, it has been good so far.
Thank you all for your prayers.