Friday, June 19, 2009

He cares for those who care for His own-Part II

(This is Part II of this post, so go here to catch up.)

“Fear brings us strength. It is the feeling that allows us to experience risk, trust, dependency, collaboration, and ultimately, wisdom because it helps us realize our need for help.” Chip Dodd from The Voice Of The Heart

It had rained pretty hard yesterday afternoon. Harder than the normal afternoon shower here. Since our house is an outdoor living space, the courtyard and the tile around it got soaked. As we were getting ready to leave for dinner, I was checking in with work on the computer. Emma had just ran out of the room and around the corner. That’s when I heard what I hope to never hear again. A slip….a grunt….and two loud and heavy thuds. The sound of a body and head hitting a hard surface. I jumped up and ran out around the corner to find my little girl in somewhat of a fetal position, still, silent…..lifeless. She had slipped and crashed onto the wet terracotta tile, head first. My heart sank. I ran over as I yelled her name. She didn’t respond until I touched her and begin to pick her up to hold her. Her eyes rolled slowly and she was very slow to even cry. FEAR. By this time, Kristin had joined us. Emma is our drama queen. If she gets hurt, she will let us know. Sometimes the slightest injury will provoke her into the biggest dramatic episode. Usually, a joke or something quirky will lead to laughter and it’s over. This was not the case today. She was really hurt. She wasn’t coming to and began to ask over and over, what had happened to her. She couldn’t remember. Kristin told me to Google concussion and see what it says. Emma was showing the symptoms that we would need to seek immediate medical treatment for according to the website. FEAR. Who do we call? There is no 9-1-1 here. All of our contacts were out of the country. FEAR.

I will say that if it were not for the amazing, generous, caring people that God put in our path from 4:30pm-10:30pm, I’m not sure what would’ve happened. There was a young lady, Alicia whom we met at the gate of our neighborhood while we were asking for the nearest hospital. She took us to the closest pediatrician's office. She stayed with us until Brandon from the school we visited on Wednesday shows up at the doctor’s office with his dog that has a metal splint with a wheel on the end of his back leg. A dog in the doctor’s office?!?!? Seriously?!?!? Could this get any stranger?!? We called Brandon to help us translate because neither Alicia or the doctor could speak a bit of English. It was between Brandon and another contact and the other contact was not answering the phone. Brandon answered and was about 3 minutes away, so he won.

We get down to it and the doctor gives us 2 options: 1) get an x-ray that will tell us if there is a fracture in the skull for around $25 or; 2) get a CT scan that will tell us if there is a fracture and swelling for about $65. We skipped straight to the CT Scan. As we are wrapping up with the doctor, he gives Brandon his card with his cell phone number on it and tells him to have the CT Operator call him with the results. I wanted to clarify with the good doc because: A) NO doctor in the States as EVER given me their private cell for after hours calls and; B) NO doctor in the States as EVER given me their private cell for after hours calls. The doctor assured us that he would answer and took Brandon’s cell number.

Brandon leads us to the private hospital located behind the city bus terminal. Think: really run down abandoned truck stop with no pavement and no lighting. YES, FEAR. We walk through the “bus city” that is bustling with evening commuters, some so drunk that they have passed out on the side of the dirt street. As we run by, I notice some men are pouring what appears to be water from an alcohol bottle into the open fly of one of the guy's jeans who is passed out, I’m guessing to try and wake him. That’s what friends are for, right?

The receptionist at the hospital, who also ends up being the x-ray tech tells us that the CT Scanner is broken and that the electrical engineer is on his way in……at 7pm???….ok. The engineer actually shows up, but informs us that the CT Scanner will not be fixed tonight. But since he is one of the only engineers who can work on the units in the country, he knows there is another in the next town over, about 15 minutes away. He drives us (me, Kristin, Emma, Mac, and Brandon) to the next place in his tiny car and on the way tells us that he studied CT Scan Operations in Lebanon, TN. Hmm.

We arrive at the next hospital. When I say hospital, you need not picture some multi-story, well-lit beacon sitting in some downtown space with security patrolled parking garages and a 24 hour ER. No, picture a block building with about 10 rooms with no HVAC and Bible verses all over the place. It’s known as a 24 hour hospital, but they lock the door at 10pm. The CT Scan Engineer, Estuardo, has called the CT Scan Tech and asked her to come in and scan Emma’s head. The call from Estuardo is the only reason she is making the trip.

After the CT machine warms up, we get Emma settled down and still, I get a heavy duty and might I say colorful lead jacket on, the CT Scan finally begins. Estuardo (the electrical engineer from the 1st hospital) stays with us the entire time, giving me thumbs up and smiles through a window in the room. It takes about 15 minutes to get all the scans. At the end, the CT tech (via Brandon) tells us that she doesn’t see anything that alarms her. Estuardo concurs, saying that he sees many of these everyday. We try to call a taxi, but no one will come get us this late. It’s about 10:00pm now. So, the CT tech’s father offers to give us a ride back to our house since it’s on his way home. We drop Brandon off at his place and arrive back home around 10:30pm.

Emma and Mac sleep with us and I get little sleep due to Mac’s knees in my back and my fervent praying that Emma would be healed. FEAR. Today, she woke up with a big headache, but slowly recovered back to her normal self. We saw the doctor again today, who greeted us ON THE SIDEWALK, AT THE FRONT DOOR of his office. He read the X-Rays and CT Scans and informed us that everything looked muy bien (very good).

Here are some interesting facts:

-No one who volunteered to help us yesterday (Brandon, Alicia, Estuardo, or CT scan tech's father) would take any money for their assistance. They were almost offended and definitely embarrassed at our offering to compensate them.

-Including the doctor’s visits, hospital visits and all scans we paid about $110 for it all and got to keep all the scans.

-For all the money that is spent in the States on big buildings, fancy equipment, and advanced training, the only thing that got us through last night was the care and concern of the beautiful people of this country.

-I did not want the lyrics to the song Emma and I wrote to be true last night. That there is a gift when you walk through pain. Sure, it's easy to believe when it's not my pain. All night long as I tossed, turned, and prayed, the song kept running through my head and heart. This morning I woke up believing those lyrics in a whole new way. I woke up Glad.

He cares for those who care for His own.

This mural was painted on the wall of the CT scan room.


1 comment:

Sarah said...

Wow! SO, so thankful that Emma is ok. I'm sure that was very scary.

Seriously, none of that would have happened in the States! The freaking CT engineer drove you to hospital in another city and the CT scan tech's father drove you home! Amazing. And don't even get me started on the cost of it all...