It’s 5am and Gigi has had about 13 baths today. She is running a high fever and her body is limp. She is 8 years old and learned to walk last fall. Ever since she learned to walk – you can’t hold her down. She goes everywhere. That’s one thing that’s been so different here at my parent’s house. Their house is a tri-level. Gigi was often stuck wherever we put her because she couldn’t go up or down steps.
You should see her now. She opens doors and walks up and down the steps – even to the fridge when she wants something to drink. She often will find one of us – pull us to the fridge – and she’ll actually point to what she wants which it’s normally tampico or milk.
Jose and I spent all day at the hospital while my parents took care of Gigi. We didn’t know she was sick when we left this morning. My mom bathed her several times while my dad held her most of the day. She has always had a close bond with my dad – ever since she was a baby. People never give her enough credit – she’s a very smart little girl and she knows WHAT and WHO she wants.
Today however – she was too weak to even cry and yet her facial expressions would break your heart. I know it’s a bad day when she’s too weak to even look at her hands.
She’s so skinny despite our best efforts (8 years old and about 35lbs). She wouldn’t eat or drink anything today. I’ve never been ashamed of Gigi or her disability. Granted – she can cause quite the commotion – but she’s always been a happy little girl. When I first moved to Haiti I was responsible for our Special Needs Orphanage which is how I found Gigi. As long as their disabilities didn’t stop them from being Happy – I never really struggled. I know God made us each unique.
What I do struggle with is when my little girl is sick and she can’t tell me what’s wrong. Malaya has no problem telling me her nose is running or her belly hurts. I know Gigi has a fever, she’s limp, and she won’t eat – but that’s it. She can’t tell me if her head hurts or her belly hurts. It makes it so hard to know how to treat her.
Dr. Lillpop is a pediatrician that travels to Haiti every year. He is actually responsible for Rosie living. He treated her for tetanus when she was just 8 days old and also got their hospital to waive all their fees when Rosie had cerebral malaria and almost died from seizures and fever. We called him today and he prescribed Gigi an antibiotic to start with. We call him often when one of our kids are sick. God has blessed us with a network of people. But I just wish he could “look” at her just to make sure an antibiotic is all she needed. He lives in Illinois – about 8 hours from us!
There were a few times today when Gigi just had a blank stare in her eye. It was the kind of stare I’ve seen too many times – where the results are always heart-wrenching. Too many times little kids die of something so treatable- diarrhea or a fever. Sometimes it only takes a day for a little sickness like that to claim a little child who is already malnourished.
I found myself in tears remembering so many precious children who used to be in our special needs orphanage but now run and play with Jesus. Life is just so precious.
I know that Gigi will be fine but seeing how quickly she went down – I couldn’t help but think about Haiti. There are so many sick little babies with fevers and no water to cool themselves down. I think about the mothers who have no money to see the doctor or pay for medication. While I’m so very blessed even though I don’t know what’s wrong with Gigi…..my heart can’t help but ache for the mothers who can’t take care of their children and are left praying, guessing, and often in despair.