In one way it feels like we've been home for only a couple of weeks and in other ways it feels like we never left. (Except for the fact that Nate and the boys are thousands of miles away. That definitely feels weird.)
I haven't written lately because I really haven't known what to say. It's just been day-in and day-out kinda stuff here in Canada. From nursing visits, to visiting family and friends, doing laundry etc.
A week or so ago, Kylie, Teddy and I went north to Muskoka to pick up our truck. We were absolutely astonished when friends up there pooled their money and did a bunch of work on it. From new brakes and tires to a new exhaust system, our big Suburban got a new lease on life. We are so very grateful!
We stayed with Nate's cousins, Tim and Karla and had a great time together. The weather was amazing so we went to the park and played around outside. Below is Kylie and her cousin, Pyper, four-wheeling on their property. Isn't hard to believe she's our "sick" child??
We left on a Friday morning and drove home "the back way" - a beautiful (and long) trip through farm country and along the lake. We stopped at a cute store and took a moment to stretch and sit in this massive Muskoka chair. (Don't worry Nate, I didn't buy a thing!)
|Time for a PICC line dressing change|
Two weeks ago we met with the Infectious Disease doctor. Oh, how I wish you all could meet this woman. She's a tall Italian woman who commands respect. And she deserves it. She totally knows what she's talking about and doesn't candy coat a single thing. We had been concerned about the cost of Kylie's meds and whether or not OHIP would continue to cover them. I don't know if I mentioned this before but we calculated the cost of her antibiotics alone for a year and they came to the nice tidy sum of $82,000. No, that is not a typo. Eighty-two thousand dollars! Oh my. Our ID Doc assured us that these would be covered and if somebody tried to stop that coverage she "would write a letter and they would listen to her." (I'm certain they would too!)
She explained to us (again) the seriousness of Kylie's condition but was pleased with her progress. Perhaps we won't need a year of antibiotics after all. There are three keys to Kylie's return to health. She needs to have a good steady SED rate (blood test), she needs to have a repeat MRI to determine whether or not the bone is regenerating, and she needs to be looking/feeling good clinically (meaning her ankle is healing, no redness or swelling, drainage etc.). They will do a round of these tests in August and let us know then how we're doing. It would be amazing if we could be done with this PICC line in less than a year!
Then she turned to Teddy, and due to the fact that he lived in Africa and was diagnosed with malaria, the poor little guy had to be tested for malaria and for Dengue Fever. He wasn't happy with being poked.
Finally, she turned to me. And not because I'm unwell. She had a few things to say to me about our life in Africa, particularly our stupid choices of putting children on motorcycles and generally living in Africa with small children and did I know the risks, and that we have 8000 percent greater chance of dying there than here and what was I even thinking when we allowed our children to receive medical care there?
I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I decided to smirk - it's kinda in between. She finally stopped the interrogation, Purell-ed her hands for the 8th time and left. I gathered my things, walked out with the kids and met my mom in the waiting room. The first thing I said to her was: "I feel like I've just been spanked!" It's true!!
All in all, I considered it a good visit. Teddy does NOT have malaria or Dengue Fever (though it sounds like such fun to have - the name alone is freaky!). The bad news is that she wants to see the WHOLE family when we get back, line us up like criminals, poke us with needles to see what souvenirs we brought back and then put us all over her knee for even thinking about an African adventure. (I canNOT wait for Nate to meet her -- I might pull out the video camera for that one!!)
Truly, though, this doctor is amazing and I do love her. She is super duper smart. She is actually very compassionate and passionate about what she does. And without her, we'd be up the creek.
In the past week or so, Kylie has gotten very weary of wearing her big air cast boot. Especially when the weather was very warm and she was hot and sweaty and running around. Here's what Kylie's line up of shoes looks like at the door:
|Only left feet!|
This morning we had an appointment with her surgeon, Dr. Cashin. Here's Kylie patiently waiting in the treatment room. The big question today was: Will she be able to ditch the boot or NOT??
|The big ugly beast. The air cast, not her, silly!|
And it was a good news kinda day! Kylie is done with the air cast!! She didn't bring a right shoe to wear home, so she wore the boot for the last time. She and Dr. C both look quite pleased!
We celebrated with a sprinkle donut from Tim Hortons. We're classy girls.
We skyped with Nate and the boys last night and it was bitter-sweet to see them. I leave this Saturday to fly back with the work team going from our church. We leave Saturday morning from Toronto and land in Togo on Sunday at noon. Then we'll head to Tsiko to stay the night and leave for Mango early Monday morning. So ONE WEEK TODAY I will see Nate and the boys!! Yay!
Please pray for Kylie and Teddy while I'm gone. It's going to be hard for them to know that I get to go back, say goodbye, be there with our own work team and see their daddy and brothers. I sure hope the two weeks goes quickly for them.
We land back in Canada on June 1 and have rented a house for the time being until we decide/figure out/God shows us what and where and how and when. This living in the "wait" period is not so much fun but we're still trusting. And we're glad that Kylie is doing so well. It will be so so great to have all seven of us in the same country, under one roof.
And before I sign off, you need to see this beautiful picture that our team-mate took of Howard. Isn't he gorgeous now??
|Our beautiful bird.|
Thanks for your patience with us. Thanks for your continued prayers. I'll post from Togo and let you know how things go.