Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Blogging: It's Not Taxes

That's what I realized tonight--I get all stressed out when I don't blog for a while because I think I have to catch everything up.  But I don't owe any "back blogging," right?!  So I'm just going to start from here.  

(At least that's what I tell myself, to get at it again.  It's hard to live life all day, and then lie awake at night feeling guilty that you're not recording it well enough--not taking enough video, or writing a detailed enough record.  Whew!  If ONE MORE person says, "I hope you're taking a lot of video," or "writing this all down," or scrapbooking . . . would you like to volunteer??  I need two full-time me's to do this right, I guess.  One to live it, and one to record the Director's Commentary for the DVD.  Oh, and a third part-time me to keep up my social life, of course.  The girl at the Lab and I have struck up a nice friendship over stool samples since I've been there so many times discussing them.)

Willa has three parasites.  The nurse delivered the results to me over the phone with sympathy, but I was thrilled to hear the news. After living for two months with the most disgusting poop
smell I've ever experienced, and then having to work up the courage to harvest samples of said smelly poop and get it to the lab within an hour, I'm so glad to have a diagnosis!  You know, no biggy--she just has giardiasis, Entamoeba Coli, and Iodamoeba Butschlii. The doctor's ordered some stiff antibiotics to kill it all off. Yippee!

Saffron's actually the one who complains constantly about stomach aches, and I'm sure she probably has the same thing, but we can't get a diagnosis because she only poops on nights and weekends--I can't get a fresh sample in during business hours!  But I guess it's only fair, because she's the only one who's getting the hair treatment.  Both girls have always had something major on their scalps, and the cure has been elusive. In Ethiopia the women told me it was a fungus, and took me out to a pharmacy to buy a tiny, eight-dollar bottle of  what turned out to be dandruff shampoo.  We used it, but it did no good.  Schquetta, the African American hairstylist who did their braids, said these were just really bad cases of dry scalp and if I conditioned their scalps and oiled them three times a week,
everything would clear up. I have, but it hasn't. In fact, Willa's symptoms have gotten worse. (Symptoms being, btw, white scaley covering all over S's scalp, and big, errupting pustules of yellow puss all over W's head.)

I took them to a dermatologist the first week they were here and he took samples, but said to wait three weeks to call for results. After that wait, it was a couple weeks of trading messages with the secretary before the doctor finally called me. He said Saffron has a particular fungus that can be cleared up after a month of twice-daily oral medication. He said W's head turned up nothing, though--disconcerting, since her pustules just keep getting worse, and now appear to be causing hairloss right around them!  I called three other dermatologists yesterday, but can't get in anywhere until mid-January. Ugh. 

It's amazing how long it can take to get something treated, even in a FIRST-world country. You might wonder why I haven't pushed steps through more quickly, but when each doctor's visit or bloodtest results in an hour of screaming from both girls, as if I've utterly betrayed them, I tend to wait a bit between visits.


Emily said...

Wow, stool samples and pussy postules... that makes spit up and diaper changes look like a walk in the park. But if moms don't fix you when you are broken, who will?

Brooke said...

Oh, I'm so sorry about the funky things the girls are going through with their medical needs. I'm sure it will be nice to put those to bed once and for all. Then you might have time and energy to focus on other things. You are doing a great job on ALL fronts Emily. You needn't worry about not recording everything. The kids will remember things and you can piece it all together when and if you want.

JenSav said...

You'd give Florence Nightengale a run for her money! :) You're awesome.