19 June 2009

"Life is hard...

... but God is good."

Those were words in a song I used to hear (and like) on the radio several years ago, and I've been hearing that refrain echoing through my mind and reflecting on that thought quite a bit the past few days... in particular how I heartily agree with the first part ...and how sometimes it is really hard to choose to believe the second half.

Our sweet little Elsie Mae has had a really rotten week. Monday morning started off well. It was moving day (moving out of our home and into temporary housing where we will be until we leave in mid July... and to where we are hoping to return after furlough for a longer term set-up - and I'll write more about that another day). Kids were excited and played well all morning, except that Elsie required more frequent trips to use the facilities than normal. Then, right about the time the girls were due to arrive home from school, she curled up on the couch and began crying while her temperature started rising.

Since we've been fighting a persistant UTI, we called and took her into the clinic rather than waiting and watching - our normal protocol. A few orders for lab work and treating symptoms until we got the results from said lab work as well as a malaria test (with a negative result) brought us to Monday night, and things got worse. Lab results showed she had amoebic and bacterial dysentery, possibly complicated by an ongoing UTI - but we couldn't get a clean sample for the lab to analyse.

One fact of life in W. Africa (and probably in other developping countries) is that dysentery (not malaria) of whatever type is the leading cause of death for children under the age of 5. Now don't worry - Elsie Mae has actually done a little better today, but I included that statistic because it always seemed a little crazy to me. After all, you keep the child hydrated while you treat the cause and all should be well, right? Then we had our first experience with this type of serious illness back in 2006 - Anna was hospitalized on IV treatments for nearly a week with similar issues.

It is amazing how quickly a little one goes from sick to bad to worse... Monday morning, Elsie Mae weighed 28 lbs+. This morning, she weighed 23... almost a 18% loss in body weight... in 4 days. We're measuring her food and liquid intake by sips and bites - her sisters were applauding at lunch today because she ate 6 Ramen noodles!

As I mentioned earlier, we do think she's doing quite a bit better. But she still has 9 days of a treatment that is about as nasty as the disease. We still have to beg, plead and pray to get her to eat - thankfully, she is drinking now without one of her parents having to do gymnastics.

Please pray for her. She's improved a bit... but is not really better yet. There are still risks and potential complications of which the local doctor we use heartily reminded us. And if you think of it, can you pray for me, too... because I'm right now I'm having to choose (and my batting average attitude could improve) to believe that God is good ~ after watching this sweet little one so miserable and so sick this week? ...it doesn't really feel like it.


  1. We have been and will continue to pray - this request was in the prayer bulletin at church on Wed. but thank you for expanding. I've been meaning to write you this week and find out what is going on. Get better, sweet little one!

  2. so sorry to hear this. we are praying for you guys!


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