UPDATE Wednesday: Maea is home and recovering! She is taking a few different antibiotics and has a follow-up appointment on Friday. We are so appreciative of all the prayers and well-wishes!
"We need to admit her to the hospital and start IV antibiotics", Dr. Nelson explained.
"Right now? As in .... right now?" I asked with surprise.
Maea's chin started to quiver and she gave me that look that warned she was about to cry. The doctor left the room to make arrangements and I said to Maea, "It's OK. I'll be with you. Are you scared?" Her eyes pooled with tears and she nodded as she wiped them away.
Our 12 year old daughter, Maea, came down with the flu after trick-or-treating last Sunday. After a day or two of throwing up, her appetite did not return and she was left with a dry cough that seemed to leave her exhausted and spent. Each morning she would rally a bit and say, "I think I'll be able to go to school tomorrow." But by evening, she would be just as sick.
Finally, on Friday I called the doctor. She had lost 8 lbs by then and had a strange cough. At first the doctor thought it was just a nasty virus. Just to be on the safe side, she ordered a chest x-ray. Maea braved the blood draw like a hero and fell asleep on my shoulder as we waited for the results of the chest x-ray. With a quiet rap on the door, the doctor leaned into the room and said, "You should come see this". And there it was - a big white area on the screen where it should be black. Pneumonia in her upper right lung.
With a prescription for a knock-out dose of antibiotics, we headed home with instructions to call on Monday if she wasn't noticeably improved. The dry, persistent cough continued through the weekend - and she continued to weaken. Today - we went back to the doctor, and they admitted her to the hospital immediately.
Getting the IV inserted proved to be harder than anyone expected. After numerous tries, the supervising nurse was called. Maea clenched my hand in hers, squeezed her eyes shut and tears leaked out and pooled in her ears. They tried and tried and tried again - fishing this way and that under her skin. Finally - in the very tender skin of her upper wrist .... success. And within an hour, she had more color in her cheeks than she has had all week.
She's not out of the woods yet. On her second bag of antibiotics, she looked at me with a funny look and said, "Mom, I'm feeling kind of weird". I looked at her arm where a very noticeable rash was travelling up her arm from the IV line to her elbow. She was having an allergic reaction to the antibiotics.
My finger found the nurses call button instantly and within minutes they had unhooked the bag and were checking her vital signs. Jay is staying at the hospital with her tonight and she is resting comfortably. She's in good capable hands there.
In 5 days, my oldest daughter, Emme, and I are travelling to Ethiopia where we will be working with nearly 200 orphaned and desperately poor children at 2 care-points, Kind Hearts and Trees of Glory. Even though every one of these kids has a sponsor family in America to provide for their basic needs, the medical care in Ethiopia is in stark contrast to what we have in the United States. Estimates say there is only 1 medical doctor for every 100,000 people in Ethiopia.
We appreciate your prayers for Maea tonight and tomorrow as she fights against the infection in her lungs - and we appreciate your prayers for orphaned children all over the world that don't have a mom or dad to look out for their health or have access to doctors to provide antibiotics and medical treatment.