I am really feeling gross here. I threw up in the middle of the night and my stomach has been turning somersaults. I also slept with Jade who kept waking up all night long. I was woken up this morning with Saige begging for water. I went to get her and she had the smelliest poop (which is not a good sign). My head was spinning and I almost vomited changing her. Then I went back to bed as Esteban took care of the girls and got Siena ready for school.
I woke up at 11 am and just felt too tired to get out of bed. I am OK if I am sitting down but the second I get up, it just takes too much effort to stand. And I still feel somewhat nauseous. Jade seems to be doing a lot better though. Her teacher and several of the kids at school had the same virus and it seems to pass within a day or two.
Saige, on the other hand, I am worried about. She is very cranky and just wants to be held all of the time. Something is bothering her but it’s hard to know whether it’s her stomach or her ears or something else. Do we drag her off to Bogota? And which doctor do we see? We do not have full confidence in the homeopathic pediatrician (she is an MD also) being aggressive enough in treating Saige. At the same time, we do not faith that the hot-shot conventional doctor won’t be too aggressive with the treatments. And it’s pretty scary when the medicines they still use here are banned in the US and Europe. There is nobody we fully trust here.
I knew before setting off on this journey, that there would come a moment when I would wonder whether we did the right thing to drag our family to a developing country, and I pretty much knew that it would involve health issues. Now that we are at this juncture, I need to remind myself of this. This will pass. We will learn something from this (perhaps to appreciate the good ole US of A like we never have before) and become stronger as individuals and as a family (and definitely with stronger immune systems). At least nobody is in the hospital. All of these seem like resolvable issues.
So I tell myself all this to get through today but I have to tell you, it’s hard to be here, sick, away from my culture. Everything feels so… foreign. And everything just pisses me of! The Colombian matter-of-factness about what I consider to be pretty important issues (like health, for instance). I remember when we came here on vacation three years ago and one of the workers at a hotel we stayed at told us about his newborn twins in intensive care who almost died at birth. In fact they were hanging on for their lives, awaiting surgery in a hospital in Cali, which was five hours away. And here he was at work, laughing and joking around. I remember being struck by this and commenting to Esteban how if this happened in the States, the dad would be devastated and not just going to work like nothing is going on. I get that he was at work because he needed the money but he just seemed so happy despite all that was going on. I guess when horrible stuff happens every day, people just don’t get as worked up about it.
I think about how I used to romanticize developing countries based on travels in my twenties. Like somehow everything is simpler and more real and more alive in developing countries. And now I am realizing that yes, it is more alive and real and intense because a lot of shit happens every day. Life is brought back to the basics: survival, health, clean water, food that won’t kill you or make you sick.
OK, I am getting more and more morose. I should go take advantage of Saige napping and nap myself. Thanks again to all of you who have reached out with concern. It means the world to us to have your support!