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I had a really emotionally intense week last week. I'm glad it is over. I will attempt to summarize.

Last Sunday (9/10) Nick thought he was recovering from a 2-3 day period of feeling exceptionally crappy. He had severe stomach aches (it was almost as if he was in LABOR!) and a bit of a fever. I was starting to think maybe he had apendicitis or gallstones. But on Sunday morning he thought he was starting to feel better. I invited a few friends over that afternoon because I had been bored waiting for Nick to "get well". And Jonas was getting on my nerves requiring my full attention 24/7. Or at least 24/3 with no help from Nick. So the gang came over and brought lunch and we ate and hung out and played games. Around 4p.m. Nick called me to come into the bedroom because he had just vomited into a bag, which broke. I went in and it was 100% BLOOD. It was so much it looked black. At that point I called our friend who had already offered to take Nick to the hospital in Thailand. As the friend with the car was on his way, Nick went into the bathroom and locked the bolt behind him (it is a sliding lock kind of like a public bathroom stall). When he was in there, he fainted and hit his head on the bathroom sink. My friend Kelli heard him and said she thought he had passed out. We knocked on the door and he answered and said he had fallen. We asked if he could unlock the door, and he fainted again. There was absolutely no way to get into the bathroom without power tools, as the window has iron bars on it. After a few minutes of wondering what to do, he woke up again and unlocked the door. One of our guy friends helped me drag him back into the bedroom.

Shortly after this the friend with the car arrived and got Nick on his way to the hospital in Thailand. It is about an hour and a half away. I couldn't go with them because I have passport difficulties and a toddler to take care of. When they arrived in the hospital Nick fainted again. He was admited to ICU because his blood pressure was too low. He tested positive for Dengue fever.

The next day (after my first day on the job as a substitute teacher at the International school) I was able to visit him in the hospital.

I e-mailed this update to friends:

Hi guys,
The update on Nick is:
I went to see him today and he is able to walk to the bathroom on his own. His hematocrit level was still too low so they gave him 1 bag of blood. They also said that he has Dengue and maybe something else like an intestinal virus. I might have mentioned that he vomited blood, well, apparently they don't think he has hemorragic (sp) dengue (the more severe of the different forms of dengue), but that he perhaps might have a stomach ulcer. Dengue apparently inhibits one's clotting ablitlies or something so that explains why his stomach filled with blood.
He fainted before we took him to the hospital and hit is head on the bathroom sink. He has a small fracture above his left eyebrow but a CT scan showed no brain bleeding. He does have a mild concussion and it has not been determined what, if anything, will be done about the fracture. He does have a slight visible dent there but not like quasimodo or anything.
He is in good spirits but just weak. He asked for some vanilla ice cream and ate a bit when I was there.
I am still in Vientianne and Nick is in the hospital in Thailand. I visited him today but as he is in ICU I can't really sleep there, and we both agreed that I should stay here with Jonas.
When I returned from the hospital at 8pm this evening Jonas had a slight fever. Pray for us. I don't think he has dengue but I don't need him to be sick right now (obviously).
Jonas didn't sleep well last night and I think he is confused and worried about being left alone. I told him Nick is at the doctor. He was almost asleep tonight when he heard the sound of a far away motorbike and said "pa pa". :(

On Tuesday I had to go to work again and I thought that surely the worst was over and Nick would be comming home soon.

Little did I know...

Nick is being moved to Bangkok where he will recieve some platelets, which are not available at the hospital he is staying in currently. I think now he has had 2 bags of blood given to him. He says he feels better but very weak. He thinks his "head dent" is comming back to normal. He has had several friends from the foreign community in Laos go visit him in the hospital, and another friend will ride with him to Bangkok. He is not alone, but as I said before I cannot join him because of visa difficulties and the responsibility of caring for our son.
Jonas slept through the night last night and doesn't seem to have a fever anymore. I brought Nick's cell phone home from the hospital b/c he broke it when he fainted one time and fell on it. Jonas saw it and said that it was Papa's phone. I'm sure he is confused by the whole situation. I am too.
I didn't know that this would be such a long ordeal. I'm not worried, I'm just ready for it to be finished.
I don't know how long Nick will be in Bangkok or exactly when they will take him there.
Nick is coherent and able to talk, read, watch TV and play Gameboy. I hope I haven't given the impression he is comatose or anything.

Bangkok is about 12 hours away compared to 1 1/2 hours away from our house by car. Nick rode by ambulance to Bangkok.

On Wednesday I went to work and then that afternoon I had a job interview for a teaching position at a night school. Good news: I got the job. Bad news: the clutch on the vespa broke as I was parking at the school. So after the job interview I had to WALK with the Vespa in the hot sun, wearing a helmet (VERY sweaty in there...) until I got to a decent mechanic. Good news: it was repaired in about an hour.

Nick's news for Wednesday was good:

Nick called me tonight to say that he is out of ICU and in a regular room now. They aren't going to give him any more blood b/c they think he can make his own now. He sounded more like himself.
Still no word on a possible discharge date.
I'm still hoping for him to be home for the weekend. If he isn't, I might be making a trip to Bangkok this Friday night.

I think it was on Wednesday or Thursday that afterschool my Vespa wouldn't start. So I walked with it a long way again. Finally I propped it up infront of some random house and sat on the seat to drink my tea because I was exhausted. I was also wondering in the back of my mind why God was smiting me this week. This was also the day that my babysitter thought Jonas might have chicken pox (he ended up just having a weird rash that went away on its own). Some man came out of the house and was able to get the Vespa started for me, and then when I got home, my babysitter's husband discovered some kind of fuel leak and fixed it for me.

So, I was able to carry on through the rest of the week and Nick was able to come home on Sunday. He will be weak for about a month. I guess it is kind of like Mono or something, only instead of kissing you get it from being bitten by a mosquito. And some people die from it.

On Saturday while I was waiting for Nick to finish being in the hospital, I went on a little lunch cruise with some of my fellow teachers. It was basically a bamboo raft a-la Southeast Asian style of Huck Finn, and it had a long table just a few inches off the ground and cushions to recline on instead of chairs. We ate traditional Lao food such as papaya salad, bing bpaa (grilled fish), laab, sticky rice, and, a long-time goal of mine: Roasted Crickets.

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Here I am after I went for the gold:

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So, I guess my week wasn't ALL bad. :)

Monday, Sept. 18, 2006 at 7:04 PM

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