Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Sick kids

I spent half the day last Friday at La Loma Luz hospital with Selwyn’s wife Hilda and their three kids. Selwyn was dragging all week because he was trying to get rid of a cold, but having a hard time because all three of his kids had it, and nobody in the house was getting any sleep. Thursday evening, he came in the house and sat at the table after work because he wanted to talk to me before he left and I was out feeding the horses. When I came in the house, he had his head down on the table and was almost asleep – very un-Selwyn-like behavior. Friday morning he showed up looking like he had a pretty rough night, and when we asked him what was wrong he explained the situation at home, and said that he was afraid they were going to have to take the kids to the doctor over the weekend. Selwyn didn’t ask, but we asked him if it would help if I took Hilda and the kids on Friday, and Selwyn was very accepting and appreciative of the offer. I left mid-morning and picked up Hilda and the kids, and we went to town. Junior was actually on the upswing and feeling a little better than he had for the rest of the week, but Ali was extremely quiet, and poor little Kristalee was having a hard time breathing.

She didn’t look too bad, and didn’t seem to be running too much of a fever, but when I lifted her up to hand her to Hilda in the truck, I could feel her breathing rattling under her ribs. To nobody’s surprise, the pediatrician said that they had bronchitis and sinus infections, and both kids came home with a bag each of antibiotics, cough medicines, and other medications to make them more comfortable as well as vitamins to boost their immune systems. Hilda was a little upset because between the office visit - $15BZ per child – and the medications, she spent almost $250BZ. We were both shaking our heads on the way home because I thought $125US was dirt cheap, especially considering I probably would have spent that much just on deductibles after shelling out hundreds of US dollars a month for insurance, but to Hilda, that was a lot of money to drop in a quick visit to the doctor. However, the doctor had made it clear to her that bronchitis can be pretty serious for one-year-olds, so both he and I assured her that she did the right thing in taking the kids to the doctor. As of today, Tuesday, the kids are better but not back to normal, and now Selwyn is home sick with a cold which I suspect is bronchitis and a fever. I guess the winter colds come even in the tropics.

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