Tuesday, March 24, 2009

day 35: stoned

J woke up yesterday in terrible pain and we figured it was kidney stones since he's had them in the past. He actually tells me he needs to go to the hospital, an enormous first for him. So we figure out who can take M to school and we find out which hospital is the best and off we go for parts unknown. The hospital was pretty laid back, not a lot of bureacracy, you just check in and then tell someone what's wrong and they pick a doctor and you sit outside their door till they come out and then you sit on a bench here and then move to one over there, hang out here and then come over there. Everything is bare bones and folks just sort of congregate but all in all we had no complaints for how they cared for him or for how long it took.

All of it together only cost about $100 US but none of it will fix the problem, the laser machine he needs to break up the stones don't exist in this country, so it's either Cuba or Guatemala or of course, back to the States. So we'll see another MD tomorrow but chances are he'll have to leave for awhile to get this taken care of and thankfully our US insurance is still in effect. After getting pain medication he starts to muse that it might be kind of cool to go to Guatemala to get it fixed but I smack him on the head, pain or no that just seems dumb to go where you know no one versus going home where he'll have a place to stay and the language is the same. I suppose you can take the boy out of the adventure but you cannot take the adventure out of the boy. Besides that I'd totally pick Cuba but whatever, it's not my kidney.

So now that the crisis is managed I can breathe deeper, but for a few moments this morning I felt so entirely alone, that one false step can throw us under, that we really don't know what we are doing here at all and then things fall into place and it's okay again. If there is one thing that I keep learning here it's that things work themselves out, they do because they must and because life is easier than we think if we just take it one step at a time. Already the word of his illness is making the rounds of our little community, some non traditional healers are reaching out to us and J's interested in exploring that too so maybe we'll fix this sooner than we think. Like I said, things have a way of working themselves out, everywhere of course but lately it seems especially here.

M at school (the one looking at the camera). Aren't the uniforms cute? Every school here has some sort of uniform. Every school here is religious too, at least the public ones. Not as cute, but she's learning all sorts of new stuff, including about that guy who died on a cross and CAME BACK! He was bleeding everywhere and still CAME BACK! Nice. Thanks for that.

In other non medical related news, I had the chance to meet Jen this weekend. She and a group of friends were in the town near our village so we agreed to meet at a bar. I was running a bit late and had no way to contact her but as I drove through town I saw a woman on the street. I've never met her but she'd sent a picture and even in the dark I just knew it was her. So I'm yelling her name out the window and she sees me and jumps in the car and we head back to the bar. Pretty funny, given that if I'd not seen her I might have missed her altogether but I happened to find her in the street. Small country, this one. So we shared a beer and talked and she, because she is entirely amazing, actually lugged a whole bag of school supplies and even some presents for M. She has no idea how happy she made my child and about 20 others just through her simple kindness. It was so wonderful to meet her in person, and it makes me laugh that our first visitor is a blog friend but in actuality it makes perfect sense.

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Janet said...

Poor J! I have had three sets of kidney stones and can attest to the rumour that getting them from kidney to bladder hurts as much as labour pains. For reals.

Anonymous said...

I think rather than being insecure in the jungle, you had a false/greater sense of security in the US than reality warrants.

I can't get over the sunshine there.

I was fretting to Tony last night about the Catholic school, but in his usual way he put my mind to rest. What are they teaching her, really? he asked. That there was a man that taught love for everyone? Is that so bad.

Yeeeahh, but.... with Easter coming up, they'll be laying it on extra thick, but after that, it's not so bad.

Not saying how much I wish I could come on an adventure, because I can't.

Redneck Mommy said...

First off, give J my love and tell him to hang tough.

Secondly, know that I love you and life is much more manageable with small steps and big breaths. Don't forget to breathe. It will work out. Life is like that.

Thirdly, just how bad am I that I'm totally giggling over M being converted to Christianity. You watch. She's going to be a pious little J lover. Just like MY daughter.

We'll crack the wine bottle together and commiserate soon enough.

I love you babe.

painted maypole said...

i love M sharing her swing. so sweet.

krista said...

i get that feeling of 'what the hell am i doing and what made me think i could do this' everyday at some point. some days it's worse than others. mostly it's this nagging fear in the back of my throat that tells me that i'm doing everything wrong.
i wonder if maybe your new environment somehow presents our worries to us in a way that makes it more visible, more tangible, more like standing in the wind with our hair blowing and oxygen rushing in forcing us to breathe. it's as though you're living in focus, the jungle providing the depth of field for the rest of us. or at least, for me.

mamatulip said...

My mom had kidney stones once and she told me she thought she was dying, the pain was so bad. It scared the crap out of me.

I hope J is okay. :)

Magpie said...

Ouch. I hope he gets better soon.

Love that you're posting photos.

meno said...

Not what you needed right now! Hope J gets better.

ms. changes pants while driving said...

i know you're in the jungle and everything but i can't stop staring at how GREEN and thick and luscious that playground grass is. you can't find grass like that here.

yaayyyy beeeer!

Anjali said...

Oh, I'm glad J is doing better. Kidney stones in the jungle sound like quite an adventure!

crazymumma said...

gah. sick in the jungle. scary stuff. Get better J.

I so want to come there. I really need a Journey you know....

Anonymous said...

I love the school uniforms! Too cute.

Hope that J feels better soon. And you're right, things have a way of working themselves out.

Simplicity said...

LOL @ "but whatever, it's not my kidney."

I have met some of the most incredible people EVER through this crazy land of blogging!

Inspiring, brave, sometimes lost, shy souls who find their voice along these fine wires.

I know how much I would enjoy meeting so many people and I know someday it will happen!

Hope the healing is quick, painless and not too expensive!

flutter said...

kidney stones hurt like a motherfucking motherfucker.

Jennifer said...

Poor J -- ouch. I hope he's okay. I'd totally go to Cuba with him, if he needs a travel companion...just let me know.

And, girl, oh, meeting up with you in your stomping grounds was so fantastic. I can't tell you the thrill of hearing my name called from a car on the street...I felt so 'in'. ;) You are gorgeous, inside and out, and I can't wait to do it again.