Wednesday, October 2, 2013

A Fall and A Bite

The months of August and September brought us some medical adventures here in Bolivia. I can't say that I have enjoyed them very much! I know that Rudi and I are very thankful that our situations were not worse and that our boys are still here with us.
Our first event happened just a few days after Myles' birthday. Rudi with Myles, Emily, and a friend, Franco went out to a Christian campground, that some friends of ours administrate, to play music and share the gospel with a group from the youth orchestra. Myles was playing with a couple friends his age on a zipline that went over and across a valley. Rudi did not feel good about how they were using it without harnesses, but did not want to be a spoilsport and say something about it. We don't know exactly how it happened, but as Myles was letting himself down the rope, he fell from about nine to ten feet. We think he passed out either as he was falling or right before. Thankfully, his right foot took the brunt of the fall before he fell over onto his head. However, because he was passed out he did not break his fall in any way as he toppled onto his head. When Rudi picked him up he was having convulsions and not responding. The next thirty minutes were the scariest, as Myles went into shock and scared many that were attending him. Through it all his pupils looked good, but his lack of response was what was worrying everyone. Rudi called me and asked me to e-mail our family and friends and ask them to pray. They were two hours from the nearest hospital that could care for him and had to go up over a 14,000 ft pass to get there. At this point we also thought that his ankle was for sure broken from the pain that he was in. By the time I met them at the hospital Myles was responding well in both Spanish and English, but was in a lot of pain especially in his ankle. They did full body x-rays, as well as checked him for any signs of concussion. We all were shocked when his x-rays did not show ANY broken bones, not even a slight fracture in his ankle. He also did not show any signs of concussion either. May all the praise and glory go to our God who is a healer. We are so thankful for all the many people who prayed for Myles. I believe God did a work in his body as he was being driven to the hospital.  
Myles and his new black eye!
In the picture above that was as far as he could open his left eye for a couple of days! The doctor said that a cast would be the best for healing the major sprain that Myles had in his ankle. The cast helped keep the the leg still and kept him off it for the first week, before he got a walking cast. The first week Myles tired easily and kept to his bed a lot. Managing the wood crutches was difficult and uncomfortable at best.

The Rustic Crutches
One of the days after after his fall our power went out for the whole day. The kids had fun that night playing games by candlelight. I liked the color of Myles black eye in this picture! Almost Raccoon like, don't you think?
Chess by candlelight
After watching Myles run around with his walking cast on, I was glad that we had put it on him. He was glad when the thing started to fall off a week early! He ended up sawing it off himself. He took it easy the first few days and now is up to full speed again.
Myles running with his cast at Paula's birthday party!

"Look, Mom, no cast"
  Just a few weeks later Clancy got a dog bite on the road by our house. He and Emily were taking a house key down to Victoria and the oldest four House 2 boys. Clancy was looking at them in front of their house waiting, and did not pay attention to the three dogs that were running toward him. Clancy ran right between two of them that were in the middle of a friendly dog tussle and one of the dogs bit him right on the leg. Unfortunately, Clancy was wearing shorts. When Rudi told me that we were going to have to take Clancy to the doctor for stitches I have to say that I was pretty stressed out. Dog bites are nothing to mess with here in Bolivia, as rabies is alive and well.
We took Clancy to a local clinic. I really did not want them to put stitches in the wound, as I have heard that that seals the bacteria in. I tried to communicate this to the doctor, but he was concerned about how open the wound was. While Rudi and I were out looking for a public bathroom to use (the clinic had a bathroom, but it was locked:) he went ahead and stitched him up with four stitches.
The wound the night of the bite. He also had a deep puncture on the other side.
The next day we went to another hospital to get him started on the rabies shots. Thankfully, that doctor told us that we needed to locate the dogs and report them to the hospital closer to us for observation by them. The series of rabies shots here are one each day for a week and then three more at ten day intervals. While it would be worth it if the risk was there, it is not something that you would sign up for a the drop of a hat!
Emily and our friend, Gladys who lives on our street, spent an evening going from house to house searching for the dogs. They were able to find them about two blocks down our street and Victoria and Angel were able to identify the ones who were in the pack that were running past that evening. After much waiting I was able to contact the right person to come and observe the dogs for rabies. We got the call this week that all of the dogs are rabies free. Praise the Lord!
The Victim!
The first few days Clancy was in so much pain that he could not walk very well and he spent a lot of time relaxing in our armchair. The bite got a bit infected and I was truthfully worried sick about the whole thing. The Lord sent our dear friend Tia Carmen, who used to be a nurse, to come and take out his stitches and to apply some herb poultices on Clancy's leg to draw out the infection. It worked the best of anything. What a blessing. His wound is now almost healed five weeks later. It has taken a long time!
Tia Carmen applying an herb poultice!
Clancy is now back to his regular chore of changing one of the little boys when he gets up in the morning. We always get a kick out of how he insists on wearing these bright orange rubber gloves to do it!
We are so thankful to have both boys fully recovered and doing well! It has been a faith building experience for me. I have had to ponder where my trust is: in the doctors to make my children well or Jehova Rapha, God our healer. At home in the U.S. where the medical care is much more high tech and well done, it is easy to put our trust in the medical system and forget that it is God that heals us. I have had to place my children in God's hands and trust Him alone through these experiences. A stretching and growing experience for me as a mother.


  1. I'm just glad both boys are okay! and I love the bright orange gloves for diaper changing! hilarious!

  2. Wow! So glad to hear the boys are okay and that the Lord has blessed with healing! I can imagine how scary these experiences must have been for you. Definitely true lessons in a new level of trust. :)