I just didn't want to come home and write about it. It seems that when I write about something, we turn a corner. But Saturday and Sunday I felt like she was dying and I didn't know what else to do. I had some tears with Ola, the first nurse/medical student that had asked me "Why Katia". I wondered if the next post I would write would tell of the conclusion to the little life. I didn't want to write anything.
On Monday, I looked into the eyes of the living. I looked into the bright eyes, no longer sunken, of our little daughter. Eyes that we first saw when we arrived, maybe even brighter. She breathed quickly when I first came in and spoke to her.
Gord and I had talked about the fact that many of the seizures we were witnessing seemed new as we had not seen these when we first arrived. Once I found out that food being given was about 60% of what she had been receiving in the ICU, the push was on to feed her more and the high calorie formula that we now buy for her.
The doctor had also ordered a liter of water to be given to her. With her sweating and rapid breathing, she was losing a lot of water and her mouth was always dry. Here when children thirst throughout the day, tea is given.
Since I knew that the feeds were increasing and the water, and I watched the staff give her extra tea, I appealed to Ola to stop giving the tea which can cause water loss. She asked for the staff to increase her water intake over the "prescribed" amount and give water when they would have given tea. I don't know if this helped but she has calmed down in her seizures, she is bright eyed and more active, turning her head to look for me when she hears my voice. She was more lethargic when I compare her now. I have not been able to see her much Monday or Tuesday as we have been driving all over the region to multiple offices with multiple steps to the paperwork to get the documents we need to come home with her.
We were talking with staff through our Helen on Monday and they were saying that this year she has begun to seize more and varied and had a lung abscess, she used to cry when she wanted something or was unhappy and now, for the last 6 months or so, she is silent. This Monday though, the staff said that she has made a marked change, in her appearance and behavior. They said that even Sunday with as bad as she looked to me, she had less seizure activity. Now she was even better and her edema (swelling of the hands and ankles) is improving.
Today I read her medical abstract from birth and it revealed much more than I had known, all helpful in her treatment I think. But I was very distressed to read that she was having 5 feeds of 250 ml each several months ago and in this unit, she was having 5 feeds of 150 ml each. This child was starving to death.
As of today, her feeds are 7/day, all high calorie food and now 180 ml. each. Our goal before travel are feeds of over 200 ml. each, 7 times a day.
Gord returns to us tomorrow night, Lord willing. We are so thankful that our time apart is nearly over and can't wait to all be reunited.
Tomorrow, I submit documents at the American embassy for Katia's visa and Gord and I hope to be interviewed there on Thursday. We are praying for the Doctor to be willing to come to the hospital for Katia's physical exam for entrance to the USA. I think it is primarily an exam for communicable diseases. We will have to bring him/her and pay them to come. We are also asking the Embassy to send a staff person to see Katia and verify her there at the hospital, again, making it unnecessary for her to be taken out of the hospital yet. We are so thankful that the Kiev passport office did not make it necessary for us to bring her. They waived the requirement when they saw her photo with feeding tube in place.
Our hope and prayer is that I can stay with her much of this weekend, adjusting to her care 24/7, trying out our equipment for use and then charging all batteries, getting her prescriptions, making her schedule and bringing her home to the apartment Tuesday or Wednesday, the day before we fly.
As a follow up of Viktor, we saw him leaving today to return to the orphanage. His future and that of Yuri's, God alone knows.