First an update on the little boy Viktor from the previous post. I walked out of Katia's room last night and saw a familiar face and pose...I thought I had seen that face before. I asked, "Is that little boy Viktor?" The staff told me that he was and let me go to see him. Big smile, eating his fingers, nothing in the crib but him, wearing a pink flowered toddler sleeper, but most importantly, 2 casts on his ankles! The orphanage was able to find sponsors to pay to surgically correct his tip toe walking. Now he has casts on post surgery.
Today, I saw him again and he was sitting in the same corner of the same crib with nothing in it. I think he has learned to sit and do nothing. What he thinks about, no-one knows. I am going to bring him a toy tomorrow. He may not have it long but the staff in that area know me and I think it will stay with him as long as Katia is there and I come.
Now, our rollercoaster.
This has been such a tough time as Katia has continued to have autonomic seizures or episodes of some kind during which she breathes very rapidly, looks terrified, sweats a lot and stiffens her whole body. I have been trying to tell the Dr. and nursing staff that these are too often and too hard on her. She has settled down when I hold her and wrap her warmly. These were coming with regularity and then Katia started losing weight! Like she has any to lose?! When the children saw her yesterday after missing seeing her for 10 days, they were shocked. Her eyes were sunken and her face thinner. She also has a new bronchial infection.
With this much activity and sweating, she has not been able to hold her weight. She is so severely malnourished and with her sweat evaporating, she has been underdressed because the staff think she is overheated. Using calories to keep warm has cost her greatly and she became seriously dehydrated. One of her Dr.'s that has treated her for 7 years and recently in the ICU saw her the other day and was afraid. They ran blood work which showed the dehydration and they put her in oxygen, gave her IV fluid and then more fluid in her feeding tube. They have done an ultrasound which shows organs in good shape except for the liver which doesn't look healthy. She has been having chronic antibiotics, having only spent 22 days this year in the orphanage and the rest in the hospital. It remains to be seen if the liver will improve as the malnutrition does.
Just yesterday (so many hours traveling to do paperwork, it feels like several days ago), I realized that I had been trying to hold it together and not being very successful and I was not in control at all so I started crying out to God for His intervention and strength. I was so torn about what to do for her as I watched her waste away and couldn't communicate well enough and couldn't do anything for her. I realized that God was the only one who could do it. I am too quick to turn to what I can do or what Dr's. can and want to turn to The Great Physician first, everytime.
This morning I woke early and was reading a document on treating severe malnutrition that was sent to me by an organization in Africa that feeds starving people back to life. I have been corresponding with someone from this ministry for over a month now. As I read it, I knew that I at least could try and keep her warm and how important that was. So, I packed a bag with sleepers and socks that I brought and took them to the hospital and our facilitator was able to communicate with several staff members about keeping her warmer than comfortable for them and dry, changing outfits often. I will be bringing more tomorrow, with blankets and hats.
Then Helen was able to translate in a meeting with the Dr. where she changed her food to the special formula that we have bought and increased the number of feeds and will use this exclusively for now. This is a high calorie formula.
I was so grateful! This Dr. said, "we are fighting for her, we will work hard".
Gord has called today a special prayer day for her and I am so thankful to see God's intervention where I couldn't. Please keep praying for this little tiny girl.