Thursday, August 19, 2010

Oh my

There's so much to update you on. Where to start?

First, I just read the last post. Holy typos batman! There's no time to proof. Hope you can figure it out.

I ate the deep fried deliciousness at lunch - and paid the price. My stomach - I will not get into the details. It was wonderful. Some kind of root. I was excited to have an all veggie meal. The food isn't that healthy here, but it's oh so good. Rice with this amazing juice and the fried root. I had to walk away from my plate because the revolt happened quickly.

My headache is gone. THANK YOU MARY for the coffee beans!! Guess I need to drink that every morning.

Guerlin - oh sweet Guerlin. He took his big trip into PAP. He's got some big medical name, but what I picked up on is that at the top of the heart blood comes in one side and out the other. There's a hole between that which is causing challenges. In addition, the bottom of the heart filters good blood and bad blood. He's got something going on there too where the blood is mixing. One of you medical people help me out here. What it means is open heart surgery - in the states. This is a huge, long process. Have to get a surgeon and hospital to donate the services and find a family to care for him. I told you before, but this little baby has stolen my heart. He's more beautiful than I could ever describe, and pictures do not justice.

Handbags for Hope. They arrived today!! When I first got here I was thinking, what in the heck did I send those for?! Today, I know why. They lined up all the bags and let the nannies, cooks and laundry ladies choose their own purse and wallet. I was almost in tears. (Go figure) They were so appreciative!

I let Maude choose first. She's the cook. Cheryle - she took your red bag and LOVED it. Emma, your two bags with you name on them went fast. They were thrilled. Next went bags from Dawn, and many from Susan Nichole. There are still a bunch left, and many that have not arrived yet (those with all the goodies). I have seen where these women live. You cannot call them houses. They are so painfully poor. If I could have captured the light in their eyes, it would have lit the world for a year. Truly a beautiful moment. Thanks to you ALL who contributed.

I'm forgetting things. This is frustrating. A day's worth of things to share and my mind is going blank.

The geckos here are so funny. I love watching them crawl around all over the place. The cockroaches are tiny but abundant. They don't scare me but I don't really care for them crawling on me. The mosquitos - oy. Please just say some prayers that I don't get Malaria. I'm completely chewed up. Tarantulas? I most likely will not get to meet one. (sure I just jinxed myself)

Oh - the haircuts! How could I forget? I was asked to cut 10 of the boy's hair. They get cookies as an incentive, but it doesn't work for long. Dawn - thanks for the tip. They told me to put the stuff in AFTER. When I put it in before it was like butter. Most of the boys were fine. The special needs boys - I had to hold back the tears. They were so rigid and crying. I now understand a nurse giving a child a shot. You've gotta do it. But it completely sucks.

I could not get myself to do Theo's hair. I know how painful buzzing is to my nephew Michael, and can only imagine the pain he'll be feeling. Tommorrow it must be done.

I am but a servant here. I've said it before, and I'll say it again - this trip is not about me. His words, my voice. His mission, my hands.

There are three babies out there waiting for me. A premie, one with Downs, and Guelin with the heart condition. When they cry, how in the world do you choose which to pick up? So many babies. Not enough arms.

That's it for tonight my friends. The emotions at the surface - but a truly beautiful day. Time to shower and wash off that funk. Tomorrow I'll share what to expect if you're truly considering coming down here.


p.s. Countryside Vet is donating Frontline for the dogs!! God bless you Lynn. They want the kids to get used to dogs, but won't until they are cleaned up. You have no idea the impact of the donations. THANK YOU!


  1. Hi Karen...hope everything is well so happy that these baby got ur attention..ur a wonderful mummy...hope it help u here bout the open heart surgery

    Open heart surgery is any surgery where the chest is opened and surgery is performed on the heart muscle, valves, arteries, or other heart structures (such as the aorta). The term "open" means that the chest is "cut" open

    A heart-lung machine (also called cardiopulmonary bypass) is usually used during open heart surgery. While the surgeon works on the heart, the machine helps provide oxygen-rich blood to the brain and other vital organs.

    The definition of open heart surgery has become confusing with new procedures being performed on the heart through smaller incisions. There are some new surgical procedures being done with the heart still beating.

    Newer techniques allow heart surgery to be done through much smaller surgical cuts than the large cut needed for open surgery.

    * Your heart surgeon will make a 2-inch to 5-inch-long surgical cut in the chest wall. Muscles in the area will be divided so your surgeon can reach the heart. The surgeon can repair or replace a valve or perform bypass surgery.
    * During endoscopic surgery, your surgeon makes one to four small holes in your chest. Then your surgeon uses special instruments and a camera to perform the surgery.
    * During robot-assisted valve surgery, the surgeon makes two to four tiny cuts (about 1/2 inch to 3/4 inch) in your chest. The surgeon uses a special computer to control robotic arms during the surgery. The surgeon sees a three-dimensional view of the surgery on the computer. This method is very precise.

    You will not need to be on a heart-lung machine for these types of surgery, but your heart rate will be slowed with medicine or a mechanical device.

    I hope ur lil Angel is fine..its really sad to see them so small n had to go thru a painful heart heart feels pain on behalf for him..May God Bless Guerlin..

    take care mummy Karen..i am SO SO proud of u..May God Bless u..


  2. Karen,

    I am sitting here reading your posts, listening to my husband playing Eric Clapton's "Tears in Heaven" on his acoustic guitar. I'm finding myself choking back tears as I read...I'm inspired by you Karen.

    ERIN N.

  3. Hi Karen, from what I know a hole between the chambers at the top of the heart is an ASD (atrial septal defect) and one at the bottom is a VSD (ventral septal defect). There is also an AVSD (atrioventricular) where it involves both the upper and lower chambers, and usually mitral/tricuspid valves as well.

    If I remember my anatomy right, in a normal heart the blood from your body goes to the Right atrium, then Right ventricle, then through to the lungs to get fresh oxygen. The oxygen rich blood then goes to the Left atrium to the Left ventricle and gets pumped out to the rest of your body.

    When there is a hole, the oxygenated blood mixes with unoxygenated blood. The heart and lungs both have to work harder.

    I had open heart surgery for a VSD 34 years ago. When I was baby :) It wasn't too common then. I know there are less invasive repairs now days for small defects, but I'm sure large ones still require the major open heart surgery. There are other heart defects that require a series of multiple surgeries to correct.

    Saying prayers for all the babies, and you.
    Gave my kids extra cuddles and kisses tonight.
    Snuggle with a baby for me. Heather K

  4. My Dear Karen,

    About my tip. I guess no one ever told you not to listen to anything I say. :) (I just figure most people already know that.)

    I was thinking put the cream in first, but after your post I remembered (It's been a long time since I worked in daycare.) the cream goes after & softens hair. Sorry.

    Just one more thing. If I could reach you right now I'd grab you and hug you for a good 15 minutes at least. Thank you for everything, for all of this.

    Blessings and Love, Dawn