I stood in a large room completely alone, completely helpless and stomach churningly scared. AK was asleep, attached to an IV drip. All I wanted to do was cry but it was the one thing I couldn’t do. I had to be strong. Here I stood in a foreign hospital where cats roamed freely through the ward.
Was my daughter going to get the right medical care here ? Was all I could think. AK’s fever had persisted so I took her straight back to the hospital, but this time I marched into the peadeatric ward and demanded AK be seen by a doctor. The courage you find when your in protective mother mode ! A nurse checked her temp and it read 39.8. Finally the nurse ushered us into a closed room.
AK was stripped down once again and sponged off to bring her temp under control, her heart rate soaring. Finally a doctor came in, the same doctor who had discharged us a day earlier. “Is she sick enough now” I snapped completely disgusted by the doctors words still. She looked at me all apologetically and started to do some observations on little AK who was now a limp jelly like child, her eyes rolling into the back of her head.
The doctor didn’t waste anytime in checkin her vitals and gettin AK hooked on oxygen and IV fluids. Soon a whole team of doctors were surrounding AK, taking bloods, running test on her and checking every last part of her body. Finally something was getting done. When AK was stable enough we entered the ward.
The shock quickly hit me. I was nowhere near a state of the art hospital. The ward had 18beds in it side by side. We were put in a bed in the acute section ,where there were four beds that looked out across the ward. The bed was rusty, blood stains covered the mattress, and the floor was stained by bodily fluid spills. I was petrified, I had no support, no one to hold my hand, no one to tell me it would all be okay, completely alone in a foriegn hospital.
AK looked so sick, so sad, her little body overtaken by typhoid ! Typhoid how the hell did she catch typhoid? We are all immunised !! ! I rung the Aus embassy to let them know we had been admitted and let them know it was for typhoid. “Have you notified your husband” the lady said. My heart sunk. I had tried for 7hrs to get hold of slade. Our VHF wasn’t working, our sat phone crapped itself, the internet wouldn’t connect and there were no yachties around to give him a message. all forms of contact had fallen apart over the period of a week and of course it had to be the week when we needed it most !
The Aus embassy tried to get hold of slade an so did port control and the police. Nobody could reach him. Finally I got hold of a yachtie via someone else who had sent me their number. They waved down a local boat, the boat then went out to slade to give him the message. In the end this was all pointless Slade was too sick to come ashore and I had taken the dinghy with me so he had no way to get off the boat. With slade finally notified, I curled up on my chair and held AK’s hand. She was too sick to be transferred to Suva private hospital, we had to settle in to the public hospital.
With all the drama I had worked up one hell of a nervous pooh. I wandered into the outhouse, yes you read correctly ,the bathroom was outside down a little path. The roof of the outouse a perfect triangle, the smell of festering urine filling the air.
My stay just got worse, I clearly didn’t get the BYO toilet paper memo before being admitted ! I had assumed AK would see a doctor an be sent home, but of course Murphy’s law kicked in. I had nothing but the clothes on our backs and not a piece of paper/napkin/newspaper or sacrificial piece of clothing insight to wipe my bum. I was in for a long night with AK and the horrendous gut pains that come with holding on way after your time has come !
I walked through the patients back to AK, slid into her cot and cuddled us both up into a ball. I didn’t care if the cot caved in, I was not getting out of that bed, I was not going to let her feel as alone as I did. At that moment all we had was each other…………………TBC