I got behind on the blog, and then-—due to renovations in the hotel restaurant—-the internet was shut off for a few days. I’ll try to summarize the key points of the past few days, but then I want to touch on something that’s been going through my mind this week.
*Mihaela and Gabi’s parents visited at lunchtime on…Wednesday, I think!
*Alexandra came back from Iasi, while Celine went TO Iasi. Alex has stitches in her leg and was separated from the kids for the first day, but then she was allowed back in with them part-time.
*Roxie was practicing “standing” and weight-shifting on Nestor, the blue donkey, and she fell off and bit through her lip(s). Lots of blood, some of which got on my shirt. But she’s okay.
*I haven’t seen Cristi since Wednesday, and Mihaela said he might have gone for evaluations, though nobody told her about it.
*Ionut is getting better at his head control; on Friday, I had him in the bouncy seat and he kept lifting his head. I also found his tickle spot, in case I haven’t mentioned it—he (sometimes) loves to have the left side of his back scratched. If I get him at the right moment, he’ll laugh like crazy.
*Raul has begun to try rolling over.
*Andreea, Roxana, and Paula are allowed in the playroom now! Gabi was allowed in for a morning but then she got a fever again.
*Unfortunately, Maria has spent more time in her crib than out of it. I just don’t have the upper-body strength to lift her. One day this week, I came in and an aide handed me a bottle for her before lifting her out of the crib and into my arms. I did okay for a few minutes, but she’s SO heavy, it hurts my arm when her head rests on it, plus I’m always afraid that I’ll move wrongly and hurt her. I’ve visited her as much as I could this week, though, and she’s been quite content.
*Little Mihaela likes to crawl into the cupboard in the preschool room, shut the doors, and then pretend to cry because she wants out.
*Friday afternoon when I left, I stopped by the playground to say “Pa” (“Bye”) to the preschool kids. Malika tried to get them all to say “pa” and give me a “pup” (a kiss), and she said “Bon voyage!” because she thought I was leaving. I told her I’m staying for three more weeks, and I’m not sure she understood me, but she did say “Bine!” haha
Now I have to say that I’ve been struggling this week, and it’s not only because I was the only volunteer at the clinic. I told you a few days ago that Raul has been lethargic. Well, he started getting fevers last weekend, and he’s been on children’s pain medicine, as well as antibiotics, so that explains the lethargy. A couple days ago, I went in to see him and there was blood all over his mouth and his arm; as it turns out, he’s gotten more blisters in his mouth, on his lips, and on his tongue, and he’s been biting inside his mouth, hence the blood. Friday morning was the worst I’ve since him—-he was crying because he was in pain, and almost nothing would soothe him. I couldn’t pick him up because he wasn’t entirely dressed or wrapped. I sang to him a little and rested my hand on his chest, and that helped a little, but he was still very miserable, of course.
I hated that I couldn’t do much for him (although he WAS happier in the afternoon—almost certainly because he had another dose of pain reliever). The first thing I thought of when I was told of his fevers and the antibiotic was, “Does he have an infection?” He looked so much better than I was expecting when I first met him, and he was in such good spirits, I wonder if I allowed it to make me think the situation wasn’t as serious as it might be. But at the same time, if you know me at all, you know that I overthink things and worry a lot. The thing is, I know that with children who have EB, it’s infection that can be fatal, not the blisters themselves. So I’m right to be concerned about this…right? I mean, I’m not thinking, “Oh my God, he’s going to die from this infection.” Of course not. But I’m also recognizing that, if it IS an infection, there IS that possibility. I’m trying to be realistic without being fatalistic, I guess.
So yeah…needless to say, I’ve been thinking about Raul a lot this week, especially because I couldn’t spend as much time with him as I wanted. On Friday, when he just kept crying because he was hurting, of course I found myself crying right along with him; in this way, I understand when other volunteers have told me they weren’t sure if they could go in and see him because it was so sad…But at the same time, I kind of feel like that’s selfish, in a way. We’re here for the kids’ well-being. I’m not suggesting that any of the other volunteers came here for selfish reasons, but I personally would feel selfish if I put my comfort before Raul’s. Sure, it’s sad to see him—-or any other child-—in pain, but his pain and loneliness are more important than my sadness. I think that, at this point, there are only two things that he wants: to not hurt and to not be alone. I may not be able to do much about the first, but I can sure as hell give him the second while I’m here.
It’s Saturday as I write this, and the next team will be arriving in a few hours. I have already told Mihaela that I want Raul as my “assignment” for the next three weeks, and possibly Nicoletta, as well, but she will depend on the other volunteers. Speaking of other volunteers, Susan—who was on my team last year—will be on this team! So excited to see her again!
Note: It's now Monday and the internet is (finally) back on! No pictures today, though, as it's late, it's storming (finally), and I'm going to bed.