What a month this has
been! It's not our usual style of adventure, but sometimes one just has to go
with what you get.
Akaisha's freak accident knocked us off our game a bit and
for the first couple of weeks, we were both very concerned that she was going to lose her finger.
That crisis has passed and we are both very grateful!
However, one month later
and contrary to our previous travel plans, we are still in
Guatemala. Thanks to your prayers, the efforts of Doc Billy, the
excellent surgeon, the regenerative effects of the hyperbaric chamber, supportive
pharmaceuticals and our TENS Unit, she is healing well. Honestly, the
hellish mountainous daily drive from Antigua to Guatemala City with us dodging
belching trucks and buses, dealing with bumper-to-bumper commuter traffic
and motoring through intense tropical rainstorms on winding mountainous roads didn’t help. But it looks like the worst is
now behind us.
Weeks of appointments
ahead - where do we live?
As you know, we have
sitting in a lovely home in Antigua. This was meant to be a two month
commitment, but due to our unusual circumstances, the homeowner offered for us to stay longer.
Not only was this generous, it was an answer to a very real problem we were
facing. We had weeks ahead of scheduled therapy and doctor appointments in the
capital city - where were we going to live? Having a "real home" to return to each
evening helped immensely with the stress level and created a much needed sense
of stability. Thank you Michael and Dawn!
Being proactive in our
healthcare approach and in
keeping with our perspective of self-responsibility, we decided last week to cancel the appointment with our surgeon, Dr.
Galindo, and allow for another week of healing before returning. Then we emailed
him attaching our latest photos of Akaisha's finger, showing him the status of
her progress. Dr. Galindo concurred with our analysis and we set up another appointment for the following week.
Can you imagine doing
this with as much flexibility and response with your doctor in the States?!
attentive to Akaisha’s every moan (that didn’t sound right, I am talking about
her finger), I decided I wanted another x-ray to confirm there was no fracture.
That's easy to do here in Antigua. We had no scheduled appointment, and once inside the clinic it took about half
an hour from start
to finish. For the price of 300 Quetzales, or about $38USDollars, we had three
different x-ray views of her hand.
It turns out there is
a fracture which explains some swelling and distress she was having in her finger. Nothing major
- of course I can say that, not being thhe one
in pain, but it looks more like a crack that should heal on its own. Still it is
a source of discomfort for her.
X-rays showed small fracture - it could
have been so much worse!
Three separate issues
So at this point we
basically have three issues. One - the nasty cuts/gashes and mangled skin. Two -
the fracture. And three - ligament damage. We have been changing her
bandages regularly and exercising her hand in a warm water bath three times a
day working on the ligaments, but now we will modify the exercises a bit due to the fracture.
gruesome, but much better!
Everything has come
She still may need a
skin graft and we will learn more as the days progress, but we are confident
that full usage is within reach. No pun intended.
We plan on making a
complete financial report with all expenses documented for our readers, once this
medical adventure is completed.
Even though this event
was an unexpected challenge, all resources have come together to manage it. We
have a 6-day a week maid who helps with cleaning the house, washing the dishes,
changing the sheets, watering plants, shopping for daily necessities, and even
cutting up fruit and vegetables as needed. We have a taxi driver take us to and
from all of our appointments so we don't have to drive or concern ourselves with
vehicle maintenance or parking. Pharmaceuticals are easily obtained from one of
the many pharmacies in Antigua. We can walk into a clinic on a moment's notice and request x-rays
without an appointment or referral from a doctor. Communication with our
bilingual surgeon is prompt and convenient.
treatment, transport and
drugs have been reasonable enough to be paid out of pocket.
Even though the Fickle
Finger of Fate has given us this demanding situation, we have been blessed.